Quotable Mangino

Kansas Head Coach Mark Mangino on the Big 12 teleconference.

Opening Comment:

"We feel good about our last game. It's a situation where all three phases of the game came together and we played very well. Anytime you gain over 640 yards of total offense -- you have to be pleased. Our defense did a good job, only giving up six points -- they played well. They are gaining confidence and they are flying around the ball to make some plays. Our special teams play continues to be consistent and we feel good about that. Overall it's a good win for us and our kids are playing with a high level of confidence going into Big 12 play. We are looking forward to playing our Big 12 schedule with as much enthusiasm and confidence that we played in our non-conference schedule."

On the Missouri vs. Kansas Rivalry:

"When I was hired at Kansas, it was made clear to me that any and every game that we could win, they (those people that follow KU football) wanted us to win. We respect the rivalry with Missouri and we want to get it back to where it should be. We have to hold our end of the bargain up. We have to go into that game with a good record, a good ball club and make people on our side of the fence really excited about it. I think that is the case this year with both teams having good records, so I think it will gain more notice. The Missouri game will always be a big game here just because of it's place in history, but there was no special emphasis placed on that game by anybody here, especially me at first because we just need our program to get better and we just want to improve every day."

On Brad Smith :

"Brad is such a talented guy and you can't stop him. I don't think anyone has stopped him. How do you slow him down? I don't know. We are working on that right now. As a coaching staff we are working on that and I think he's a guy that you have to play smart football against -- try not to give up big plays. That's where he really kills people -- he can throw the ball for a big play or he can just pull it down and take off and change the whole complexion of the game."

On Bill Whittemore:

"We feel like Bill is a quality player and the people around him this year are better than they were last year, on the offensive side of the ball. Receivers are catching the ball and we are generating a run game with Clark Green and John Randle. We think Bill is a big play guy -- he makes plays and we don't want to harness that. Sure you will always worry about him taking a shot but that's football -- we can't sweat that. Bill wants to go out and make plays -- he's aggressive and he's hard-nosed. For me to say that if nobody is open to throw it away instead of running with it, he won't do it -- it's just not his make-up. We have asked him to try and slide when he is out in the open field and refuses to do it because he isn't good at sliding -- he must not have played much baseball I guess. Players make plays and we are not going to try and stop a guy from doing something he does best."

On Kansas compared to other teams in the conference:

"We are further ahead than we were last year at this time -- no question. Our kids understand what we are trying to do in all three phases of the game. Some of the newcomers are still in the learning process and we understand that. I feel like our offense is clicking because our kids really understand our system and some of those young kids that played last year have matured and have learned. I don't know where we matchup in the conference -- it's too hard to tell. I don't know how good of a team we are. The key is that our players think that they are pretty good and that's all that matters right now. How we match up--we will soon find out.

On the passing attack:

"I thought it would be good. I knew that Bill was a talented guy and knew that our receiving core was maturing and getting better. The question was could we protect the quarterback with a bunch of new faces on the offensive line and they are doing a good job. I'm not surprised -- I thought we had a good chance of having a good passing attack."

On being starting the season 3-1:

"Sure. When I arrived, the kids had just been beaten down mentally and the program had been left for dead. I couldn't believe how KU football was actually viewed in this area. I had to do something to help these kids mentally -- we had to build confidence in them in a positive, yet stern way. I'm pleased that we are 3-1 but we have a long way to go and we are a work in progress. 3-1 is good but we know we have a long way to go for this program and where it needs to be."