Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 11, 2010


Player Interviews:L. Smith | Wilson | Spencer | Patterson

Weekly Press Conference

Kansas Football

Oct. 11, 2010 – Lawrence, Kan.

Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill

On the bye week:

“We are excited to play a football game. It was good for us to have a bye week for us to get sharper at things and for our guys to practice. Since it is my first year on the staff we need as many practices as we can get. I saw good progress from our guys. They were very intense. They were ready for detail. I saw them very focused and I saw a good look in their eyes. They were paying attention to a lot of things and they all want to get better. They are very anxious to get on the football field and to do some great things. This is my first time being involved with the Sunflower Showdown. It’s going to be an exciting time for us. It will be a great thing for our football team to go out and play well against Kansas State. I continue to believe in our staff and what they are able to do.”

On the game against Kansas State:

“They are very sound on defense. Historically they have always played defense very, very well. They really do not make a whole lot of mistakes. They do a lot of good things technique-wise. On the offensive side of the ball you have to slow down their running game. You are not going to stop their running game, but you have to slow it down. Daniel Thomas is a great running back and he does a lot of great things. He pounds people, he has pretty good speed and he is someone that we must slow down. They are always very sound in special teams, too. We have to have an edge in two out of the three phases of the game. It really doesn’t matter which phase it is in–offense, defense or special teams; we must win that. Something that is really important for us to get done is that we must create turnovers. We need to get three turnovers. Whether it’s our defense causing turnovers or our special teams, we must get three or more turnovers in the game. We need to have 10 or less missed tackles. If that happens, that means we will play well defensively. Offensively we need to score 28-plus points. We need to have one or less turnovers and 80 knockdowns. We need to be knocking people down and putting them on their backs. We must play physical and we must play with confidence.”

On the team coming out of the bye week:

“I like where we had the bye week. We had some things that we needed to get going. It allows us to get our guys back in the rhythm of things. We needed some more time to get fine tuned. We had some guys with bumps and bruises and we were able to get them mended up. They will be ready to go. It’s all good from where we are at and we will see what happens.”

On the Kansas-Kansas State rivalry:

“Early on the players talked about some things from that nature and Kansas State is obviously a big game. Every game is a big game, but the in-state deal, you want to have the bragging rights from the players’ perspective. From the fans perspective you want that too. This is a rivalry that is going to go on for a long, long time. It’s a special rivalry. This is my introduction into it. I think I will get a better sense of it as we play this first ball game.”

Sophomore safety Lubbock Smith

On Kansas State possibly playing more than one quarterback:

“We have a game plan for that. For each quarterback they have, we’re prepared for him. We have watched a lot of film and we are prepared for whoever plays.”

On if both Kansas and Kansas State coming off of losses affects the rivalry:

“It does not take air out of the rivalry at all because we are both looking forward to going out there and trying to win. We want to show that we are the best team in the state of Kansas. Even though we’re both coming off of a loss we want to still go out there and win.”

On how Kansas State’s loss to Nebraska affects the team’s preparation for the game:

“We look forward to going out there and having a great game against them no matter what the score margin was in the game before or who won or lost. We just want to go out there and beat them ourselves. Just because Nebraska beat them, that does not mean we will beat them as well. We have to go out there with a great game plan and go out there and win.”

Junior tight end Tim Biere

On the bye week:

“We went back to basics and got some plays down that we know are going to work. We’ve added some wrinkles here and there off of those plays, but we fine-tuned all of our offensive plays.”

On the Kansas-Kansas State rivalry:

“It is definitely fun because there are Kansas State fans here in Lawrence. You see purple and you don’t want to wear purple. We went there last year and it was pretty crazy. There is no love lost between these two teams.”

On Kansas State’s defense:

“They show that they have a very good defensive end we will be going up against in Brandon Harold. They play with a lot of effort. Obviously they had a rough game versus Nebraska, but before that they were playing pretty decent.”

On who stands out in the Kansas State secondary:

“David Garrett, he’s a smaller guy, but he is really quick and he will get after you. He is not afraid to stick his nose in there. It will be interesting to go against a player like that.”

Junior wide receiver Daymond Patterson

On how the team did in the bye week:

“We did pretty well this past week; we worked on some stuff, practiced well, got some guys healthy. We got the team spirit up again and we just really looked into what K-State does. We got to watch them play Nebraska this past Thursday. I think we are very ready, and we have a few more practices this week just to get everything corrected and make sure we’re on the same page.”

On what the biggest improvement was during the past week:

“I think penalties and mistakes – we made a lot of mistakes down in Waco, (Texas), we had a lot of penalties – that will be the biggest thing, just to make sure we improve our technique. We need to make sure we’re flying around the ball this Thursday against K-State.”

On the defensive challenges that Kansas State will present:

“They are very good with their technique, they don’t give up a lot of big plays; every team gives up some, but I think that is what they really work hard on. They keep everything in front of them; we just have to make sure we do not make mistakes.”

On what this game means to momentum during the season:

“This is a very big game, we don’t want to go 0-2 in the Big 12; we need to get this win against an in-state rival, so this is a very big week for us.”

On if the offense will be able to have big plays against Kansas State:

“I think so, I think we will have to do it a little different that Nebraska did – they run the ball a lot, they only threw the ball seven times; but I think we can get some big plays on them. If we do what we have to, the big plays will be available.”

Junior cornerback Isiah Barfield

On why he chose Kansas over Kansas State:

“I took a visit to Manhattan with my mom and dad, and that was back when (former Kansas State Head Coach Ron) Prince was there, and I wasn’t a very big fan. I actually almost went to K-State to play basketball, but I decided to play football in Lawrence instead.”

On what drew him to Kansas:

“My mom and older sister both went here to KU, so that helped out a lot. I also went to a camp when I was a senior in high school and the coaches really liked me, so they offered me a scholarship.”

On if the rivalry with K-State feels different than the one with Missouri:

“For me, yes, because I’m a Kansas kid – I didn’t really know all the history between Kansas and Missouri, I didn’t know how bad it was until I got to college. The Kansas State rivalry always felt like a bigger deal to me. Everybody from my high school went to K-State.”

On the focus during the bye week:

“It’s everything. Every time you go out to practice, you have to work on the little things. When you practice the little things, it works during the games.”

Senior cornerback Chris Harris

On educating the new coaching staff of the KU-Kansas State rivalry:

“I can see that they are new to it. It’s not as big to them on a personal level, but once they start coaching here for a while they will get used to it.”

On not letting Kansas State win and extend their rivalry winning streak:

“We definitely need to win this game so we can get back on top in the rivalry. Since I’ve been here, I’ve only lost to them once. Last year we were so close.”

On which quarterback to expect for Kansas State:

“We’re anticipating Carson Coffman. I don’t know why they would start anyone else. They are 4-1 with Coffman, but I did see the end of the Nebraska game and the backup, (Collin) Klein, looked a little more athletic.”

On what aspect the defense has been working on during the bye week:

“Forcing turnovers and getting pressure on the quarterbacks. We need to try and get after the quarterback more.”

Freshman offensive lineman Riley Spencer

On the importance of this rivalry game being from Kansas:

“This is pretty exciting for me because it will be the first time being on the sidelines for the KU-K-State game. I have a lot of friends and family back home that root for both teams.”

On Kansas-Kansas State being a bigger rivalry than Kansas- Missouri:

“When you are from a smaller town farther west of Kansas City, there aren’t as many Missouri fans. You see more people get excited for this game rather than Kansas and Missouri.”

On whether there are more Kansas or Kansas State fans from his hometown:

“I would say it’s split right down the middle, which is really exciting, especially now that the game is here. I always get a lot of phone calls.”

On what he likes about KU:

“I really like the atmosphere and the coaching staff. I have fallen in love with this place and with the people that have surrounded me here.”

Sophomore offensive lineman Tanner Hawkinson

On how injuries have affected the offensive line:

“We have a lot of guys that have played together in the past. Obviously with Trevor (Marrongelli) going down it hurts, but Duane (Zlatnik) has done a good job for us in his first year starting. We had four guys start on last year’s team and Duane was with us all last year too.”

On keys to the game versus Kansas State:

“Execution – playing to the best of our abilities and not taking no for an answer.”

On whether he was ever a Kansas State fan growing up:

“I’ve been a KU fan my whole life. My dad was a graduate from Kansas State so I went to a lot of Kansas State games growing up, but obviously KU had a little bit more influence on me.”