Kansas Football Press Conference Quotes (Oct. 16)

Oct. 16, 2007


Head Coach Mark Mangino<?xml:namespace prefix=”o” ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office”?>

On the upcoming game against <?xml:namespace prefix=”st1″ ns=”urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags”?>Colorado:

“They have some outstanding players. This will be a good challenge for us. I think our kids are prepared for the challenge and looking forward to going to Boulder and playing.”

On the challenge of the Colorado defense:

“Watching Colorado on tape, they are a really fine football team. Their defense is outstanding. I really think they have some of the most talented defensive players in the conference. They have a couple guys that really jump out at you on the defensive side of the ball. Jordon Dizon and Brad Jones at linebacker are outstanding players. Their defensive line is very big, physical and quick.”

On the Colorado offense:

“They have good running backs, led by Hugh Charles. He runs the ball very well. He is a quick, dangerous guy who can make big plays. Their quarterback is just a redshirt freshman, Cody Hawkins, but you can see each and every week as you watch the tapes in sequence, you can see him getting better. He stays poised, he makes plays and he’s a smart player.”

On the effects of the weather delays against Baylor:

“It was a great effort by our kids, considering the fact of two weather delays. They stayed sharp, they stayed focus. They didn’t let their minds wander and they stayed focused on the task at hand. They did a really good job and I’m really proud of the effort our kids gave under those conditions.”

On the performance versus Baylor:

“We played extremely well on defense. We played well on offense. We had great plays on special teams. We had a mistake on special teams that we have corrected.”

Players of the Week:

Defensive: Chris Harris and Mike Rivera
Offensive: Jake Sharp

Special Teams: Marcus Herford

Scout Offensive: Jose Rodriguez

Scout Defensive: Luke Templin

Senior Tight End Derek Fine

On the rankings:

“It’s exciting. We’re all really excited to be up there. I think it shows a lot about our team and it shows the work that we put in, but a ranking doesn’t win games and that’s what we want to do. We want to keep improving and win games and the rankings will get better as long as we win.”

On scoring on any team:

“I think we can as long as we take care of business. It’s all about execution and there have been a few times that we haven’t executed. When we came out the first quarter of the KansasState game, we weren’t executing and if we would have kept playing as we were going, we probably wouldn’t have scored all game. I think from that kind of standpoint, you have to look at it as a confidence thing. Yeah, we can go in and take care of business, execute and score. The main thing is to get it done on the practice field and make sure we take care of that stuff to make sure we get points.”

On Colorado bouncing back after giving up a lot of points at KansasState:

“I think that will happen with any team. Any time that you have a lot of points scored on you, you really want try to redeem yourself the next week. That’s something we have to prepare for. They have a really good linebacker corps. I played against them last year. They’re really physical guys and they’re really good at getting to the ball.”

On playing at Colorado:

“I remember the last couple of games. We came close to winning in 2003 and then two years ago we went there and they handed us a pretty good loss then, so you know, we’ve had a hard time there. A lot of things that go into that are different teams. I don’t think we really had the confidence and the will to go in and try to win at different places on the road that we do this year. Hopefully we’ll take care of that ourselves.

Sophomore Quarterback Todd Reesing

On playing at Colorado:

“It’s a great opportunity for us. Obviously, Oklahoma went in there and lost and Colorado’s defense played pretty great against them. It’s another opportunity for us to go out there and prove ourselves. We’re excited about the challenge.”

On his redshirt being pulled against Colorado game last year and going there this year:

“I’m not too worried about that. That was last year. Obviously it was an exciting moment in my life, the first chance I got to play college football. It was a lot of fun, it was exciting to get a win, but this team is a lot different, a lot of things are at stake and it’s at their place. It’s a lot different than last year’s situation. People have talked about the altitude and stuff, but I’ve been skiing before. I know what it’s like. I’m not too worried about the weather. Last week the weather was terrible and we had to deal with that. I don’t think we’re too concerned with altitude. We can’t let small things like that affect our mindset in the game. We’re not going to get caught up in that. We’re going to go up there and play football and do the best we can.”

On his feelings at halftime the game his redshirt was pulled against Colorado:

“Well there were a lot of mixed feelings at halftime. I was trying to get stretched because I had been standing around the whole first half. I was excited to get the chance to play and I was nervous too; nervous more so for the fact that I didn’t want to go out there and let the team down. I wanted to play to the best of my ability and fortunately we got a win. That’s a game I’m never going to forget for the rest of my life. Not only was it my first game, it was an exciting game; we came back in the second half and won. That game holds a lot of meaning for me, but it’s a new season. I’m not really looking back at that game, but I’ll always remember it.”

On the team’s mindset:

“Coach is right about that. You can’t really look at the scores (Kansas defeating Kansas State, Kansas State defeating Colorado). Week in and week out, some teams will play really good one week and not so great the next week. We really can’t look at that because I haven’t seen that game yet (Colorado at KansasState) and what may be the reasoning for the score that game. If you start looking at the scores and thinking that you’re going to win just because you beat somebody else, then that’s when you’re going to go out and get beat. We have to go into this game just like any other game and get prepared as best we can. We’re going to do that and we’re excited about the opportunity we have.”

Junior Linebacker Joe Mortensen

On Colorado being a run-first team:

“Definitely. They do run the ball a lot and that’s one thing that we’re looking forward to. As a defense, you pride yourself on stopping the run. It’s going to be a good challenge because they do run the ball well. (Hugh) Charles is a hard runner. He’s quick, he’s fast and he’s strong. He’s the best tailback we’ve seen all year, for sure. He’ll make you miss and he’ll also put his head down and try to knock you over, so he’s definitely one of the best tailbacks in the Big 12 and he’s a complete back; he can also catch the ball.”

On having not been out of Kansas this season and playing on the road:

“This year, I was excited when we went to KansasState and I wanted to see what this team could do when we were down against a good opponent. I’ve been looking forward to it because the first few games we were blowing out opponents and winning by a lot and I wanted to see how we could go through some adversity. I look forward to Colorado. I hope there are some points in the game that when we’re down, we see how strong we are. I think that’s a good team. When you go into their house and you’re down and you toughen up and you play a good ball game. It’s a tough place to play with their fans, the altitude. I don’t know what it is. I just think we have a different attitude this year. As a defense, we’re just focusing on the players themselves, the defense itself and their offense and trying to stop the run and doing what we can do to win.”

Sophomore Darrell Stuckey

On freshman cornerback Chris Harris:

“When he came here, he was very energetic and hard working. It was very convincing that he was a good kid and that he had a big heart and that he wanted a lot for this team. He was going to do whatever he could to be the best. I was the host for him when he came in on the recruitment visit. On his recruitment visit, I was very honest with him. I told him that if you want to go somewhere where the program is growing and going to be great, then come to KU. I told him that there is no favoritism here. If you come here, you will earn everything you get. There is no ageism on the field. You will play if you are the best player at that position. If you want to go somewhere where the team has already hit their peak and fill someone else’s shoes, then go somewhere else. I was honest with him. I am like that with a lot of recruits that come here. I believe in being honest with people so that they see the negative and positive of our school. I have hosted a lot of guys that are on the team right now, like Kendrick Harper, Chris Harris, Jamal Greene, Olaitan Oguntodu, Jeff Spikes, and Rell Lewis. Everybody I have ever hosted has always committed. It’s nothing that I do specifically, I am just honest with the people that I host.

“On the field, he strives everyday to be better. He’s very energetic in practice. He’s a great kid. He’s not scared at all about being intimidated about his age or his inexperience. It never comes up because he knows that on the football field you are just a player and that is all that matters. There are no excuses on the field.”

On being 6-0:

“It has been a long time since KU was 6-0. It is a barrier that we broke. Half of the season is gone, but we’re still not bowl eligible. We won six games last year and still did not go to a bowl. It’s not good enough. None of us are boasting around or happy. We still know that there is work to do and stuff to do.”

On playing at Colorado:

“It’s pretty exciting, because it will be our first away game that we actually have to fly to. I have never been to Boulder because I redshirted my freshman year. We are all getting prepared and we are making sure that we stay hydrated. We do not think the altitude will be a factor. We think it is more of a mental thing than it is a physical thing. Air is air.”

On Colorado’s offense:

“Colorado’s offense seems to be balanced. They do a lot of different stuff and they keep you honest in a lot of different areas. They do not have a lot of tendencies where they always do this or always do that. They are balanced like our offense. We are going to focus on our keys and reading them, and doing what we like to do.”

On what KU being ranked means to Colorado:

“They will not be intimidated by the ranking we have. They are going to put up a fight, regardless of who we are. They know they have a chance of winning. Anything can happen on a Saturday, so that does keep us grounded. We are ranked so that means we have more to live up to. To whom much is given, much is required. We are required to go in there and fight and win.”

On being the second least penalized team in the country:

“I was unaware of that. Discipline is something that our coaches stress upon us on a daily basis. Everything is disciplined. Coach Mangino stresses discipline all the time, whether it is our shirts staying tucked in, or our mouthpieces are in. Discipline is very enforced on this team.”