Mark Mangino on the Big 12 Teleconference

Mangino on the final game, Bill Whittemore, and a bowl bid.

Opening comment:

"We played a sound game this week and were able to defeat Iowa State here at our place to make us bowl eligible. More importantly our seniors were able to leave Memorial Stadium as winners and will have an opportunity to prepare for a bowl game.

On offense, it was great to have Bill Whittemore back and he took care of business in Bill Whittemore fashion. He managed the line of scrimmage very well, threw the ball well and ran the ball well -- he took control of the game. Our players respect him so much and they were happy he was able to come back to play in his last game at Memorial Stadium and get a win after suffering injuries two seasons in a row.

We had a lot of other kids play well. Charles Gordon played well. Brandon Rideau had five catches. Clark Green played very well and had a solid game. Our offense is getting better and better and obviously with the experience Bill has -- it helps us tremendously. Our defense probably played it's best all-around game of the season. We tackled well and we played well in the front seven against the run. We did a good job of pass coverage. We played with a lot of intensity and enthusiasm and I am pleased with that.

What we will do now is have a few practices but let our kids go home and enjoy Thanksgiving with their families. We will get back to business and hopefully we will know a little bit more about our situation here within the week."

On the excitement of a bowl:

"Everybody here is very confident and with all of the information I have received -- we are going to get a bowl bid. You just don't know about those things until they are in your hand, so there is a little bit of anxiety. I'm confident and the administration is as well -- we feel like it's going to happen. We are also excited to be practicing after the season and everybody is looking forward to the holidays. I told the kids there is nothing better than practicing during Christmas time and getting ready for a bowl game -- it's a lot of fun. We are looking forward to it and we think we will secure a bowl bid."

"It's very difficult for a ball club to go four consecutive games and not get a win. Especially when you thought there were opportunities to pull ahead and win some of those games. Our kids are resilient and really believe in one another. I think they proved it Saturday. They didn't let that effect them and they were emotionally strong and focused on the task at hand and put the other games out of their mind. I am very proud of our ball club for doing that and very proud of our players."

On the bowl response:

"Our fans have already expressed they are excited we will be playing a bowl game on the mainland. I think our fans will respond very well. We have terrific fans here and we have about 30,000 loyal, dedicated fans. We have fans that sit in cold weather and sit in downpours of rain. The only thing I wish is those 30,000 die-hards are blessed with the financial means to go to a bowl game and support our team. I hope that's the case because they are truly loyal and dedicated to KU football and our players."

On Bill Whittemore:

"Bill means a lot to our program. He's been a fine player and a quiet leader. He's a guy that just makes plays and kids respect him for it. He's been no trouble here and has been a great ambassador for the University of Kansas. We appreciate everything he has done here. He faced some tough times with injuries but he showed that he is resilient this year and finished in great fashion. Bill means a lot to us and we are proud to have him associated with our football team."


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