Kansas Football Press Conference Quotes (Nov. 4)

Nov. 4, 2008

University of Kansas

Football Press Conference

Nov. 4, 2008

Head Coach Mark Mangino

Opening remarks:

“We had a great effort from both the offense and the defense (last week vs. Kansas State). We played well. We played sound, fundamental football. I was pleased overall with the performance. There are still things to build off of, but certainly it was a good springboard as we head into the home stretch of the season.”

“This week we travel to Lincoln to play Nebraska. They are a good football team and they are much improved from a year ago. Defensively, they are much improved. They have a different system. They are teaching their kids good, fundamental football. On offense they have been very effective. Joe Ganz is a quality quarterback. He is sometimes forgotten in this league, but I haven’t forgotten about him. I think he has passed for about 2,500 yards this year. They have quality receivers to throw the ball to in Todd Peterson and Nate Swift. To put things into perspective, Nate Swift passed Johnny Rogers on the all-time reception list at Nebraska. He is moving in here to take over as the all-time leader in career receiving yardage at Nebraska. You are talking about a quality football player when you mention somebody in the same breath as Johnny Rogers.

“They are running the ball pretty well. They have a couple of really good running backs. (Marlon) Lucky is a talented kid and so is (Roy) Helu. We are preparing hard and hopefully we will continue to have a good week.”

On his team’s improvement week to week:

“More than anything it is a commitment from our players to what we do and how we do it. We have a system in place that we all believe in. We don’t change things radically when we win or when we lose. We do things the same way each week because we believe that will help our players get better. We do a significant amount of fundamental work at practice.”

On playing in Lincoln:

“Memorial Stadium is a fun place to play. Kids play in the Big 12 Conference for a number of reasons. One of them is that they like playing in all of these storied venues. Our kids will go there and play well and will not be intimidated. We respect the Nebraska fans and the Nebraska program, but we have played pretty well the last couple of times we have gone there.”

On the recent coaching changes at Nebraska:

“I see a different type of structure on defense. They may need to work on their recruiting, but I see their kids being in the right spots, lined up in the right places. I see their kids playing hard every snap with enthusiasm. Those are the things you look for when a new coach takes over and that is what they are doing.”

On the election:

“I told (the team) to vote. I told them that it is their right and that they should exercise that right. Who knows, maybe their vote will make a difference.”

Senior Offensive Lineman Ryan Cantrell

On what the offensive line can improve on:

“We can be more consistent coming off of the ball. We can understand the defense a little bit better, getting in there and really studying them and recognizing certain formations. I think that is going to be a big key the rest of the season.”

On what he remembers about KU’s 76-39 victory over Nebraska last season:

“I can hardly remember what I had to eat for lunch today, but I do remember that it was a lot of fun just like all of last year. It is hard to accept a defeat like that, just like it is hard to accept a loss to Texas Tech like we had at home. Any good program is going to move on and keep building on what they have.”

Junior Running Back Jake Sharp

On if the game against Kansas State was like being back in high school:

“I was definitely exhausted like I was back then. Like I said, the offensive line had a great day, they opened up holes and I was able to do a lot of running.”

His thoughts on Nebraska:

“It’s going to be tough. They’re still Nebraska, and we’re going to be in Lincoln and it’s definitely a tough place to play. We’re going to have to have another great week of preparation and hopefully take care of business on Saturday.”

On if he thinks last year’s game is still on the minds of the Nebraska players:

“I would hope not. I would think that it’s the kind of thing where it’s a whole new season. Things that happened a year ago don’t have any bearing.”

On Nebraska’s new system:

“They definitely play real hard. They play aggressive. I think we’re definitely going to have to be ready to compete this weekend.”

Sophomore Wide Receiver Dezmon Briscoe

On how things have been progressing for him this season:

“I believe it starts with the coach that we have, (wide receiver) coach (David) Beaty and running routes and going and practicing hard and getting the mentality to go out there and play hard.”

On how the team has gotten better week to week:

“It’s the approach we’re taking. We’re one of the most competitive teams in the nation. Of course no one likes losing, so we always go out there with a competitive edge.”

On last year’s victory over Nebraska:

“We dropped 76 on them on our homecoming so that was a great accomplishment. But we can’t look back on that. They are a much improved team. Their coaching staff and players know what happened last year and they don’t want that to happen again.”

On playing in Lincoln:

“I haven’t been up there yet, but my teammates have told me it is a tough place to play and that they have really good fans.”

Freshman Cornerback Daymond Patterson

On the switch from wide receiver to defensive back:

“It’s been pretty good for me so far. It hasn’t been too tough of a switch. Going from offense to defense, you kind of know what the other receiver is thinking because you were a receiver. That definitely helps me. I’m liking it so far and I’m just looking to improve each and every week.”

On the atmosphere at Nebraska:

“I’ve heard it’s a real good atmosphere. I heard they have real good fans out there. It’s going to be a big sea of red. I’m just ready to go out there and see how it’s going to be. I’m ready to perform at a high level.”