Kansas Football Press Conference Quotes (Nov. 11)

Nov. 11, 2008

University of Kansas

Football Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 11, 2008

Head Coach Mark Mangino

Opening remarks:

“Looking back on last week, Nebraska made more plays than we did to win the game. We had opportunities and didn’t always capitalize. We didn’t make stops when we needed to make stops. We have got to improve our tackling. We have got to play a lot more sound in our inside run game. There were a few bright spots. Dezmon Briscoe had a big day and looked really good. Todd Reesing had a good day, although his numbers didn’t show that he did. James Holt is really playing good defense for us right now.”

“This week we have Texas, who is a very good, ranked, top-five program. They have a lot of weapons on both sides of the ball and on special teams. Defensively they are very stout. They are only allowing 86 yards per game rushing. They have a very athletic defensive line with very quick, athletic guys who can move around. Their linebackers seem to be the heart of their defense. They are an outstanding group of linebackers. Their secondary is very athletic as always.”

“On the offensive side of the ball they run the ball with a number of different tailbacks. Their big playmaker is obviously Colt McCoy at quarterback, both running and throwing the football. He has a bunch of excellent receivers to throw to, led by Jordan Shipley and Quan Cosby. Shipley is also a very dangerous player on special teams.”

“It is a very good Texas team that is coming here and we are planning on having a good week of preparation and getting ready to play them. It is an opportunity for us to play a top-five team here at home and we want to play well.”

On his team’s tackling:

“We are just not a good tackling football team right now. We are having trouble getting people on the ground on the first hit. It is not just open-field tackling. We are having trouble in the box. We have blitzed right into some run plays and didn’t put them on the ground.”

On this year’s senior class:

“This is a senior class that has several fifth-year players and some kids that have played a lot of snaps. They have been through some really good times and have had to fight through some times. We see them as a group of kids who have been here and weathered some storms and have had some really big highs. We expect that they will continue to compete and fight here until the end.”

On Texas quarterback Colt McCoy:

“He is a quality player. He is one of the most improved quarterbacks from last year to this year. Whoever works with him in the offseason has done a magnificent job. He is way ahead of where he was at this time last year. He has a lot more poise, he is throwing the ball better and he is running the ball better. He seems to be in more control of the offense than I can ever remember last season.”

On Dezmon Briscoe:

“Dez is playing good football. Each and every week he seems to get better. He does a good job of understanding the defense. He knows where the holes are, he understands the coverages and we are really getting the ball to him quite a bit. He is finding holes in zones and leveraging man coverage pretty well. This is only his second year with us, but he is really getting better all the time.”

Junior Quarterback Todd Reesing

On playing Texas:

“I grew up in Austin, obviously watching the Horns. My dad went to UT. So I would be lying if I told you it wasn’t a little bit bigger for me. You got to try to not make it as big to yourself, but it is going to be fun. I grew up watching Texas and cheering for them, so now that I am playing against them it will be a lot of fun.”

On the Big 12 North Race:

“At this point things haven’t gone the way we would have liked them to. Last week obviously was a big game for us in terms of stepping up and playing for the Big 12 North, but that is obviously out of our hands at this point. This week we just have to go out there and play our best. We are playing a very good Texas team that is ranked real high and it one of the best teams in the nation. They are coming to our place on senior day and it is the last time for our seniors to go out there and play in front of our home crowd. We are going to lay it all out on the line and see if we can get a win and the upset.”

On the current senior class’s home success:

“You always want to send your seniors out with a win and that is why senior day is such a big deal. It is the last time you get to play at Memorial Stadium. It is going to be a crowded house and I know that everyone is going to be excited and have a positive attitude this week. We are just going to practice hard, get ready, and try to bounce back.

On the Texas defense:

“Their strength to me is their defensive line. They can rush the passer well and they have gotten a lot of sacks. Unfortunately for me that might mean trouble, but they are good from top to bottom and they always have great athletes. They have good guys at linebackers that are big and athletic. Then they have speed guys in the secondary. It’s a challenge. They present a lot of matchups that are problems from top to bottom. We are going to come out and I think that our offensive line is going to look to bounce back and put in a big performance next week. I know those guys will be excited to step up to the challenge. I know the coaches have worked hard to get a good game plan together and give us the best opportunity we can to win.”

On whether Saturday was the most he was roughed up in his time at KU:

“That might be a fair assessment. I took quite a few hits. Some were running the ball and some were trying to throw. It was a rough one, but I am no worse for the wear. I will be ready to go because I am not going to sit this one out.”

Senior Linebacker James Holt

On what senior day means:

“There is a lot of history in that stadium. I will always remember the first game that I played in it. It will mean a lot to all of the seniors and hopefully we can play a good game and just leave it all out there and give the people a good show.”

On getting a signature win for the year:

“Definitely with it being senior day and getting to go against No. 4 ranked Texas, a real powerhouse team, would be great to go out and pull an upset that would be a tremendous statement for the senior class.”

On the Big 12 North race:

“We need to go out there and get two consecutive wins if we are going to be able to compete for the Big 12 North title so we are going to have to go out there and just believe that we can and work hard and hopefully we can pull through it. We worked so hard for the Nebraska game and things just didn’t go our way and there were a lot of guys really down about that. We wanted to be the senior class that ended the streak in Lincoln, but we are going to have to look past that. We just need to get ready and take it one step at a time.

Junior Cornerback Justin Thornton

On helping the younger cornerbacks believe in themselves:

“A lot of guys came in knowing that they could compete and play. After being at practice with them all year we know that they can play and we are taking it upon ourselves to keep beating it into their heads that they can play at this level and they are here for a reason.”

On James Holt:

“Moving him around has been a great thing for us. He gives us the chance to blitz from different angles and play different coverages from different spots. He is great around the ball and he just gets the job done. He is a great athlete. If you get him matched up against bigger, slower guys he will beat them with speed. He isn’t the biggest or heaviest guy, but he plays hard and has a nose for the ball.”

Junior Safety Darrell Stuckey

On the cause of the team’s recent tackling problems:

“I don’t know. I can’t really speak for everyone on that subject, but it’s one of those things that come with a loss of focus. Tackling comes when you have that mental edge and are mentally prepared for every play. Missing tackles is caused by lack of technique and lack of technique is caused by laziness or exhaustion. It’s one of those things that you have to move your body into position to make the play; you have to move your feet, you can’t just use your arms.”

On his thoughts of playing Texas this week:

“It’s one of those games that you go into where you have to do everything right. You have to execute every play and can’t have a lot of mental mistakes, because they will exploit them and take advantage of them. Texas is one of those teams that builds on what they can do to put themselves in a position to move forward. Our best opportunity is to do the same thing and go out there and focus on what we are doing right, focus on making our plays and executing on our side of the ball.”

Senior Defensive End John Larson

On playing in his last home game as a Jayhawk:

“You walk around and everything’s starting to look a little different, knowing that you aren’t going to get on that field again. I think the whole senior class is really looking forward to this weekend.”

On this possibly being the last chance to beat a team from the south this season:

“I think the south has a lot of good teams this year, they have a lot going on both offensively and defensively. It’s a constant battle to try and keep up and match what their offenses are doing and also match recruiting and coaching. I think it’s another chance that we have to prove that the north isn’t inferior; even though this year they (the south) have come away with a lot more wins.”

Sophomore Wide Receiver Dezmon Briscoe

On his record-breaking year at receiver for Kansas:

“It’s a blessing, I haven’t really paid much attention to it though. I usually find out from the media.”

On the key to his improvement over last year:

“My work ethic has always been good, but I came into this season with a little more of a chip on my shoulder, knowing that we need to build on what we did last season. Film time and coming in and watching the opponents by myself or with some of the veterans on the team. They have helped me how to read a zone and how to beat man coverage.”

On the difficulties of playing Texas:

“It will be my first crack at them and I really don’t know much about them, other than what I have seen on film, but they are a talented team that’s still in the running for the national championship. It will be great to see them come in and see how we match up against them.”

Senior Defensive End Russell Brorsen

On why he chose to play at Kansas:

“Coming out of high school I didn’t really have a lot of options. This was my best option by far, because it gave me a chance to play in the Big 12 and that’s why I came here.”

On what being named to the Lott Trophy watch list means to him:

“I feel that it was an achievement, I think there were 40 players on it. I think being named to a watch list shows that you have done a little bit in the college football world.”

On the upcoming game against Texas:

“Texas is very talented, very athletic, and very large team. They have about everything you want in a football team and they are going to be a very tough opponent.”