Weekly Football Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 8, 2005

Head Coach Mark Mangino
Opening statement:

“Good afternoon. I’ll start by naming the players of the week. On defense, Charlton Keith. Charlton was also named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Week. He played extremely well on Saturday and has been doing great things for our defensive unit. Our offensive player of the week was Clark Green. On special teams, Ronnie Amadi. Our scout team offensive player of the week was Kerry Meier, and our scout team defensive player of the week was Ian Handshy.”

“I’ll quickly review last week’s game. It was a great effort by all three units of our football team. We were able to put points on the board on offense with a very balanced attack. I thought the offense went very well, except I would like to take care of the ball a little better. That’s something we’re focusing on this week. On defense, we stopped the run well. It was a great performance. Everyone was where they were coached to be. The special teams played very well. There were a couple errors we need to shore up, but for the most part they played very well. Overall, I’m very pleased with the effort and the focus of our team.”

“This week, we turn our attention to what I would say is the best football team in America. When you watch Texas on tape, they don’t have a weakness. They are good at every position on the field. Their defense has some big guys up front that are very athletic. They have great quickness and put pressure on the quarterback. Their linebackers are as speedy as you’ll find. The secondary is one of the fastest secondaries I’ve seen in a long time. They can make a mistake and be out of position, but they are fast enough to correct the mistake and make a great play. On the offensive side, their offensive line has big, physical players that are very athletic. They’re all very good. They move the line of scrimmage very well in the running game. They move their feet very well. As for their receivers, they have several guys that can just fly. They run extremely well. Their running backs are all very impressive. Last but not least, Vince Young is the best college football player in the country. I don’t have a vote for the Heisman, but if I did, I would definitely vote for him. Nobody does for their team what Vince Young does for his. He can beat you with his arm and his feet. He’s athletic and very poised. He never gets rattled.”

“We’ve had very good preparation thus far. Our kids are practicing with a lot of enthusiasm. You can see that they’re taking up their effort another notch, and I didn’t think that there was another notch. Our kids are very focused. They want to go to Texas and play very well. We’re really looking forward to Saturday.”

On any motivation that might stem from last year’s game:
“No, it’s just another game. Any games that we won or lost last year are history. We only focus on the game at hand. We’re not worried about all the side issues. We just have to be ready to play.”

“I think our kids can win no matter who we’re playing. Our kids go into games confident and ready to play. They feel like that no matter who they line up against that they have a chance if they play well.”

If he was disappointed with the fans tearing down the goalposts after the Nebraska game:
“I can’t tell you I was disappointed. Any time you win a big game like that and people are as excited as they were, you have to feel happy. We just have to be careful.”

“We didn’t feel threatened at all. There were a lot of jubilant people jumping on players and things like that. Their intentions are good. I don’t think anybody felt like they were in danger. It did get a little carried away in a couple instances, but we’re not going to make a big deal about that. We just want our fans to be careful. Their place is in the seats and our place is on the field. We hope that in the future that’s how it will be.”

On Jason Swanson:
“He has ability. You can see that he is a talented young man. If he ever has a bad play, he is able to forget about it and move on. He’s becoming more and more in tune to what opposing defenses are doing. He is becoming more comfortable at recognizing opposing defense’s formations. He does a very good job of checking at the line of scrimmage when he needs to. He’s doing the things that you would like for your quarterback to do. Right now he’s being a very good manager of the offense.”

On Vince Young:
“He has worked very hard at developing himself as a passer. He’s very dangerous. He can throw the ball very well. He has developed himself into a very fine passer, more so than what he probably gets credit for.”

“I think he is even stronger and more physical than he was last year. He’s pretty much the same guy as he was last year though.”

On the team’s attitude:
“The best way to sum it up is that when things weren’t going well, they were extremely focused on getting better. Now that we are improving and winning some games, they are still focused, but there is probably just a little bit more of a smile on their faces. We have a very business-like group of kids. I think it comes from confidence.”

On Marcus Hicks:
“Marcus is a guy that’s been here a long time. He has a great attitude and works hard to make himself better every day. The coaches felt like he was entitled to an opportunity.”

On the team playing in opposing stadiums:
“That’s part of being a collegiate football player. That’s part of the fun and experience of playing college football. We tell them that they just have to stay focused on the game and enjoy the atmosphere. You can go on the road and have an appreciation for other teams’ fans, but that shouldn’t deter our focus. I don’t think that it ever has.”

On watching film against Texas:
“You look at them and say to yourself that they are a really talented, well-coached football team. It makes you want to dig deeper to try and find out what exactly you can do against them. The coaching spirit is to look at the film and try and find a way to execute plays and defenses against the opposing team. The competitive spirit of the players and coaches really takes over. You really have to respect what Texas does. They have an excellent football team.”

Selected Player Quotes
Senior linebacker, Kevin Kane
On Vince Young:

“We have to have a bunch of people around him at all times. It is going to be a really tough challenge for us. He’s been running and throwing the ball well this year. We are going to have our hands full this week. He’s bigger and stronger and can throw the ball a lot better than he has in previous years. He has a lot of people around him that can make plays as well. It makes a big difference.”

On last year’s game:
“It’s always in the back of our minds. It was a close game that we could have won. It was a game that we should have won. We were just a couple plays short. It just makes you think what could have been done differently, but that’s in the past. We have to worry about this week.”

On Texas:
“You have to mix it up against them. We have to keep their offense off the field and we have to keep ours on it. We have to stop their offense from making big plays and gaining any momentum. That’s our goal this week: to limit the big plays.”

On Texas’ offense:
“They have Vince Young leading a great offense with a great offensive line. They have so many athletes that can score from different places on the field. Offensively, they are definitely a threat and one of the better ones we have faced all year.”

Senior wide receiver, Mark Simmons
On the team’s mood:

“It was hard to play four straight games away from Memorial Stadium but it was nice to come back home. We got on a roll. We knew that those two games were ones we had to have and they really have jumpstarted our season. Texas is a great team. They are No. 2 in the nation and some people feel they should be No. 1. They have great athletes and great coaches. It’s going to be fun to go down to Austin.”

On last year’s game:
“Last year was another game. We watched the film on Monday like always, but we haven’t really focused on it. This is a new game this week. Even if we did beat them last year, this would be a new game this year. It was a close victory for them and a hard loss for us. A lot of emotions were let loose after that game. This is a new game this year. It’s going to be fun.”

On being an underdog:
“They are the No. 2 team in the country, and we are the Kansas Jayhawks. I’m glad we are big underdogs so we can come in there with something to prove.”

On playing on the road:
“On the road we have had a lot of turnovers. If we can keep the turnovers to a minimum and perform well on offense, I know our defense will come to play. The offense is the key to the game this week.”

Senior linebacker, Nick Reid
On Vince Young:

“He’s a great player. I think he’s a little better athlete and more complete as a player (than Brad Smith). He’s a better runner. He’s done some great things passing the ball this year too. I don’t think you can stop him, you just have to hope to contain him. He’s such a great athlete, and he’s going to make some big plays. We just have to limit the number of big plays he makes.”

On Texas:
“They are a great team. They deserve to the be the No. 2 team right now. They have been blowing everyone out. We are just going to go down there and do our best and see what happens.”

On last year’s game:
“It shows that we can play with them. We have a little win streak of our own right now. It’s going to be a hostile place to play, and it should be fun. I’ve thought about this game a thousand times since last year. It stings to think about it right now, but luckily we have a chance to go down there and do something about it.”

On Texas’ offense:
“We have to limit the number of big plays we give up. They are going to get some big plays because they are a great team. They have great athletes, and we just have to limit the number of big plays that they make. They are capable of making big plays both running and passing. It’s going to be a huge test for us.”

Senior defensive end, Charlton Keith
On his pass rush:

“To be a good pass rusher you have to have an entire toolbox to work with. Each offensive lineman is different. In practice, I get a chance to work on different kinds of moves. Our tackles do different things so guys like Caesar Rodriguez give me a good workout every day. The guy I’m going against this week is a great player, and I’m going to have to come out ready to play 100 miles per hour. It’s going to be a challenging game for me.”

On Vince Young:
“He’s a great athlete. You can’t just go out there trying to just beat the guy and get to Vince Young. As a defensive line, we are still going to try and get after it, but we aren’t going to let him run around. We don’t want to put our secondary in a tough spot when they don’t know when to come up and make a play or stay in coverage.”

On his performance:
“Athletic ability and making plays are pretty common, but it’s the smarter players that are the better players. I have a good understanding of the game. I can see things a lot faster, but as a freshman I couldn’t. Now I can see whether the offensive lineman is jumping me or opening up or even if a counter is coming. I see all of that a lot faster than when I was a freshman. It’s just seeing the same things over and over again.”

On last year’s game:
“After the game, I thought about it a lot. We had a lot of guys make great plays in that game. It’s bad when you see your team go out there and give it their all and still come up short. Some guys think about revenge, but to me it’s just another game and another obstacle in our way.”