Kansas Football Press Conference Quotes (Oct. 21)

Oct. 21, 2008

Head Coach Mark Mangino

Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 21, 2008

Opening remarks:

“We played a very good Oklahoma team last week. They were a very potent offensive and defensive club. We just didn’t make enough plays. They made more plays than we did. At the end of the game we had to play catch up. We weren’t able to utilize everything we wanted to, but credit to them for playing a good game.”

“This week we come back home to play another explosive team in Texas Tech. They are a really good football team, ranked in the top 10. They throw the ball very well. Their quarterback, Graham Harrell, is a very good quarterback. He sits in the pocket and gets his reads. He has an excellent group of receivers, led by Michael Crabtree. They really work well together. They have been together for a while. He has only been sacked once all year, which is an impressive stat. They have some outstanding players on defense. Their defensive line is pretty good and they have some good, athletic guys like Darcel McBath at safety. They are a very good, well-coached football team that is coming in here on Saturday and we are preparing for them.”

On the gameplan to stop the Texas Tech offense:

“I think that you have to put things on the field that our players do best and execute those. We need to be good in coverages, but we also need to do a good job of putting pressure on the quarterback. We cannot allow him to sit back there because he will find somebody open. We have to be good at coverage, but we also need to find ways to have him get rid of the football sooner.”

On whether the KU defense will use man or zone coverage:

“I think we are capable of doing both. We have to get better fundamentally. Our corner play has got to get sharper with reads and understanding what is in front of them. We certainly would like to get more pressure with the four-man rush and we will never give up on that. We are not alone in defense in not playing the pass as well as we would like. In our conference, with the spread offense, nobody is really playing exceptional defense.”

On the Texas Tech running game:

“They are running the ball very well. They had 50 snaps against Nebraska, and 25 of those were running plays and 25 were passing plays. That is balance. I think that we have to keep that in mind and we have to prepare for it. You can’t put in a whole new system because you can’t teach it in one week and the kids can’t learn it.”

On Dezmon Briscoe’s performance against Oklahoma:

“It was a heck of a performance. I like the way he went up in a crowd and caught the ball and I liked the way he ran his routes precisely. He understood the coverages. Todd (Reesing) did a good job of getting him the ball to him. He has shown that he is capable of being one of the top receivers in this league and we look forward to seeing him continue to develop.”

Junior Safety Justin Thornton

On playing Texas Tech:

“We are going to get a chance to go out there and make some plays. Tech is going to come in here and they are going to spread us out and throw the ball around. They have great wide receivers like (Michael) Crabtree and they have a great quarterback who is going to try and get them the ball. We just have to execute, watch film and be on our game. Hopefully we can play better than last week. First of all we have to tackle better and we have to be more assignment sound. We had a lot of assignment busts last week and as a result gave up some big plays. We have to be more physical and I feel like our mistakes are things that we are going to be able to get corrected this week at practice.”

Where the defense can improve on at this point in the season:

“A lot of things. I think that we didn’t tackle well at all last week and as a result had a lot of missed tackles. That is one thing that the coaches and all of the players will be focused on this week in practice is just being more physical and getting guys to the ground. Overall I think we can do a lot of things better. We have to be more assignment sound because we are having way too many mental busts like blown coverages and things that we have to get corrected if we want to compete in this league.”

On communication being an issue:

“I don’t think communication is the problem. It is just everyone needs to be aware of what they need to do on every play. Everyone needs to be confident in knowing what they are doing to get the job done.”

On defenses in college football trying to catch up to the spread offense:

“I think that defenses are doing a good job. I think the best way to try and stop the spread offense is by getting pressure on the quarterback. Whether that is by just rushing your front-four or if you are bringing pressure with your linebackers and extra guys on the blitz, it is the number one thing to stop the spread. If the quarterback has all day he is going to find somebody because you can’t cover for that long. The best way of stopping a spread offense is by getting a good pass rush on them.”

Junior Safety Darrell Stuckey

On the upcoming game against Texas Tech:

“Any Big 12 team is a big challenge and obviously it’s another big challenge, especially for our secondary. For a team that comes out and throws as much as Texas Tech does, it’s going to be a great challenge for us to stay on our coverages.”

On the difficulty of defending a spread offense:

“When you face a spread offense it leaves less of a margin for error. If you go up against a team that runs a power offense where they want to run the ball all the time you can have errors and still make a tackle or still get in the gap. You can’t make errors and all of a sudden try to cover someone who wasn’t covered already. It’s one of those things were it poses matchups that you have to open your eyes for and be able to mentally go through and prepare for before you get into the game.”

On how quarterback pressure affects the spread offense:

“Any time you face a spread offense, it causes you to spread your defense out and be in coverage more. It makes you blitz fewer guys, because you have to give up something. You have to give up something and I think sometimes you sacrifice a pass rush for coverage and hopefully it will be a coverage sack. I think regardless of what happens you have to be hand-in-hand on defense; you have to have faith in each other. If I am in coverage, I have to rely on my defensive line to get to the quarterback and I think that they have to rely on us in coverage to allow them to get to the quarterback.”

Junior Running Back Jake Sharp

On the upcoming game against Texas Tech:

“I think it will definitely be a shoot-out, that’s what Texas Tech is known for, so it will be fun.

On lessons from last week’s game against Oklahoma:

“They are a good opponent, a Big 12 opponent, but I don’t think they are goliath or anything like that. We definitely knew that we were going to go down there and compete. Obviously we wanted to go down there and win, but at the end of the day they made more plays than we did. I think we are happy to know that we can play with the best of the best though.”

On playing against good offenses every single week:

“I think it’s the Big 12, that’s why I came here to play. I came here to play for a team that’s going to compete and win a lot of games. We are doing that here and it’s great to go down to Oklahoma, know that I’m going to be able to play Texas Tech, Texas, and K-State. It’s the best as far as college athletics are concerned and I’m happy to be a part of it.”

Sophomore Wide Receiver Dezmon Briscoe

On what his last game has done for his confidence:

“For Oklahoma to be such a great opponent and the yards that I put up on them it’s obviously good; but for any receiver, when you go out there and it’s man-to-man, you know that you can beat them.”

On how he can help to carry over last week’s performance into this week:

“Time, preparation, and watching film like I did last week; and going out to the practice field with a good mindset to get prepared.”

On his aggressiveness on offense:

“The way our offense works, we don’t have just one play maker, we have a lot of play makers, as far as Jon Wilson, Kerry Meier and the other receivers. So whoever is hot, Todd goes to and I believe he felt I was hot so he kept going to me.”