Breaking Down Turner

Kansas Head Coach Turner Gill

Opening Statements:

"Thanks for everyone coming to the press conference.  It definitely was a great win we had.  That is the positive, we won.  I also want to commend our players.  The Colorado game exemplified I think the true character of our football team, our staff and also our football program.  That really speaks a lot about what you talk about from day one as you come in here as a coach and you need to go about your business and how you need to do things in life, on the football field, in the classroom and all those things.  I think it was a great example of our football team and our staff.  Again our staff, we have coached three Davey O'Brien award winners and our staff has done a tremendous job in their past with what they have done."

I was so looking forward to this weeks presser and it starts off with my thoughts exactly on what the win meant and what can be taken away.  And then, the last sentence.  I guess for me the W's and L's justify the staff and I don't really want to hear everything they've done in the past.  But that's Turner Gill and I'll have to respect that.

On Nebraska:

"(Nebraska Head) Coach (Bo) Pelini has a very talented football team, probably in every phase as far as in their kicking game, their offense, their defense. Coach Pelini is probably one of the best defensive coaches around.  I had an opportunity to coach with him one year at Nebraska and saw first-hand about how he goes about doing his business and how he is able to put together a very good defensive scheme on each opponent.  I think all the facts speak for themselves. 

Defensively, the first thing they have I think is good speed.  They play well as a unit and they tackle fairly well.  Offensively, they are a running football team.   They have some players who have very good talent that make plays.  That is kind of what they are at this time. 

The keys to the game are first we have to take care of the football.  Ball security.  Ball security and also our defense we have to have three or more turnovers.  Just some stats that really caught my eye with them are their offense has had 31 times where the ball has been on the ground.  The opponent has gotten 11 of them.  There are going to be opportunities where we are going to have to be able to cause fumbles and we have to be able to recover.  

I think if we do those things and we take care of the ball on the offensive side there is a great opportunity for us to be successful.  The last key is we have to continue to play relentless.   You also have to have the good execution."

A mouthful there on the Huskers.  I think their defense, while not as good as last year, is a huge concern.  I also think that Taylor Martinez and the Husker power running game is a matchup nightmare.  Ball security and a deliberate time consuming offense along with the turnovers will be critical.  This just isn't a game that provides much optimism.

On quarterback Quinn Mecham:

"Based off of what has happened here in the last two ball games, I think particularly what has happened in the fourth quarter, for him to take our football team and move them down the field and continue to keep his poise, continue to execute. He helped us win a game.  Everybody did their part, but I think from the Iowa State game I thought he did some good things there.

At this point in time I think he has earned the starting spot.  His poise has been very high.  He has been able to execute our offense.  He has made one or two mistakes in that aspect, but I really like the way that our players have responded (to him).  He is not going to be a flashy guy on the field, but he is going to be productive.  I think he will get better as he continues to play and get more reps."

Interesting that Gill also stated Mecham would be the starter regardless of whether or not one of the other two is available. Again, Mecham isn't a guy that is going to wow you in practice, he just doesn't have the tools to do that.  But what he's done in two games has been better than what we've had prior. 

On returning to Nebraska:

"It probably adds excitement more for my family. When you are a coach, you are so in tune with what you are trying to get done and what you are trying to prepare for, you try not to get caught up into all the outside things that are happening.  The game is not about me.  It is about the players and that is the truth of it all.  I have tremendous respect for Nebraska and the people, coaches and everything about it.  This is about Nebraska playing Kansas and we are trying to do the best we can to go out and win a football game."

I'll be honest, I'm glad he isn't going to have to face this every year.  If Gill were to struggle over his career with Nebraska, which most Kansas coaches have, this would slowly grow into a difficult week.  Yes, more difficult than it already is.

On talking to Coach Osborne at Nebraska:

"We talked yesterday. He called and left a message. We talk periodically."

That's for you Rivet...I thought you'd like to know if they still talk.

Sophomore wide receiver Bradley McDougald

On how confident the team is a few days after the win over Colorado:

"I think that showed everyone what we're capable of. It takes us all the way back to Georgia Tech. It shows us the team that we can be if we concentrate for four quarters, or even one quarter, as hard as we can through in, through out."

I agree with what McDougald says, but I desperately want to see it carry over to this Saturday.  I'm not saying we have to beat Nebraska, but show the focus that we've seen for a game in Georgia Tech and a half against Iowa State and a half/quarter against Colorado.  A full game regardless of whether things are going your way, that is the next step.

On trusting quarterback Quinn Mecham:

"All we can do is trust him. He's just like every other player out here. He doesn't have the most experience playing at the DI level or playing here at KU, but he comes to practice every day and he works. He goes through his reads just like Kale (Pick), just like Jordan (Webb) does. The only thing we can do, like coach Gill says, is believe. So we're going to believe that Mecham can get it done. No matter who we're up against, he knows his reads, he just has to execute as a player. When his number is called on, come up and execute."

Not sure this is a very ringing endorsement to be honest?  Obviously neither game has been televised but I keep getting the impression that he makes the reads better than Pick or Webb, but I guess we'll see when I pay $40 to watch him Saturday night!

Junior defensive tackle Patrick Dorsey

On gap control:

"Maintaining your gap, not letting the running back get through, not letting the offensive lineman take you out of your gap. Having that gap is important to keep the linebackers free so they can make plays."

Curious why we aren't getting a ton of pressure on the quarterback this year?  Here's your answer, this is the philosophy.  I'm not opposed to it, I'm just not positive that we have the personnel to do it and that's been part of the problem. I do think the defensive line group has done a pretty decent job of accomplishing this at times, it's just tough for a variety of reasons and I'm sure you all can name many of them.

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