Weekly Presser

Mangino quotes from Tuesday press conference.

Opening comment:

"You had to take this past game and learn something from it. We are in the process of learning about ourselves as a team and finding out that there are some things we need to shore up as a team. There are some things that we were decent at but can improve. When I look at the game I see an opportunity to win and we weren't able to do that. The bottom line is that in the last eight to ten minutes of the game Colorado made plays when they had to and we did not. That was the difference in the game and there is no question about it. We will learn to make plays when we need to. When we are under the gun in the fourth quarter we need to find a way to come out and win the game."

"We were able to do that in other games this year and we just need to continue to be a team that makes plays in the fourth quarter. As far as this week, we are going to be playing a Baylor team that defeated Colorado. They are a team that plays very hard under their new coach. They play aggressively in all phases of the game. Defensively, they come after you and they put a lot of people in the box. We will see a great deal of pressure. On the offensive side of the ball, their quarterback is a solid player. He manages the game well and makes throws. They have a couple of receivers that are pretty decent players. They are a team that in a lot of ways is like us. They are trying to get their program rolling. They are doing it with hard work and they are putting their kids in positions where they have the chances to succeed. It's an important game for us because we are back home now and we need to keep playing well in conference play. It's important because it's the next game. I feel good about our kids and I feel good about their frame of mind. I think we will be ready to go Saturday."

On using the loss at Colorado as a learning experience:

"It wasn't like our kids weren't trying. They gave great effort. It's just that you have to play smart football in the fourth quarter as well. We had some penalties that weren't very good. We had some third down situations on both offense and defense where we needed to step up with a big play and we didn't. Those are the key factors as to why we didn't win the game. We played a Colorado team at home that was a bit wounded but we had our chances to win the game and we didn't do it. We have to learn to do a better job."

On the team's frame of mind:

"I would describe their mood as mad. Traditionally, Monday is a semi-light workout day. We do some things with special teams and we have a team period. Down at the defensive end field it was extremely intense. The scout team offense was really challenging the defense and the defense was challenging them. There were guys flying all over the place and there were kids that were getting in dust-ups against each other. The defense is upset and angry with the way they played and I have to say that I am very pleased they feel that way. It's a good sign. I have never seen intensity like it on a Monday after a game since I have been here. It's new and it's a welcome sight."

On the defensive line:

"Under the current conditions we are going with a defensive line by committee. I think it's based out of necessity."

On the offensive line:

" The backups for the offensive line are based on a committee -- just like the defensive line. Right now we have two kids we could swing around at different positions that are not on the field right now. That would be David Ochoa and Justin Henry. Beyond those two we have to develop some more kids. We don't have other backups on the offensive line. We feel like we have some kids that are redshirting right now we feel will be really good. We are really excited about Cesar Rodriguez and Matt Thompson as well as some of the guys we recruited. We think they are going to be really good players. We have five starters and two swing guys. We are going to have to do some mixing and matching if we run into some problems."

On Travis Watkins:

"I spoke with the trainer this morning and she told me he will not play against Baylor. We listed his status for the Kansas State game as 50/50. I think he is a candidate for a medical hardship if he doesn't play the rest of the year. I would put those decisions in the hands of Travis Watkins and his family. I would not make the decision for him. I know how bad Travis wants to play so I am hoping we can get him out there. He's dying to play."

On Zach Hood:

"Zach did a better job. At the start of the game his operation time slowed up a little. He's fine and he's working at it. He wants to do well and he has been studying himself on tape. At practice he snaps a zillion balls and he's going to be alright. He is going through some growing pains but in the long run he will do a great job for us."

On Baylor:

"They are doing things they can do. It fits their personnel. They are probably in two-backs maybe more then they used at Kentucky. They lean more on the run game than perhaps they want to or have done at Kentucky. (Guy Morriss) has done a good job of doing what his players can do. That is good coaching."

"They play hard. They are doing the things necessary to build a football program. They have their kids playing hard. They have them believing in their system. When you are trying to build, there are days you just get out-manned. You get some breaks and you might win a big game. Sometimes you get some bad breaks and you can't recover from them. I can't figure out college football right now. Every Saturday I am amazed when I look at a television screen and watch the tickers. When you see a few games you just have to say 'are you kidding me?' That is college football -- parody...here it is."

On Clark Green and John Randle:

"Clark (Green) was doing a lot of good things. It is hard to pull a guy out of a game if he has a tempo going. He was excellent in his pass protection and running the ball -- he was sharp. It limited John Randle. You will see John a little more this week. Because John didn't get a lot of snaps does not mean he doesn't play in the big picture because he does."

On the offensive explosion in college football: "We have had problems with tackling. A lot last year and this past game we didn't tackle well. You have 85 scholarships. That means a lot of good players will go to other schools. Top-25 teams get the same amount as the bottom 25 teams. Eventually, the talent will trickle to other Division I programs and down to the I-AA level. Because you have 85 players and not a lot of depth, you have to gauge how much live tackling in the spring, in two-a-days and during the season you are going to actually do. It is bad enough you get guys banged up and injured and miss games because of injuries they sustain in a game. You always want to be careful about getting guys injured on the practice field. It is just going to happen from time-to-time. You don't want to put them in a position where you are going to lose a bunch of kids because you felt it was necessary to do these live drills. You hope form-tackling drills and good fundamentals of using your feet will help. The offenses are now spreading out the field. 20 years ago linebackers had to make a tackle head on. Now the field is spread out. You have to be able to change direction and still be able to tackle against the spread offenses. There is a colleague of mine that told me -- people that complain regularly about poor tackling usually means their players are not good enough to tackle in space. Coaches continually talk about tackling -- I have done it at times -- you have to wonder if you have enough people that can tackle in open space. You have three or four wide receivers and sometimes people don't even have a back in the backfield. Your tackles now are wide open."

On addressing fundamentals in practice:

"You can't coach every fundamental everyday in practice. You can try but there are so many fundamentals and so many parts of this game need attention. We had some problems with the ball -- so we made it a high priority in practice. We had a five-minute drill everyday for two weeks. We are now doing good there. This week's five-minute period is tackling because we have problems with tackling. What you focus on is what you get good at. That is the issue and how it works. You can't have five-minute periods for every fundamental dealing with football, you would have to practice for six or seven hours a night. You have to prioritize -- what do we need to improve and what are our problems -- and address your priorities."

On Brandon Perkins:

"There are things that he is really good at. Our defense only uses the things he is good at a small percentage of the time. We have decided to expand some things to get Brandon Perkins out on the field. He plays hard and gets to the football and makes plays. We will use him more this week and try to play with his strengths. He is not a big guy but he is powerful. He is a compact guy who has a lot of strength to him. His strongest suit is speed and pursuit. We want to put him in a situation where he can use his speed to pursue."

Senior DT Cory Kipp:

"We don't fight each other but we go out and hit each other real hard. There is pushing and shoving here and there but we don't fight with each other. Usually Monday's practices are meant to be learning processes and we address corrections after the previous week's game. After the loss at Colorado we made a lot of corrections and it really got intense because of the loss. We did a lot of hitting and intense practicing yesterday, things we normally don't do on Mondays."

Junior DE Chuck Jones:

"We would love to have Travis (Watkins) back. He is an intense player and brings a lot to the team as far as his enthusiasm and energy. He is like a mentor to the defensive linemen that just got here. He helps us out and helps keep the fire burning inside of us. It would be great to have him back as soon as he can."

Sophomore KR Greg Heaggans:

"On kickoffs you have to hit a certain hole. Because when it is gone, then it is gone for good. I try to break tackles and not let one man bring me down. We have a trap scheme so once you hit the trap, there it is. It is hard to take college returns for a touchdown. Very rarely do you see college players taking kickoff returns for touchdowns. That is something I want to work on and try to do."

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