Kansas Football Press Conference Quotes (Oct. 30)

Oct. 30, 2007

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Football Press Conference

Oct. 30, 2007

Head Coach Mark Mangino:

On the last Saturday’s game against Texas A&M:

“I may be redundant, but I am really pleased by the way we played as a team. I liked the defensive effort. We played the run very well, we forced them to do things that they don’t normally do, we played the pass well and we were able to stop them at the end.”

On the offensive performance against Texas A&M:

“We feel like we left some scores in the red zone and it has our attention, but we certainly aren’t panicking or anything like that. We understand why and we’ll make it better. Brandon McAnderson played extremely well and when Jake Sharp carried the ball, he played well. Todd Reesing turned in another strong performance in managing the game, throwing the ball and taking care of business. Our offense continues to get better and better. There are a lot of positives.”

On the upcoming game against Nebraska:

“When I see them on tape, I still believe that they are a very fine football team. They do a lot of good things on offense with good schemes. They have talented players in a lot of areas. Their defense came up with a scheme for the Texas game where they blitzed and played a lot of man coverage and it worked pretty well for them for most of the game. We expect to see some of that, no question about it. We think it will be a great challenge for us. Our focus is here on Nebraska and game number nine.”

On preparing for Nebraska’s blitzes:

“There’s nothing too unique about them. They are blitzes that we’ve seen before in bits and pieces against other opponents, but not as frequent in one game as they did against Texas.”

On the team dealing with the increased media coverage:

“We can’t control what goes on outside the building and outside of meetings and practice. We trust that our players handle things well. I’m confident in our players. I really think we have a good group of kids that really understand what is taking place here. As far as in house, our work with the kids, our day to day routine, the way we conduct business, nothing has changed and nothing will. We’ll just keep our same routine as we always do and our same focus.”

Players of the Week:

Offensive: Brandon McAnderson

Defensive: Aqib Talib and Kendrick Harper

Special Teams: Dakota Lewis

Scout Offense: Matt Bowie

Scout Defense: Ian Handshy

Senior defensive tackle James McClinton:

On his undersized stature:

“I knew I was short. I’m probably the smallest defensive tackle in the Big 12. I use what I got. I trust the Lord. He blessed me with quickness and to be successful and significant so that I can help my team win. I look at it as David vs. Goliath. I guess I’m something like David and those 6-5, 6-6 lineman are like Goliath. David used what the Lord had given him and I’m going to use what the Lord has blessed me with.”

On being motivated everyday:

“I have to go hard because like I said, I do it for the Lord. What he does for me motivates me to go hard and give my best everyday. If I’m having a bad day I just think about the Lord and that I have to be consistent and go hard because my teammates are depending on me.”

On why he enjoys practice:

“That is where the games are won, is in practice. You can’t go through practice and go through the motions and expect to win when Saturday comes. In practice it’s won, in workouts it’s won, lifting weights, it’s won in the meeting room, it’s even won in the training room. You have to go through practice to build up your technique and your talents instead of just going through the motions. I want to get better. I want to improve. Take advantage of the opportunity is how I see it.”

Junior defensive back Kendrick Harper:

On staying focused:

“We have a long way to go and it all starts out in the practice field basically. We have to keep working hard. Mangino is a great coach. He tells us that `the season isn’t over with, don’t be happy with eight wins and keep your mind focused and don’t let anything distract us.”

On being the new starting cornerback:

“It really doesn’t matter to me. I’m a team player. I just want to go in and help the team however they need me. Chris Harris is a good player. He’s got a couple years ahead of him and he’s going to be a great player in the next couple of years for KU. I just go out every time I get a chance to step out on the field and do what I do.”

On Nebraska:

“They are a very good team. They have a good running back and receiving corps. You can’t sleep on Nebraska. They are a very good team. We are just going to practice well and hopefully be ready on Saturday.”

Sophomore quarterback Todd Reesing:

On head coach Mark Mangino:

“He is obviously the face of the program. He started the turnaround for this program, he deserves the respect for what he’s done and the attitude he’s brought to Kansas. He deserves a lot of credit for what he’s done.”

On answering the critics:

I don’t think we are getting too caught up in the critics now. Maybe earlier in the year, we wanted to prove that the mentality of Kansas and the way we played has changed, but I think we’ve proved that. We’re a good football team, but we are not a finished product. We have a lot of work to do, a lot of improvements that need to be made. The only thing now that we want to do is go out there and play hard and try to win every game. We’re not worried about what people say because it’s the world of sports, there are always going to be critics. We’re just trying to improve ourselves, play hard, get victories for the team, turn this program around and get the KU fans excited about what we’ve got going on.”

Senior fullback Brandon McAnderson

On this week’s game:

“I’m looking forward to getting back out there and I know our offensive line is too. It’ll be a challenge. Anything can happen, but if our offensive line performs the way it has over the past couple weeks, then it is definitely a possibility (to run the ball with success). For us, it is just another Big 12 opponent. For the past five years that I have been here, (Nebraska) has always been a strong opponent. They have a lot of tradition.”

On the victory at Texas A&M last Saturday:

“It was fun. It reminded me of high school because of the grass field and playing under the lights. That is what it kind of felt like. I am not saying that they are like a high school team, but that is just what it felt like for me.”

On what he expects from the home crowd this weekend:

“Hopefully it will be electric. In the past for the Nebraska game it has been packed anyway, and we have given the fans something to cheer about, so I expect a really good crowd.”

Sophomore quarterback/wide receiver Kerry Meier

On switching positions from quarterback to wide receiver:

“Once I found out that the quarterback spot had been taken, I looked at it with some motivation. I found a new way to get myself on the field. I think I have performed well thus far. I’m going to continue to work to prove myself as a wide receiver.”

On the talent and depth of the offense:

“The things we can do with our packages are very unlimited. We look for mismatches on offense. I think we still can exploit a lot of mismatches and I think it’s going to help us in the long run. The plays we have are unreal.”

On his wide receiver talent and defenses scouting him:

“I’m out there a lot more now, so defenses don’t look at it as a surprise anymore. I still think it catches them that I’m out there playing slot receiver and not quarterback, but I think defenses are looking at it as another scheme and another problem they have to figure out for the upcoming week. Catching the ball in traffic is one of the toughest things. I’ve never really been around it and I’m just now getting used to it. But getting out there and running a route and fighting for your position on the field and knowing where you’re at, then going up and getting the ball with a defender on you is a tough. I think I’m developing at an alright pace. I can always do better. I’m looking every day to improve my game as a receiver and a quarterback.”