Mark Mangino quotes

Kansas coach Mark Mangino discusses the Missouri-Kansas rivalry, Brad Smith and more in this week's Big 12 Conference Call. Check out what he said.

Opening statement:

We felt good about our last game. It's a situation where I thought all three phases of the game came together and played very well. Our defense did a good job. It only gave up six points and played really well, flying around and making some plays.

Overall, it's a good win for us. Our kids are playing with a high level of confidence going into Big 12 play. We look forward to playing our Big 12 schedule with the same kind of enthusiasm as we played our nonconference schedule.

On Missouri-Kansas:

First of all, when I was hired here, it was made clear to me that any and every game we could win, they wanted to win. We respect that rivalry with Missouri; we want to get it back to where it should be, but we have to hold our end of the bargain up. We have to go into that game with a good record and good ballclubs and get the people on our side of the fence really excited about the game. I think both teams have good records, so I think it will get noticed. The Missouri game has always been a big game here, because of it's place in history. There was so special interest in that game by anyone here at first because we had to get our team better.

You like to see rivalries at the end of the year, when teams are consistently winning, when that game has national implications. Maybe, eventually, this will get back to the end of the year.

On Brad Smith:

Brad is such a talented guy. You can't stop him. I don't think anybody's stopped him. He's a guy you got to play smart football against, and try not to give up big plays against him because that's where he really kills people.

On Kansas QB Bill Whittemore:

We feel like Bill is a quality player, and the people around him are better than last year on the offensive side of the ball. He's a big play guy, and we don't want to harness that. Sure, you worry about him taking a big shot, but you know what, that's football. We can't sweat that out. Players make plays. We're not going to try to stop the guy from doing what he does best.

On his 3-1 team:

I don't know how good a team we are. I think the key, I think the players think they're very good. And that's all that matters right now.

When I first got here, it's hard to explain the whole mentality and the circumstance surrounding this football team. The kid were just so beaten down and just left for dead for the lack of a better term. I just couldn't believe the mindset. I couldn't believe how the KU football program was viewed, and I felt like we had to do something to get these kids ready mentally first. I'm pleased but we're 3-1, but I think we've got a long, long way to go.

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