Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 9, 2010

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Barfield | S. Johnson | McDougald

Kansas Football

Weekly Press Conference

Nov. 9, 2010 – Lawrence, Kan.

Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill

Opening Statements:

“Thanks for everyone coming to the press conference. It definitely was a great win we had. That is the positive, we won. I also want to commend our players. The Colorado game exemplified I think the true character of our football team, our staff and also our football program. That really speaks a lot about what you talk about from day one as you come in here as a coach and you need to go about your business and how you need to do things in life, on the football field, in the classroom and all those things. I think it was a great example of our football team and our staff. Again our staff, we have coached three Davey O’Brien award winners and our staff has done a tremendous job in their past with what they have done.”

On Nebraska:

“(Nebraska Head) Coach (Bo) Pelini has a very talented football team, probably in every phase as far as in their kicking game, their offense, their defense. Coach Pelini is probably one of the best defensive coaches around. I had an opportunity to coach with him one year at Nebraska and saw first-hand about how he goes about doing his business and how he is able to put together a very good defensive scheme on each opponent. I think all the facts speak for themselves. Defensively, the first thing they have I think is good speed. They play well as a unit and they tackle fairly well. Offensively, they are a running football team. They have some players who have very good talent that make plays. That is kind of what they are at this time. The keys to the game are first we have to take care of the football. Ball security. Ball security and also our defense we have to have three or more turnovers. Just some stats that really caught my eye with them are their offense has had 31 times where the ball has been on the ground. The opponent has gotten 11 of them. There are going to be opportunities where we are going to have to be able to cause fumbles and we have to be able to recover. I think if we do those things and we take care of the ball on the offensive side there is a great opportunity for us to be successful. The last key is we have to continue to play relentless. You also have to have the good execution.”

On injuries:

“(Quarterback) Quinn Mecham will be our starter, as far as who will be the back up, we are still in evaluation. As far as Kale Pick and Jordan Webb, a lot of it has to do with the health of Jordan Webb. He was available last week, but we just felt he was really not at 100 percent where we thought he could play at the highest level. Right now we will see what he does here in the next couple of days. Unfortunately, Lubbock Smith is doubtful. He came in here Sunday and has been evaluated by the medical staff as far as it is a little bit of a concussion. I kept him off the depth chart.”

On quarterback Quinn Mecham:

“Based off of what has happened here in the last two ball games, I think particularly what has happened in the fourth quarter, for him to take our football team and move them down the field and continue to keep his poise, continue to execute. He helped us win a game. Everybody did their part, but I think from the Iowa State game I thought he did some good things there. At this point in time I think he has earned the starting spot. His poise has been very high. He has been able to execute our offense. He has made one or two mistakes in that aspect, but I really like the way that our players have responded (to him). He is not going to be a flashy guy on the field, but he is going to be productive. I think he will get better as he continues to play and get more reps.”

On returning to Nebraska:

“It probably adds excitement more for my family. When you are a coach, you are so in tune with what you are trying to get done and what you are trying to prepare for, you try not to get caught up into all the outside things that are happening. The game is not about me. It is about the players and that is the truth of it all. I have tremendous respect for Nebraska and the people, coaches and everything about it. This is about Nebraska playing Kansas and we are trying to do the best we can to go out and win a football game.”

On talking to Coach Osborne at Nebraska:

“We talked yesterday. He called and left a message. We talk periodically.”

On who he talks to most at Nebraska:

“There isn’t really someone I talk to every week or anything of that nature. There are people on the staff I don’t talk to very often. The only guy I normally chat with on a regular basis is (Tight Ends Coach) Ron Brown. Their assistant coach is one of my mentors as we keep in contact. We talk about life; we talk about football; we talk about spiritual things. I also talk to former players. There are a handful of those guys that I chat with maybe once or twice a month. Again, you are so in tune here trying to get our team to play, then whatever time I have left is trying to spend time with my wife and our two daughters.”

Sophomore wide receiver Bradley McDougald

On the onside kick being a significant play:

“I would say that was the beginning of our turnaround. It gave people a lot more confidence. When you have that type of mentality just to go for it, go for an onside like that, that’s the play of the game. A lot of people stepped up and that was a whirlwind of a play.”

On how confident the team is a few days after the win over Colorado:

“I think that showed everyone what we’re capable of. It takes us all the way back to Georgia Tech. It shows us the team that we can be if we concentrate for four quarters, or even one quarter, as hard as we can through in, through out.”

On trusting quarterback Quinn Mecham:

“All we can do is trust him. He’s just like every other player out here. He doesn’t have the most experience playing at the DI level or playing here at KU, but he comes to practice every day and he works. He goes through his reads just like Kale (Pick), just like Jordan (Webb) does. The only thing we can do, like coach Gill says, is believe. So we’re going to believe that Mecham can get it done. No matter who we’re up against, he knows his reads, he just has to execute as a player. When his number is called on, come up and execute.”

Junior tight end Tim Biere

On what the team can take from the Colorado game:

“We need to ride that train of momentum. It’s been going against us for the last five or four weeks or something like that. To get that first win, you can taste it. That feeling is so much better than losing by 40 points. To have something like that, I think it will really motivate this team at practice all week and in the game on Saturday.”

On growing up with the influence of Turner Gill in Nebraska

“Growing up in Nebraska, obviously I had heard of the guy before. They play highlights of old Nebraska games all the time, so you definitely knew who Turner Gill was if you grew up in Nebraska. I expect him to be levelheaded like he is with everything. I’m sure he’ll have some extra motivation to beat these guys and go home with a win.”

On being at the 2007 Kansas-Nebraska game after he committed to play at KU:

“I was at that game and I had a couple friends who were Nebraska fans come with me. It was great because you could go back to Omaha and ask everyone, ‘Hey, did you see the game on Saturday?’ It was a good feeling.”

Junior linebacker Steven Johnson

On carrying the momentum from Saturday:

“Just being able to come out and have another good week of practice and continue to do what we’ve been doing is key. Keep believing and keep being able to play with tenacity and being relentless is what helps us win ball games.”

On Saturday’s victory:

“We won the game and it does have a little extra excitement because we came back from being so far down. We’ve got a little confidence back and we are excited to go out this week and do our best to get a win on Saturday.”

On Nebraska:

“We’ll see a lot of running. They’re a very physical team so we are going to have to come out and play a physical game. The game will be pretty rough. We’re going to have to execute and everybody is going to have to do their job. That’s the only way we’re going to be able to win. The coaches are going to have a great gameplan for us and we are just going to have to go out there and execute it.”

Junior cornerback Isiah Barfield

On playing Nebraska:

“Hopefully we can go out there and compete with them and give (Turner Gill) a win at his old school. It would be a great confidence builder for our team too.”

On containing Taylor Martinez:

“A lot of the cornerback play is dependent on whether the quarterback is a runner or not. Coach Torbush has the cornerbacks sitting this week to help with the run support. (Taylor Martinez) is pretty fast and a pretty good thrower. At the beginning of the season, he had all that Heisman hype. I’ve been able to watch quite a bit of film on him. I’m impressed by him and we need to be ready to go out and compete on Saturday.”

Junior defensive tackle Patrick Dorsey

On gap control:

“Maintaining your gap, not letting the running back get through, not letting the offensive lineman take you out of your gap. Having that gap is important to keep the linebackers free so they can make plays.”

On beating Nebraska’s offensive line:

“The offensive lineman’s job is to keep me from maintaining my gap. I have to come off the ball and beat him by playing with my hands.”

On defending Taylor Martinez:

“I’m pretty sure if he has an inch of light, he will be gone in a hurry. We need to maintain our pass rushing lanes. When we pass rush, we can’t get out of our lanes. We need to keep him in the pocket and have him throw the ball and we need to rely on our secondary to make big plays.”