Postgame Quotes

Nov. 26, 2011

Recap | Final Stats | Notes |

November 26, 2011
Postgame Quotes

Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill

On his message to the team after the game:
“I just told him that I’m proud of them and that they played with a lot of heart. They’ve always shown that throughout the season, they never quit. I told them that I loved them – I tried to acknowledge every one of them, especially the seniors. It was a very tough night for us.”

On the feeling the team had at halftime:
“We felt that our defense played extremely well in the first half. Offensively, we still didn’t get a whole lot done. We need to do better than what we did in the first half, as far as getting points on the board. We thought we had a good game plan going into the second half on the offensive side of the ball. Our special teams kind of let us down in the second half, too. (Missouri) was the better team tonight.”

On the things that went wrong on offense tonight:
“I think Missouri controlled the line of scrimmage very well; their defensive line controlled our offensive line. We weren’t able to get our running game going on a consistent basis, and we just couldn’t throw the football. We couldn’t get anything going in the running game and we couldn’t get anything going in the passing game – if you can’t do either of those, you aren’t going to be able to move the football. It was a very difficult night for us on the offensive side of the ball.”

On what he will take away from this season:
“I think a positive is that our guys stuck together as a team, they were truly a team inside and outside of the locker room. They played their hearts out. The main thing I will take away is that we made good progress from last season to this season. I know it didn’t say it in (the win column), but I did see our guys continue to play hard and fight throughout the whole ballgame tonight.”

On the game plan coming into the second half:
“We were trying to do more play action passes, but we dropped the ball in our long-yardage situations.”

On Christian Matthews’ performance in the second half:
“Our idea was to use him a lot in the second half and incorporate him more in the offense. He was successful when he was in the game. Our game plan was to have the ‘Jayhawk’ formation and we have executed it a little better in the last few games.

Kansas sophomore quarterback Jordan Webb

On his team’s performance:
“We didn’t execute and we left a lot of plays out there that we will look back on which could have been touchdowns. We had a lot of third downs and didn’t convert them. That’s what it really comes down to, third down conversions.”

On losing to Missouri in the final game of the season:
“It’s definitely hurts not going out on top. We worked hard, unfortunately things did not fall our way.”

On his team’s troubles moving the ball:
“We just beat ourselves. They made some good plays on defense and you have to give them credit. But it was frustrating not to put that touchdown on the board.

On the team’s outlook next season:
“First of all we are bringing back a lot of guys, especially on offense. We have a chance to be pretty good. It just comes down to working hard in the offseason with everybody being dedicated. Working really hard, that is what all good teams do.”

KU senior offensive lineman Jeremiah Hatch

On the loss in the Border Showdown:
“Everything about this whole game makes me frustrated. The offense couldn’t get rolling but we can’t blame it on that one play (the called timeout). The whole game was bad. The guys on our side didn’t quit and kept going. It just wasn’t for us today.”

On head coach Turner Gill:
“He is a good coach and he has a core group with this class. The guy is a good man and he wants to win, on the field and off of it.”

Kansas sophomore running back James Sims

On his emotions after the game:
“Everyone in the locker room was down. This is the last game we had against them. We had a chance to win but us as an offense, we didn’t quite pull through like we wanted to. That just gives us more reason to work hard this offseason and hopefully next year, we will be much better.”

On his team struggling to move the ball:
“They were showing us some looks that they didn’t show on film. It kind of got to us, but other than that we still should have been able to move the ball.”

On Christian Matthews’ performance:
“Christian is a dual threat player. He can run, throw it and make good reads. It’s a good package that we put in for him to help us out. He’s been doing a good job at it.”

On the defense’s good start bringing momentum to the offense:

“We sensed it. We came out there and had some three-and-outs, but we figured we would get something together because the defense was playing real well. As an offense, we got to move the ball instead of just going three and out because that puts our defense in a bind. The defense played balls out today. Without them, the game could have been worse, so give credit where it is deserved.”

On head coach Turner Gill:
“We just think positive. In our minds we think coach is going to be here. We have the mentality that coach is going to be here, so we will work hard to get what we need to get done. We don’t like to think about the negatives at all, just the positives.”

Senior linebacker Steven Johnson

On finishing up his Kansas career:
“Taking it all in I came a long way and I gave it my all. Even though we didn’t get the win, there is a lot of good character on this team, and there are a lot of guys who don’t quit and will push forward to win games next year.”

On the effort from the defense:
“I’m really proud of our defense. And in the second half we came out lackadaisical for a split-second, and in that split-second they can capitalize on that. We started to fight back after that and we put ourselves in position to get the ball back and win the game but we came up on the short end. I’m proud of this defense, we flew around and (Junior safety) Bradley (McDougald) was able to take (an interception) to the house.”

On looking back at this season:
“This program improves starting Tuesday when winter conditioning starts. It’s all about the little things, like guys not giving up and continuing to push forward and do what they are supposed to do. We have some great coaches and I think it’s all about the players and owning up to what is expected of them.”

Junior safety Bradley McDougald

On the motivation to play a rival in Missouri:
“We were definitely motivated all week long. Different alumni came in and talked with us about how important this game was and especially since Missouri is going to the SEC. We wanted to send them out with a loss. It was a tough loss for our seniors and anybody that was a part of this organization.”

On looking forward to next season:
“The coaches came in after the game and talked about how the guys coming back have to continue working. It might be the offseason, but guys have to come back ready for next year. The only thing you can do is work to get better.”

On McDougald’s interception for a touchdown:
“I was thinking corner route since he ran that earlier in the game but at the same time I knew I didn’t have any inside help so I had to protect the inside first. Once I saw (the receiver) turn out, I just jumped it. I had great downfield blocking by all my guys and I’ve been thanking my defense for that since it happened.”

Junior cornerback Greg Brown

On the returning defensive backs:
“I see that as being a strongpoint amongst our team. Coming into this year we had a bit of experience in the secondary but now I see us being highly experienced at those positions. I’m looking forward to working in the offseason with them and having a good season next year.”

On McDougald’s touchdown:
“He got up-field fast on that play. That’s tough to keep running full speed like he did and stay in along the side line to score.

Missouri head coach Gary Pinkel

Opening statement:
“We sat there three weeks ago when we were 4-5 after we had lost to Baylor. We had to beat Texas, whom we hadn’t beaten in a long time at home and certainly, the Texas Tech win that we had. I was so proud of our team last week with what they accomplished with all the stuff that was going on. This week; Kansas is never easy, it’s difficult. So we are proud of our football team to battle back. In that situation, we’re 4-5 and we’ve got the integrity of a program to protect. We’ve done enough around here in recent years and we want to go to a bowl; all the things that are really important. Our players accepted that (when) we challenged them. The senior leadership and our captains that we have did an excellent job.”

On today’s game:
“Today’s game; obviously, the defense played tremendously well. We had some turnovers early. They got three points off of a stop by us after a turnover and a touchdown return. That was kind of the story of the first half. As you well know, the second half we started to move the ball. And in the third quarter, we did some good things. Obviously, the defense did some tremendous things.”

On the difference in quarterback James Franklin’s play from the first half to the second:
“Like I told him afterwards, anyone can play quarterback when it’s easy. You’ve seen NFL players do that same thing; all of a sudden, have a couple of poor throws, a couple communication problems like they thought the receivers that fall out of the route when they continued to go, there were a couple of those. The conditions were not very good for throwing, we all know that. But he’ll take responsibility for that. But I also think it says a lot about him to come back after that first half and get himself together, regain his composure. There’s nobody harder on himself than James Franklin is. He came out and had a really, really good second half. So we’re really pleased with that.”

On how they were able to settle Franklin down:
“(Offensive coordinator) David Yost talks to him after every series. At halftime he talked to him to try and settle him down a little bit. I talked to him after his last interception. I brought him over to say ‘hey, you know what? You’ve made some bad throws but you’re a great player. You’re not the only guy that’s ever done this. So get rid of it, move on, get going’. He’s going to learn a little bit about himself from this game, as every player, certainly every quarterback, does. They go back and evaluate themselves. We’ll have to look at the film to clearly see what the problem was, but obviously, they were not real difficult interceptions. It put us in a bind.”

On this possibly being the last Border Showdown makes the victory any sweeter:
“I hope that doesn’t happen. There’s got to be a way to work that out. Iowa and Iowa State work it out. I could go around the country and name different places that try to maintain this kind of (rivalry) game. I think, without question, this thing could continue if the schools decide they want to. It’s not real complex, I don’t think. You can make it work. I know we’re certainly willing to do that and we’d like to keep this rivalry going. Hopefully people get together and do what’ right. I think that can happen.”

Missouri senior defensive lineman Dominique Hamilton

On if the Mizzou defensive was surprised at the offensive sets KU was running:
“We were surprised. We were just standing on the sideline laughing. So we just kept going.”

On what he thinks got the team turned around in recent weeks:
“We knew that a bowl game was at stake, so we just went out there and competed. This will be our seventh bowl game in a row. Everybody just wanted to go out there and get that bowl game.”

On if he was concerned when the Tigers were down 10-0:
“We, the defense, were like ‘I guess we’ve got to get it done’. There was really no concern. We were just having fun because we were stopping them left and right. It was fun; just going out there and playing.”

Missouri sophomore wide receiver Marcus Lucas

On the possible end of the Missouri-Kansas rivalry:
“It’s one of the best in college football. It’s definitely important to all of us; the state of Missouri, the state of Kansas. It’s definitely a big game that everyone looks forward to every year. It’s something for our fans, for our team. It’s not going to be one of those games you can circle on the calendar (anymore) or be able to say ‘It’s KU week’ or ‘Beat KU’.

On the victory today:
“When it’s happening, it’s like ‘we beat KU’. It’s the biggest game of the season. It’s better than beating Texas, better than beating (Texas) A&M. It’s just that game. We didn’t want to go into our banquet tomorrow with an ‘oh my goodness’ feeling. Now we can go into it saying we beat KU and that’s what the season came down to.”

On his thoughts of winning the possible last Border Showdown:
“It was great. It was a great team win for us. To be able to put three wins in a row was something we hadn’t been able to do all year. So now, to set the record straight with KU fans, it (the victory) shows that Mizzou’s on top.”

Missouri junior wide receiver T.J. Moe

On quarterback James Franklin’s play in the second half:
“He always finds a way to settle down. I’ve never seen him stay riled (up) for an entire game. Whatever it is, he finds a way to get us moving. He starts making some good throws, some good runs and opens up the offense for us. For him, it just takes some time to settle down. Sometimes he comes out firing; you saw him against Oklahoma. He came out firing, got us a couple quick touchdowns and got us rolling. We’ve just got to be more consistent that way.”

On if Franklin’s demeanor changes according to how he’s playing:
“No, he’s a pretty quiet kid all of the time. He’ll talk a little bit. He’ll joke around with you if you’re down by 20 and he’ll come back and make it a game. Against Baylor, we were down by I couldn’t tell you how much in the fourth quarter, I was cracking jokes on the sideline and then he threw three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter. He’s never down on himself.”

On if the team was concerned when it got down 10-0:
“No, we weren’t worried about that. We were just trying to make it a fun game for us. And go out and hit them. This will probably be the last time we get to (do that).”