Hawk Talk...The Morning After Edition(WK7)

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A look at news and notes about Jayhawks and upcoming opponents...

Kansas Head Coach Mark Mangino Quotes:

 

On Defensive Performance:

“Our defense played really well.  We got a safety, got them backed up, and got a key interception, actually two interceptions, but one was key right before the half.  I think our secondary is improving. We’re putting more pressure on the quarterback, which is a positive for us for the pass defense, so the overall performance of the defense I was very, very pleased with.  Things are starting to come together. Some guys have been banged up, some of the younger guys are coming along, and we’re a little thin in a couple of areas.  We are concerned we may have gotten thinned out a little bit more on defense, but that’s okay.  We have some young, enthusiastic guys that want to play.”

 

Junior Defensive Back Darrell Stuckey

On the play of the defense:

“Defensively I felt that we went out there and ran on all cylinders. We executed a lot of our plays and came out with mental toughness that has been in and out of our defense this year. I think that we want to grow together as a team and go out there and have fun and run to the ball and get our heads on the ball. There are a couple of things that we can always improve on, but this is probably one of the better games of the year.”

 

Sophomore Defensive End Jake Laptad

 

On his sack resulting in a safety:

“The play was 16 yards out and I wasn’t expecting a safety on that play. I just fired out and I wasn’t expecting to get past the running back who was trying to block me inside. For some reason the quarterback tried to get to the outside and Max (o) was pressuring from the backside, and I got a safety.”

 

Junior Running Back Jake Sharp

On the running game:

“The more carries I get, the more confidence I get. Confidence and rhythm is everything.  It gives me the confidence that we as an offense collectively can run the ball, and we can pound it when we need to or run around the outside. We have a lot of things to work on. There is room for improvement.”

 

Junior Quarterback Todd Reesing

 

On field position:

“A lot of the reason we couldn’t get things going in the first half was because our field position was so poor. It isn’t something that we can control as an offense. We would like get a little more help there on special teams.”

 

On the running game:

“We always knew it would (come together). We had confidence in our running backs and offensive line. We got Jake going last week and he got some confidence back. He is running the ball hard and hitting the holes. As it showed today it complements our passing game well because we are able to mix it up and throw the defense off balance.”

 

 

My Thoughts...Well I made it back to Lawrence and sat in the stands for this one so I would love to hear from those of you who got to watch the game a little more closely than I.  That said here's what I think...

 

Special Teams isn't the most common place to start a recap but the play of the special teams qualifies the play at every other spot on the field.  This area of our football team needs serious improvement and it is the special teams units that are putting both our offense and defense behind the eightball in most games.  Now there were some highlights with Alonso Rojas' 77 yard punt and also Dexton fields return late in the game but as a whole we were losing the field position battle for most of the game and that makes everyone's job tougher.

 

The Defense stepped up big time.  Despite having to handle a Colorado offense that seemed to be playing on our side of the 50 most of the game they held them down for only 14 points.  We won the turnover battle thanks to some great ball hawking by the secondary and were close on a third.  It was nice to see us play some man but I'm not sure that will continue as we will be playing some more talented teams in the near future.  Also great to see us be a little more aggressive, not giveup a 10 yard cushion every play and once again Jake Laptad makes a big play. 

 

The Offense did as good as could be expected considering in this situation we seemed to start from our own 10-15 yard line every possession.  Todd Reesing showed a little more willingness to run.  We didn't make any mistakes and Jake Sharp got in a groove and the running game started working.  Watching the game I really felt like we finally wore another team down and physically beat them. 

 

Overall, could have been a more impressive win but as we now see a win in the Big 12 is a win and we should be happy with it.  I think Todd hits the nail on the head in his quote on field position above when he says "we would like to get a little more help their on special teams."  Next up OU 2:30pm Saturday and right now things are wide open and we are also currently first place in the Big 12 North.  Also I would love to hear thoughts from those who got to take a closer look than I.

 

Rock Chalk Jayhawk!

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