Mark Mangino Press Conference Quotes 11-2

Nov. 2, 2004

Statement from head coach Mark Mangino (11/2/04)

Opening statement:

“Once again I am very pleased with our defense. I like the way we are running around with a lot of enthusiasm. We are playing the run very well. We did a good job against the pass against Iowa State. Anytime you can hold a team under 200 total yards, it is a great day for your defense. On the offensive side of that ball, we have to get better in a lot of areas. It is my responsibility to make that unit better and we will be much improved in that area because our kids are learning every week. Our special teams – with the exception of a critical error in punt protection – was pretty good.”

On Colorado:

“In some ways, Colorado is like us. They have lost some tough games. Their offense, at times, has been explosive throwing the ball. Joel Klatt is certainly a quality quarterback. When he is hot, he can do some damage. They have not run the ball the way they might have liked on a consistent basis, but they can hurt you because they throw the ball well. Defensively, they seem pretty sound fundamentally. They have a bend, don’t break philosophy. Statistically, they don’t give up huge plays. You have to earn it against them. We are looking forward to this game and playing much improved in all three areas of the game.”

On the offensive plan:

“We will do some things that are tailor made for our personnel, but we will not make any dramatic changes in the offense. We will do some things that will give our kids a chance to execute. As far as run/pass ratio, we will fight hard to remain balanced.”

On Jason Swanson:

“We recruited Jason because we felt we needed competition at the quarterback spot. We felt like we needed to create depth, and we wanted him to be the one or two guy. Our intention was for Jason to be able to play this year and compete. Now that he is the main guy at that position, getting the repetitions and getting the majority of the attention from the quarterbacks coach, we feel like he will respond in a positive way. Believe it or not, he is not a lot faster that Adam, but his feet and his change of direction are a little quicker. I think that all of the things we have used with Adam we will use with Jason.”

On John Randle’s status:

“We are more and more encouraged, he feels better every day. I would say that there is a pretty good chance he will be ready to go. Clark (Green) is ready to go, he is going to have a play awhile with his situation. But as you can see, Clark is being pretty courageous.”

On the possibility of removing red-shirts:

“We have to be fair to the players. With three games to go, I don’t think we could get them prepared to play. I don’t think we need to do that. I like the personnel we have. I need to coach them and coach them well. I am comfortable with the kids that we have. Those kids that are red-shirted, they have four more years in our program. We will be a really fine ball club with those kids in the future.”

On the remainder of the season:

“We didn’t play well enough to beat Iowa State. Our philosophy is what’s behind us is behind us. We have three football games to play and we are not giving any of them up, and I am looking at Colorado coming here. The plain fact is that we control our future. Let’s take care of business one week at a time.”

On the offense:

“I have faith in those kids. We are not far off. We had to make some decisions to strengthen our defense. In the long run, when you build a program and you are in it for the long hall, the defense has to be the cornerstone. We had to go out and recruit kids. We moved the ball on offense well last year but we had problems on defense. We brought in five junior college transfers last year, four of them were for defense. We recruited Todd Haselhorst to be an offensive lineman here. Todd would be helping us on the line right now as a true freshman, but I made a decision that we needed to help the defense. Charles Gordon was moved to defense from the offense. It boils down to execution and making plays on offense. I think it has been a little bit of a confidence factor with our bumps in the road. This is a hard working bunch of kids that really care and I have to get them working better.”

Selected Quotes From Kansas Players

Sophomore safety Rodney Harris

On last week’s loss at Iowa State:

“It was a hard loss. Anytime you go into a game with so much confidence, thinking that you can win, then come out with a loss, it’s a hard one to swallow. You just have to look forward to next week.”

On the upcoming matchup against Colorado:

“Colorado is coming in and we have a winning record in our house. We are just going to come in and try and get this win, we need it. We are going to play hard and see what we can do.”

On injuries affecting the team’s morale:

“The injury bug has never been an excuse for us, as far as I am concerned. Whoever is out there has got to step up and perform. In this league you can’t have any excuses. You can’t let injuries be a factor. You just have to go with who you’ve got and roll with it.”

Junior linebacker Kevin Kane

On the team’s confidence:

“It’s pretty high. There is still a chance for us to keep playing so morale is still pretty high.”

“We are a team and you can’t play without the other side of the ball. I am confident that they will get their job done and we will continue to do our job.”

On expectations of this year’s game against Colorado compared to last year’s:

“It was a high-scoring game last year but I don’t think it will be that high-scoring on both sides of the ball. It will definitely be a good game. Those receivers they had last year were really good and they have great receivers this year too, but those guys last year improved their offense a lot.”

On being the punt snapper and starting linebacker:

“I enjoy it. Last Saturday was pretty tough because it was a little windy so it was hard to control each snap.”

Freshman offensive lineman Cesar Rodriguez

On the team’s injuries:

“Every team has injuries. You just have to overcome them and have backups that are ready to come in and ready to play. We aren’t worried at all.”

On the focus of the offensive line:

“We are just a few inches away from being really, really good. We still just need to work on our basics, our techniques, keep on blocks and protect the quarterback. We will get better.”

On the team’s attitude for the rest of the season:

“The attitude is still high. We came out and had a good practice yesterday and we are just looking to a three game season now. We have to win the next three games to be bowl eligible and everybody is looking forward to that.”