Kansas Football Press Conference Quotes (Nov. 13)

Nov. 13, 2007

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Football Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 13, 2007

Head Coach Mark Mangino

On the win over OklahomaState:

“Obviously it was a good win for us on the road in Stillwater. Our kids played well. Our offense played very, very well in the run game and in the pass game. The defense played well. (OklahomaState) had a couple big plays and you have to give credit to OklahomaState for making (them), but we got turnovers and made key plays when we needed to.”

On the upcoming matchup with IowaState:

“IowaState has won the last two weeks. They are a team that’s getting better week in and week out. You can see the progress they are making under their new head coach Gene Chizik. They are a sound fundamental football team. They have good, tough kids. They have some playmakers in Brett Meyer, Todd Blythe and R.J. Sumrall. Blythe and Sumrall have about 50 catches apiece. They have a couple of running backs that they’ve been using and Alexander Robinson has been emerging. They are a good football team. They are playing better and getting better all the time. We will be ready for this challenge on Saturday.”

On the dangers of IowaState:

“First of all, they’re not making a lot of mistakes. They are playing aggressive football. They are getting some play from the running back position and Meyer is getting the ball to his receivers. They are much, much improved from the beginning of the season. That’s what you look for when you are a new head coach and that’s something they are doing.”

On dealing with increased media requests:

“It’s becoming pretty demanding with requests for players and coaches. I will handle all that I can handle, up to the point where it’s going to have an affect on my preparation for the game. You have to draw the line somewhere. We try to be accommodating, but we have to keep in mind that we have players that have to go to meetings, have practice, have classes, have weightlifting, they have a lot demands on them. We are trying to accommodate everybody the best we can, but it’s going to be impossible for all the requests that we have. For me personally, I do what I can and I don’t let anything interrupt my preparation for the game.”

On Todd Reesing earning the nickname “Sparky”:

“When he came in the first spring, he was full of energy and everything, but he needed it channeled a little bit. He needed some structure. But you could see that he was a guy that could make plays and would make plays for us. I can’t put my finger on a single moment that it happened, but we kind of just made a remark that he’s a bit of a spark plug and it caught on from there.”

On accommodating for Todd’s height:

“I think we do things with him that we would do if our quarterback was six-three or six-four. You don’t see us doing anything to match his size. I think whoever the quarterback is here would have to do the same thing. We believe in it. We do work to his strengths in certain routes and certain situations, but we didn’t say that here is a quarterback who fits Todd’s height, that’s not the case.”

­On Brandon McAnderson’s chances of playing in the NFL next season:

“Brandon does have good vision. You could see that when he was a high school player and he could make people miss in a small area. His ability to do that allows him to not only make people miss, but to get yardage after first contact because he keeps his feet moving and his pad level down. He’s just a hard working guy who has some ability, but a lot of it has come through hard work and repetition. As far as playing on Sunday, I don’t really get into that with our players. I know that he is a great player for us and I hope that he gets an opportunity.”

On having to keep the players grounded with all their success:

“No I haven’t. I have never had to say anything about their demeanor. It’s been good. It’s been great working with the kids. As I said before, they’re smart, they’re focused and they know what is at stake each and every week.”

On Reesing being mentioned as a Heisman candidate:

“That’s fine. Anytime they mention one of our kids with personal honors I’m excited about it. But that’s not what propels us and that’s not what propels Todd. I think winning is the thing the kids want to do most because that’s something that every kid on the team is invested in. The more success our team has the more opportunities there are for individual honors. If they win them, it would be awesome, but that’s just not what motivates us. It’s winning more than anything.

On Reesing being able to keep down his interception total:

“He’s smart. He understands where the receivers are and he understands where the defenders are and how they are going to play it. That’s something you need from a good quarterback. He understands what coverage the defense is going to be in; whose responsible for certain area’s in zone; if it’s man, where the leverage points are going to be; he understands that very well. He’s willing to just improve himself. That’s the type of mentality that he has.”

Players of the Week:

Defensive: Joe Mortensen and Darrell Stuckey
Offensive: Marcus Henry

Special Teams: Scott Webb

Scout Offensive: Ryan Murphy

Scout Defensive: Patrick Dorsey

Junior Defensive End John Larson

On IowaState’s improvement throughout the season:

“We figure we probably get everybody’s best shot anyways. IowaState beating KansasState, beating Colorado, they’re playing some good football, that’s for sure and they’re going to come in here ready to play and wanting to get a win. Now we’ve seen what they’re capable of, which is good. We’re not going to be caught off balance. I think some teams thought a loss to KentState early in the season discounted them. They’re a good ball club with Brett Meyer and good coaching. We’re looking forward to playing them on Saturday.”

On their offensive talent:

“Brett Meyer is a household name, (Todd) Blythe is a household name. These guys are good players in the Big 12, so we’ll definitely look forward to getting after them. They can compete. They’ve got different looks that they can give you and we’ll just work hard this week to prepare for them.”

On the difficulty of Week 10 vs. Week 2 of the season:

“There’s definitely more people talking about KU football, but really, nothing has changed from our day-to-day. I still go to class, I still come out to the practice field and it’s all the same. The practice field is still right out back and nothing really has changed for our preparation. It is nice to get recognition and I don’t think it’s really fully hit us yet. It’s nice being 10-0, but we realize we still have work to do. We’re excited, but at the same time, ready to get after it this next weekend.”

On the KU football program being recognized in November at a “basketball school”:

“It is definitely nice. We work hard all year round and to finally get recognition for that work and translate that work into wins is definitely something that you look forward to all year. You talk about it in preseason (being undefeated) and that’s definitely one of our goals, but to have that as an actual thing is very enjoyable and satisfying for us.”

On having few penalties and turnovers on the season:

“We have a bunch of really smart guys that understand the fundamentals of football. Offense has done an excellent job of taking care of the ball. Todd’s gone a hundred-and-some-odd passes without an interception and that’s absolutely great. Our defense being able to sit on the sideline, catch our breath, be able to make adjustments or whatever we need to do really makes our job easier when we can get breathers and win the turnover margin.”

Junior Wide Receiver Dexton Fields

On Todd Reesing’s progression through the season and talk of him as a Heisman candidate:

“I think he’s more poised. You have to be in Big 12 play, but he’s seeing things a lot better. They’re giving us a lot of looks now because we can do more than one thing. I can understand the reference to him as a candidate because you have to look at the numbers he’s put up. He’s putting up similar numbers to some of the candidates they already have, so I wouldn’t say it’s mind-boggling. It’s kind of surprising to have a Kansas player in the race for the Heisman.”

On IowaState’s improvement throughout the season:

“They’ve been staying at it. When you expect to win every game and it doesn’t happen, some people give up, but they obviously came in ready to play the past two weeks and they’ve been on a two-game winning streak against some good teams in the Big 12.”

On KU’s lack of penalties:

“Coach is putting us in positions to make plays during practice. We practice every day on some of the same plays that we run. That’s how it works out in the end. In the game, we don’t have to worry about who we block on this play or that play. You have to answer quick or you may be in a dogfight.”

Senior Tight End Derek Fine

On being 10-0:

“It’s great. It always feels good to win, because you never want to lose. It is indescribable the feeling that we are having. We are still happy with our success, but staying level-headed with everything. I think everyone is pretty level-headed and we are all on the same page. We all talk and are good friends. We have the same goal and focus and that is to win each week.”

On being “hunted” by other teams because of KU’s success:

“I think that happens. That is a part of success and I think all of the guys have handled it really well. I think we still try to stay as the `hunter’ and go into each game without leaving anything to chance.”

On consistently regaining the lead after falling behind:

“I think it has a lot to do with the things we do on the practice field. Whenever things go bad, the coaches jump all over us. I think that is an attitude that we have developed as a team. Whenever something goes wrong, we just have to keep going and not let it affect you, because we still have more game to play.”

Sophomore Safety Darrell Stuckey

On if he’s enjoying the team’s success and national exposure:

“It’s enjoyable, especially noticing that our team has been recognized as an elite team in the nation.”

On being 10-0:

“It means that we are in the chase to be the best in the nation. We have an opportunity to show what we have everyday and what we are capable of. I feel like we are a team that is capable of more than people give us credit for. We go out there everyday and we become a better team.”

On IowaState:

“They are a great team. They can throw a lot of different things at you. (Todd) Blythe is one of the nation’s best wide receivers. He is one of those guys that is aggressive, just like (Jordy) Nelson and (Bobby) Purify. They have the potential to be a very great team and be very dangerous. They are going to go out there and give us their best shot. They do not have anything to lose and they are getting better every week. They are a team that has found their identity as the season has progressed. They have a new coach and I think he is doing a great job down there. He is showing them how to play hard the whole game and that is what makes a team a dangerous team to play.”

On if Kansas can improve:

“We are not flawless or perfect. We make errors just like anybody else and there is always room for improvement. So yes, there is always room for us to play better, but I am satisfied with our W’s.”

Sophomore Quarterback Todd Reesing

On if he is enjoying the notoriety:

“I’m trying to. It has been a fun ride. Things are unbelievable around here. The atmosphere is awesome in Lawrence and on campus. We are loving every second of it. But we know what is at stake and we are staying grounded and focusing on the next game.”

On handling the success:

“Our approach week-in and week-out has not changed, even with the success. We have not changed our focus and we still know what we have to do. We are not practicing any different and we are not preparing any different. The coaches keep us focused on the task at hand. We are not going to change our attitude or the way we approach things because of the success we are having.”

On becoming a Heisman candidate:

“If they want to talk about it, then that is great. To even be mentioned for an award like that is unbelievable. I’m not worried about it, because all I can do is get ready for this next game and play as best I can. If things like that at the end of the season happen, then that would be tremendous and unbelievable, but I’m not really worried about awards right now.”

On if the Texas Longhorns would have been his first choice:

“I can’t say that if I had received an offer from Texas that I would have turned it down, because I grew up a UT fan in Austin. But that did not happen so I really couldn’t say what would have happened if it did. I talked to them a little bit, but it did not hurt my feelings (that Texas did not offer a scholarship). I was not going to let something like that hurt my feelings. I did what I had to do to get some people to look at me, and I got a chance here and I’m glad that I ended up here and that is all that really matters.”

On IowaState:

“They are on a two-game winning streak and they have won some big games. They have turned their season around. They are playing their best football of the year, and they would love nothing more than to come here, to our house, and put a downer on our season. We have to come out this week and practice hard because they are going to come in here as a hungry football team and try to upset us. We are going to do what we have done every week and get ready to play at a high level.”