"I would like to announce that we have promoted three young men on our football team from walk-on status to scholarship status. The first is a fifth-year senior linebacker, Josh Homolka. He is a very dedicated young man to this program. The next young man is a sophomore linebacker, Darren Rus. He has earned his keep being one of our best special teams players throughout last year and starting off this year he has been sensational. We are glad to do this for Darren -- he has earned it. The last player is a redshirt freshman safety, Jonathan Lamb. We are very proud of those young guys and we will continue to reward players for their work that walk on to this program. Walk-ons are very important and you can earn a scholarship -- these three guys are proof of that."
"First of all, special teams made a difference in the game. The emphasis that we have put on special teams is starting to pay off once you look at the field position our offense was able to have and look at the fact that we didn't have to put a punter on the field. We were perfect in field goals and extra points. We had over 200 yards by way of special teams -- it was a good day. Special teams are important to a program that is trying to build. I think that our special teams coaches have done an outstanding job. We must be consistent and keep getting better in that area -- that can make a difference for us. On the offensive side of the ball -- I am really pleased with the passing game and the running game. I felt that Bill Whittemore did a good job of taking command of the offense. I felt that our offensive line played very well but there were some correctable mistakes that were made. I feel really good about the offensive line and the progress that they have made to this point. The only negative was in the area of protecting the ball, which is something that we are working on. On the defensive side of the ball, it was a tale of two games. The first half we made some plays on defense but there wasn't consistency -- we were caught out of gaps on some blitzes and some stunts and allowed UNLV to run the ball well at times in the first half. A credit to our players and our coaches -- we made some sound adjustments at halftime and did an excellent job in the second half. We created a turnover for a touchdown so the defense is making strides and they are coming along. I feel good about the progress of the defense at this point. We just have to develop a consistency stopping the run and need to continue to improve in the secondary -- we have to keep building on it. Overall, it's a win -- it's a good win. It builds confidence, makes everyone happy and we just have to keep building on our progress."
"It's going to be a dog fight up there. This is just their third game under a new head coach. They are disciplined in what they do. They are well organized. They are playing at home. They would love nothing more than to play well and defeat a team from the Big 12. I told our kids that it's going to be a battle up there. We are going to have to be prepared and will need to have a good week of practice. I am confident that we will do that but it will be a real dog fight."
On putting pressure on the quarterback:
"I would say that Northwestern's quarterback was a pretty strong guy. The quarterback at UNLV was a pretty good passer as well. I think that the Wyoming quarterback is in their league. The one thing about him is that he has been known to get into a rhythm and he can really become dangerous. We need to play well in the secondary. We need to get pressure on the quarterback and we need to do it with a four-man rush -- not just on blitzes. We need to be able to get some sacks and hurries out of our four down guys."
On the defensive problems:
"We have had different schemes. Different routes run at different times. To say that we can pinpoint the problem -- we can't. What we feel as coaches is just that it's a mentality of stopping third down. We will have repetitions between the first offense and the first defense -- practicing third and long situations. We don't usually practice just third and long situations but we will work on that good against good for the next two days. "
On Bill Whittemore:
"I think that he's fine. Each week brings a different challenge and Bill has to meet that challenge. I don't see any reason why he wouldn't be able to."
On the offensive line: "I think you have to credit the kids because they are really good students of the game. I think that I mentioned after the game that they are all pretty smart kids -- achieved in the classroom. A great deal of the credit goes to Ed Warinner. He is an excellent teacher and is a very bright individual himself. He would be the type of guy that any coach would want on their staff. He approaches football just like our faculty would here -- as a teacher. The kids are learning well but it's still a work in progress. I am very pleased after the first two outings with their progress. Right now, we are using an ensemble cast. Nobody is jumping out as dominating but nobody is a weak link either."
On Reggie Curry and Monroe Weekly: "Both kids are learning, getting better and I am pleased with the way they are progressing. We might just juggle these two back and forth so that we can create a good competition."
On KU's attitude:
"I think the attitude has been good here and the kids have really worked hard. They are really focused on what we are trying to do here. It is a much more cheerful environment."
On Joe Vaughn:
"Joe Vaughn came into a center position in the Big 12, which is not an easy position to play. He has stepped right in there and has done a fantastic job. You have to know Joe Vaughn -- he is all business. For him, practice is fun. He likes to go out and practice. He loves playing in the games and he shows enthusiasm while he is playing. Joe is really quiet. If you talk to you him you will have a hard time getting a whole lot out of him. He had a couple of knock-down blocks where he actually cheered. After a quick-screen he flattened a linebacker from (UNLV) and as the guy was going down to the ground he gave one of those arm signals then ran down and looked for another guy to hit. You can win with Joe Vaughn. We will take all the Joe Vaughns we can get our hands on."
On Banks Floodman:
"Banks is a competitive guy and was not going to settle for anything other than (to come back healthy). He worked his rehab diligently and loves playing football. He loves being a part of our program. He has been a leader for us. Banks Floodman is a guy that reflects everything that we try to do here at KU in football. He exemplifies the KU football player that we want our fans to see and know."
"Fortunately for me I have been around some young players that have leadership qualities, over the years. Banks is among those type of guys. He is like Joe Vaughn -- they love to play this game. Practice time is fun time for them. They don't look at it as work because they are out there having a good time. That tells you the type of attitude they have. Those type of kids -- no matter how good or bad or how indifferent anyone looks at them as football players -- we look at them as great football players but as coaches we see these guys being successful in life. Everything they do, they do with a great attitude."
On the defensive line's fundamentals and techniques:
"It is fundamentals and technique. They are new to our system. With the exception of David McMillan, who played regularly last year, we have a lot of new kids or kids that were in our program a year ago that are getting playing time now. It is a fundamental issue to get to the quarterback with four guys. They work fundamentals everyday with Bill Young. Everyday -- pass-rush fundamentals. Everyday -- live pass rush and offense against the defense. We would like to have more sacks at this point but we understand why we don't. We need to get better at it and get some sacks."
"We are not shy about bringing backers. That will always be a part to our game plan every week. I would like to get some pressure, some hurries and get our hands up in the air and knock down some balls with the four down guys."
On Charles Gordon: "Playmakers make plays and he has gotten off to a good start to be a playmaker for us. I don't think that he has done anything different, he is just being Charles. He is using his speed and agility. He is just a redshirt freshman. He really plays like a veteran guy. He is a pretty sharp kid and picks things up well. It has been good for him and us, collectively."
"He is more mature and has had a season to learn our system. The normal things that freshman progress in -- knowing how things work at the Division I level. Understanding what are systems ask of him in our special teams and on offense. He has worked hard in the weight room and gotten stronger."
On the altitude in Wyoming and playing on grass:
"Neither is a real factor. I have researched it very carefully. Altitude is not a big issue. Ed Warinner, who is on our staff, was at Air Force, and said it was no big deal. People showed up at Air Force, or when (Air Force) went to Wyoming to play, they just played -- it is a non-issue with the altitude unless you want to make it one. Playing on grass is okay. We practice on grass and dirt during the week so our kids are used to being on some grass. Neither are real issues."
On Lyonel Anderson:
"He hasn't been himself. The heat was bothering him early on in two-a-days. It wasn't a big deal but our medical staff said when a young guy comes in and the heat is an issue -- it takes a little while for him to get used to it. He is from Rochester, N.Y., 65 degrees and they are laying on the beach up there. That is a hot day in Rochester. 110 (degrees) is quite a challenge for him. He is fine. He looked better yesterday than he has for a long time on the practice field. He is getting to be his old self. We have big hopes for Lyonel, and he will fulfill the expectations that we have for him."
On Assistant Coaches Dave Doeren and Earnest Collins:
"I went through the same issue when I went from K-State to OU. It is double-edged sword. They know how (Wyoming coach Joe Glenn) thinks and he knows how they think. It's a push. There is no advantage for either ballclub."
On playing on the road:
"I don't see any correlation between the road and protecting the ball. The game is played on a 100-yard field whether it is in Lawrence, Kan., or Laramie, Wyo. I have looked on the tape and it looks like they mark it off every five yards. They do it just like we do it here. I think good football teams need to win on the road. I think it is important to play well on the road and get wins on the road. When we go on the road in the conference it will be tough. We need to prepare ourselves now to win on the road so we can get some wins on the road in conference play. It is our first road game of the year and we want to play really, really well."