The full transcript available from KU athletics...and here are some highlights...
Head Coach Mark Mangino
On the OU fans:
"I was lucky in that I was able to be there (OU) at a time when they won a national championship. When you do that they don't forget very quickly. They know all nine assistant coaches that were on that staff. They are really great fans and great people down there. They treat me like I am still a part of their program down there. My first three or four years at Kansas, if we won a game, probably 20 percent of my mail was from OU fans that were well-wishers. The last time I went down there the fans were waiting at the gate and they were telling me, "welcome home". If you win a national championship there then they declare you a resident of Oklahoma forever. I am fortunate to coach in two states where we have great fans and great people."
Senior Linebacker James Holt
On not getting enough respect for being the only undefeated team in the North:
"Sometimes things are just going to happen like that. Mark May of ESPN usually picks us to lose, but it doesn't bother us. We always have a chip on our shoulder and we just want to go out there every week and show that we can play with anybody. We are going to go out there this weekend and play with confidence and hopefully come out with a win. I have always liked being an underdog. It is great to prove people wrong when they pick against you."
Junior Quarterback Todd Reesing
On trying to get off to a quick start:
"It is big every game. Hopefully we will turn it around this week. We know that they have been scoring points in the first quarter. Hopefully that will change this week and we will score and they won't.
On the cause of the Jayhawks' slow starts:
"It has been all sorts of things from top to bottom. It hasn't been just one thing. We just need to come out ready to play and get going from the start."
Sophomore Defensive End Jake Laptad
On getting more four man pressure from the defensive line:
"I think we all take it upon ourselves as a defensive line that we have to get pressure, whether we are bringing a blitz or if it is just four defensive linemen. So we always have to get pressure on the quarterback."
On Oklahoma's offensive line:
"Oklahoma probably has one of the best offensive lines in the Big 12 and they will be a tough challenge for the entire defense this week."
Sophomore Cornerback Chris Harris
On holding down the Oklahoma run game:
"I know that they have been struggling in the run game lately, so we know that we have to keep them there. I know that OU loves to run the football, so if we can stop the run that would be big for us going down there."
Senior Linebacker Joe Mortensen
On what a win against Oklahoma would mean for the program:
"It would be huge. We want to stay on top of the North and win the North division and this is one of the stepping stones. They are one of the best teams in the Big 12 and the nation. If you want to be the best you have to beat the best, so we are looking forward to it."
My Thoughts…looks like the Oklahoma natives got to take a run at the media this week. A few things I wanted to touch on and would love to hear from everyone else on their thoughts…that’s why we are all here, right?
First off, Mark Mangino is clearly very well thought of by the OU fans and I think CCmachine points that out in his Q&A session this week very well. I think that speaks to what we really have here in Kansas when one of the premier fan bases in the country really believes in the guy we’ve got captaining the ship.
I posted James Holt’s comment because I always wondered if the players got as annoyed with Mark Mays bias as the fans and it looks like they probably do.
Here’s hoping Todd isn’t the only one that sees the urgency in coming out quickly this week.
Jake Laptad and the defensive line definitely have a tall order this week against a monster offensive line for OU, but I like the ownership he’s taking in it and putting the onus on him and the rest of the front four.
With Sam Bradford and OU I think Chris Harris will be focusing a little more on the passing game than the run.
Finally, I like that for Joe Mortenson it’s not necessarily about beating OU but about winning the game and maintaining first place in the North. Mangino and this group always seem to keep things in perspective and take it one game at a time much better than I do.
One other thing worth mentioning Tanner Hawkinson was the defensive scout team player of the week. I find this interesting because he showed up to campus as a tight end. It sounds as if he’s getting a look at the defensive end slot this year.