Weekly Football Press Conference Quotes

Nov. 22, 2005

Head Coach Mark Mangino

Opening statement:
“Good afternoon. We are well into our preparation for this week’s game against Iowa State. We’re looking forward to the game. They are a very good football team. As you know, they have won four games in a row. They’re playing very well in all phases of the game. Offensively, Bret Meyer, their quarterback, doesn’t make a lot of mistakes and makes a lot of big plays for them. He shows very good leadership qualities. Their running back, Stevie Hicks, is healthy now, and they are certainly a different offensive team when he is in the lineup. He’s quick and powerful. At wide receiver, Todd Blythe is a big, tall kid that makes a lot of plays for them. Defensively, I would say they are led by their defensive line. Their linebackers run very well, and their secondary is well-coached and does exactly what it is supposed to do. They will present a good challenge for us.”

“We feel good about our preparation. We have had some very good practices leading up to this game. We have been very crisp and high-tempo. Our kids are looking forward to the game. It’s a game that carries a lot of importance for our players. It’s important for our seniors as it is their last game in Memorial Stadium. The game also presents us with a chance to finish with a winning season as well as take us to a bowl game.”

On Kansas’ secondary:
“If we get ourselves in good position, I don’t see their receivers’ height as a major problem. As you can see all the time in the NFL, small corners are covering much taller receivers. It’s a matter of good coverage, playing the ball at its highest point and not getting out-maneuvered.”

On Mangino’s initial recruiting class:
“Anytime a new coach comes in and you’re recruiting players, you don’t have a whole lot to sell in terms of football. When you’re recruiting in these instances, it has to be based on faith. Here we could sell a great academic institution, a beautiful campus, proximity to a major metropolitan area and a great career placement program for post-graduation. The school was not difficult to sell. The issues were how we were going to sell the football aspect. We tried to outline a plan that we had for the program, how were going to do it and what it was going to take. We were able to hold onto Nick Reid’s commitment as well as Brandon Perkins’. We were able to bring Kevin Kane in. With those kids in particular, it was all based on faith.”

On the timing of the Iowa State game:
“The timing was right for us. We were banged up and the bye week has given us a chance to get two players back that probably wouldn’t have been able to play if the game was last week. We were able to get some fundamental work done last week, which was also very important. For us, I’ll guess we’ll find out for sure when we play, but our best estimate is that the timing was right for us.”

On winning the game and being bowl eligible:
“I think that our program is certainly moving in the right direction with a full head of steam. Winning the game will validate this season as being successful. I would like to have our seniors get the opportunity to play another game. They have been the foundation of this process. Recruiting is on solid ground right now. I don’t think one game will make a major difference to them. Having said all that, we want to win the game.”

If he thinks students will turn out for the game:
“I’m going to give our students a lot of credit. I think they’ll turn out, and they’ll turn out strong. I think they really enjoy watching our football team. I believe they enjoy the gameday atmosphere and are really into it. Many teams around the country are playing this week and they manage to fill their stadiums. I think our students will turn out and be ready to go.”

On Iowa State:
“I think they have stayed with what they do best. They didn’t panic after the couple games they lost. Stevie Hicks makes a big difference for them when he’s healthy.”

On Eric Butler:
“He’s been to a couple of schools prior to Kansas, and there is some gray area as to whether or not he has another year of eligibility. The proper procedure is to file for waiver status after the last game of the season to try and receive another year of eligibility for him.”

On Kansas’ defense:
“The defense is fine. Those kids are great. The day after the Texas game, they were embarrassed. They’re looking for redemption. They’ve been in very good spirits are ready to go.”

On the excitement surrounding the team:
“With the exception of the 2003 season, it’s been awhile since a game in November has been played and meant something for KU football. It has brought excitement to the campus community. Everyone seems to be focused in on it. That’s a good sign. We want to be playing games in November that mean something. That means a lot for the progress of our program.”

Kansas Player Quotes
Senior Defensive Tackle Tim Allen
On being eligible for a bowl game with a win:

“It is our last game, so of course we want to win it. One of the perks is, if we win it, we get to go to a bowl, so we are excited. There is nothing else on our minds but to win it. I know the other team (Iowa State) is already bowl eligible, so we are just going to go out there and compete, and the best team will win it.”

Senior Linebacker Kevin Kane
On Iowa State’s offense:

“They are a very sound offense. They don’t make a lot of mistakes. Their quarterback doesn’t make a lot of mistakes throwing the ball, and their players make plays. Their receivers, after watching film on them the whole season, make a lot of great catches. It is definitely a team where if you make a mistake, they are going to hurt you.”

On if a win will validate their season:
“I think so. We think we are one of the better teams, it’s just that our record doesn’t show it. For us to have a winning season this year would be great, but we have to go out there and win this game first before we can say any of that.”

On rebounding after the Texas loss:
“Texas is a great football team. We are a little ticked at what happened. That wasn’t the team that we are on the field. Give all the credit to Texas, but we are better than what we showed.”

Senior Linebacker Brandon Perkins
On the importance of this weekend’s game:

“A win to get us bowl eligible would be special. Going out and accomplishing another bowl game and winning season for the program would be big.”

On playing in his final home game:
“It is going to be special. I have enjoyed my time here at KU and to be able to play another one (after this weekend) would be good.”

On bouncing back after the Texas game:
“Whenever you go out and get beat like that, it ought to put some fire in you if you are a competitor. You never want to be beat down like that at any time.”