Weekly Teleconference

Kansas Head Coach Mark Mangino on the Big 12 teleconference.

Opening Comment:

"We are pleased to get a victory out of our first road game. Especially in an environment where there is a different atmosphere than playing in the Big 12. Wyoming has won close to 70 percent of it's home games over the years. It's a good win for our kids and we learned more about ourselves. We had a big lead and had opportunities to break the game open. We had a long pass play that was called back due to a penalty, we thought we had recovered a fumbled punt and we didn't and had some other opportunities to break it open and we didn't. We gave them the opportunity to get back in the game but when you look at the big picture, I feel good about how our kids played. Anytime you can put 42 points up on the board, gain over 450 yards of offense and play well on special teams -- you have a chance. What we need to focus on now is that we are scoring on big plays and we are putting our defense on the field for a lot of plays. This has happened a couple weeks in a row and what we need to do is for our defense to go out there and get three-and-outs and give the ball back to the offense. If not, they are out there longer than they should be -- it's an area we will focus on this week. We have Jacksonville State coming here. They have an excellent quarterback, tailback and a good looking offensive line -- some very good skill kids on defense. It is not a game that will be taken lightly or taken for granted. We have to practice well this week and get ready for this game just like any other.

On getting younger players experience:

"We want our first team to play very well and do what they are supposed to do -- play mistake free football and play smart football. If we do that we will have the opportunity to play some other kids but I'm not looking at it that way. I am looking at this game as a way to get tuned up and ready to play our Big 12 schedule. I'm not going to look into playing backups until I know we can win this game with our front-line players and do the things we need to do. If we get to the point where our younger guys get to play -- great. They could use the work but I'm not looking at it that way."

On gaining confidence:

"It helps that our kids develop that confidence. Nothing builds confidence like winning does. I think the fact we were able to beat a team like UNLV, who showed they are a pretty decent football team this week, and then to go on the road and play a Wyoming team at a place with a different environment -- It's good. Our kids are believing in themselves and are feeling good about themselves. We know that the toughest games are still ahead of us but there is nothing like winning early and gaining confidence."

On concentrating on the game this week:

"I'm confident in our kids. I think our kids understand that we have worked hard to get to this point and I don't think our kids want to jeopardize that. I have great faith in our players that they are going to go out and practice well and get after it because they have had a taste of losing and it's very bitter. I think they enjoy the sweetness of victory and I told them after the game -- winning feels pretty good and you want to keep that feeling around as long as you can."

On the issue of depth when playing a I-AA school: "It's hard to tell. They have primarily played with their first team. Every once in awhile they have had a guy get nicked up and they brought in a back-up. It's difficult to say but I work under the assumption they are probably not very deep. We are a Big 12 team and we aren't very deep so I imagine they have issues with depth. What we want to do is establish ourselves in the game and play well with our first team. If we do what we are supposed to do and play smart football then we may be able to get our backup kids some work. We are at the stage in our program where our first team still needs a lot of work and must continue to get better."

On the taste of victory:

"I believe that our kids have the taste of victory and want to keep it going. They have been through some dark times and have been at the bottom of the heap. They had to scratch and claw for two wins last year and three the previous year. I am going to give our kids credit -- I think they are mature enough to understand this. As coaches,we won't let them think any other way."

On winning the last two games as underdogs:

"Our kids have pride and took it personally that they were 11 point underdogs to a Mountain West team at home and four or five point underdogs to another Mountain West team at their home field. I think that it helped with the motivation to get ready and play those games. The bottom line is that no matter whether you are the favorite or underdog -- you have to play smart football. That's our approach to Saturday's game."

Phog.net Top Stories