Campus Insider

What will a 22-point loss do to a team's confidence? Are the Wildcats reeling from the loss on Saturday? With the Jayhawks coming to Manhattan, an emotinal letdown could prove disaster. The players had this to say about the loss and the confidence of this team heading into this weekend....

After Saturday's loss, Coach Bill Snyder said that Wildcats would not be defined by how they played that game, but how they responded to the loss. With preparation for the Jayhawks already begun, players said Tuesday that the team is anything but down and out.

Senior left tackle Jeromey Clary said the team's confidence level has not taken a hit. "We've done a great job handling (the loss to OU)," Clary said. "We showed up to practice ready to work, and I think we're on the right track.

Junior linebacker Maurice Mack also said the team's confidence level has not wavered because of the OU game. "We just have to work on some things to get better as far as putting points on the board, and as far as correcting mistakes that we had," Mack said. "If we don't make mistakes and defeat ourselves, we'll be in the position to win games."

Sophomore safety Marcus Watts said the Wildcats are focusing on improvement, and not dwelling on the loss. "Good teams try not to lose confidence," Watts said. "They try to build on their mistakes, and build more confidence. I don't think that, especially on the defensive side of the ball, we've lost any confidence in our defense. We're not down. We were hurt, but we're not down."

Sophomore receiver Jordy Nelson said the KU match-up will be a good way to measure where the team's confidence level is. "We'll figure that out on Saturday, and throughout this week with our emotion," Nelson said. "I think we just knew we made a lot of mistakes (against OU) and we have to get those corrected and improve this week."

After Saturday, one area of particular concern was the running back spot, where junior Thomas Clayton and red-shirt freshman Parrish Fisher combined for just 24 rushing yards. Fisher said the running backs aren't down after the sub par performance.

"I don't think (our confidence) took a hit at all," Fisher said. "We know what we can do. It was a bad week. When we come back and have a good week against KU, it will put everything behind us."

Confidence will be key in taking on a Kansas team featuring the No. 2 red zone defense in the Big 12. The Wildcats dominated the Sunflower Showdown for 11 consecutive years, when confidence was never an issue. Saturday's game will see whether the Wildcats can start a new streak against their in-state rival.

"We'll be all right," Watts said. "We'll get back up and we'll be ready to play this Saturday."

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