Weekly Football Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 25, 2005

Weekly Football Press Conference Quotes
Head Coach Mark Mangino

Opening statement:
“Good afternoon. I’ll start by naming this week’s players of the week. On offense, Jason Swanson. On defense, Jermial Ashley. On special teams, Scott Webb. Our scout team defensive player of the week was Brian Seymour and our scout team offensive player of the week was Nick Kurtenbach.”

“I’ll quickly review last week’s game. The defense played very well, especially against the run. We gave up some passes that we wish had not happened. There were some mistakes in coverage assignments that we can get rectified. On the offensive side of the ball, we certainly made some strides. We moved the ball well. We ran the ball well until we were forced to play catch-up and had to throw the ball a lot more. I thought Jason Swanson did a great job considering he had not played in a year. I was really pleased with his performance. Charles Gordon and Mark Simmons both had big days. I was really pleased with the performance of our offensive line. On special teams, our punt team struggled. That’s the part that we don’t like. It has been solid for us all year. There were a couple breakdowns we need to get corrected, and we’ve been working on that.”

“We have Missouri this week. That’s always an exciting time in the state of Kansas and for fans of KU. It’s a rivalry that goes all the way back to the civil war, and we educate our players on that. Missouri is playing fine football. On the offensive side they are featuring Brad Smith in both the pass and the run. He is a really talented young man. He’s getting good help from his offensive line. He’s being complemented well by a couple of fine running backs. On the defensive side of the ball, they possess some good speed. Their linebackers run very well. They’re a fine football team. We’re looking forward to it. Our kids always look forward to it. We haven’t been home in a while, so our kids are excited and really fired up about the game.”

On the timing of this game:
“We’re excited to play anybody. We do play well at home, so that is good. The downside is that we haven’t been playing as well as we need to on the road. This is a good time to be at home. We’re glad to be back.”

On recent success of containing Brad Smith:
“I don’t think we’ve done anything out of the ordinary. I think we’ve done a good job of trying to disrupt his rhythm. If he gets into a rhythm, either running or passing, he is very dangerous. There won’t be any change in our philosophy this year. They’ve always run the ball and thrown the ball with him, but now they’re just doing it in a couple of different ways. They’re trying to spread out the field and give him some looks where he’s the only one in the backfield.”

On Missouri’s ground game vs. Nebraska:
“They had some big plays in the beginning of the game that really hurt Nebraska. If you get Brad Smith out in the open field, he runs like a tailback. He’s like a rocket running down the field. If you give him a crease, he’s going to hurt you. We have to play good assignment-sound football to stop him. We have to play good, hard-nosed football and we’ll be fine.”

On if this is a good time to see Brad Smith:
“He’s had a lot of good games over there at Missouri. I don’t know when a good or bad time would be to play him. I think the time is right for us.”

On the offensive line positions:
“Anthony (Collins) is going to play. We’re going to start Ryan Cantrell again because he has earned it. Anthony has played really well. He is a talented young man. He is only a redshirt freshman and in just his third year of playing football. His first year wasn’t until his senior year of high school.”

On KU’s defensive unit:
“They play with a great deal of emotion. In this game, it will escalate.”

On Missouri’s Chase Coffman (tight end):
“I’m very impressed with Chase. We just need to be defensively-sound and know where he is at all times. He is playing very well.”

On Brian Luke:
“The good news is that all the tests have come back negative on Brian’s leg. He’s not 100 percent by any stretch. He’s walking with a limp and is in pain. The trainers said he couldn’t do much today or tomorrow, but they think that maybe Thursday he will be able to get back on the field if he felt better.”

On fans running out onto the field:
“We enjoy great fan support here at KU, but I would prefer that the fans stay in the stands after the game. I think it presents a danger to the players, coaches and support staffs of both teams. I know they’re trying to have fun, but after I read about the incident in Minnesota I’m convinced that the field is really not a place for the fans. It’s a dangerous environment. Anything is possible. I would prefer that all fans stay in the stands.”

On Jason Swanson:
“We ran the same exact package with Jason as we would have with Brian. After the way we saw Jason run and throw the ball, we’re going to expand some things with him this week.”

On Charles Gordon:
“Charles retains things very well. There might be a route or two in practice that he needs some clarification on, but in the game against Colorado I think he only had one mistake when running routes. I think that’s pretty good for a guy who has just come over to the offensive side of the ball for the majority of the time in the past couple weeks.”

On KU’s linebackers:
“They’re all confident, intelligent guys. They have all been in our program for at least four years. They have grown with the program and grown in this defensive system. They really have mastered all of their responsibilities. Those guys are hard-nosed, confident kids. They think they can play well against anyone every week, and they usually do. They’re the heart of the defense. The other kids rally around them. They are definitely leaders.”

Selected Player Quotes
Senior LB, Kevin Kane
On being back at home:

“It’s definitely a good feeling to be back at home. It’s been a long road trip, and it’s good to be back in Lawrence.”

On the Missouri game:
“This game is important because it’s our next game, but it’s also important because it is our rival. It’s a game where we feel we need to go out there and play well. If we do, it will be a good game for us. Our motivation this week is that it is a big rivalry game for us. They are a good team, and they are on a three game winning streak right now, so to stop their winning streak would be great.”

On Missouri QB, Brad Smith:
“He’s a great athlete and a great player. If you give him a little space, he’ll take advantage of it. We have to try to corral and contain him. We haven’t seen a quarterback like him so far. It’s definitely a challenge to go out there and try to contain him. It helps that we’ve seen him before and we know we can stop him. We just have to do that this year. They have a different offense this year so we have to prepare for that. They are a lot more spread out than last year, which will make open lanes for him to run and throw in.”

Senior LB, Banks Floodman
On Brad Smith:

“In the past, in practice we have put Greg Heaggans back at quarterback, who is a very quick wideout, to help us get ready for Brad’s speed. We try to simulate him as much as we can in practice. It helps when you have a guy who is quick and agile like Smith. He obviously wants to go out and play his best, but we have to do what we can to contain him.”

On the Missouri game:
“This rivalry dates back over 100 years. I think it’s one of the best in college football. If you can’t get up for this game and give 100 percent then you’re in the wrong sport. I cannot express how excited our team is to play against Missouri, and I’m sure they’re excited to play against us.”

On the attitude of the team:
“We always preach moving on. We didn’t play our best football last week but we’re past that and we’re trying to become the best that we can this week. I think we’re doing alright. It was a hard loss (last week) but I’ve never seen a bunch of guys be able to bounce back so quickly. We went out and practiced great on Sunday. Everybody wants to forget about that game and move on to Missouri.”

On Jason Swanson:
“I think his play was definitely uplifting. He came in there cold after not playing during the season. I thought he did a great job. I think that is a definite positive. I thought the offensive line did a great job and the wide receivers did a great job too, so if we can just keep this up good things will happen.”

Senior CB, Theo Baines
On Brad Smith:

“The main thing is stopping the run, stopping him from getting into the open field and making big plays. Our front seven are doing a good job of stopping the run. If we stop them from running then we have a good possibility of winning the game. We have to make them throw the ball.”

On Missouri’s offense:
“They can do a lot of things. Brad Smith being able to run opens up the offense. A lot of teams focus on him running the ball which leads to a lot of passes thrown.”

On playing at home:
“We’re expecting a big crowd. We’re going to go out there and give it all we got.”

On the Missouri game:
“We have the same mentality that we had at the beginning of the season and that is to work hard. We’ll give it everything that we have. We know that we need to win this game in order to become bowl eligible. We know that we’ll be amped up in that stadium.”

Senior QB, Jason Swanson
On being named the starter:
“It felt real good. Growing up as a kid you always wanted to play in the big game and help your team. That’s what I’m looking forward to doing this weekend.”

On his play at Colorado:
“I found a rhythm early in the game and that got me some confidence. Hopefully, we can get that same rhythm going this weekend, and if not we’ll have to try to find it again. I was happy that I could go out there and help our offense which had been struggling for the past couple weeks. It was nice to get some positive things going. When you have an attitude that you’re going to score then it’s going to happen. I just wanted to get the players a sense of urgency that we’re going to go out there and score every time we step on the field.”

On the Missouri defense:
“I see a lot of team speed in their secondary. Their linebackers like to fly around. Their defensive ends are really fast. I can see that we’ll have our hands full this weekend. We have to have a lot of good preparation this week and good practice throughout this week to come out on top.”