Mangino on Oklahoma

Kansas coach Mark Mangino talks his Jayhawks' matchup against Oklahoma and his relationship with Bob Stoops. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

On Oklahoma

"We're going to play a good Oklahoma football team. Their record is not indicative of the type of team they are.

If you look at them on defense, they are fast and athletic. They stop the run. They're ranked in the top 15 in the country in stopping the run. They have some young kids that you can see are very talented and are learning.

"On the offensive side of the ball, they have one of, if not the best running backs in the country in Adrian Peterson. They're developing their quarterback who is a very talented young guy. You can see he is really coming around. They like to run the football and they do a lot of running with the quarterback. They're developing him in the passing game.

"Oklahoma will be a good challenge for us. We're looking forward to it. We want to put together a complete game, both offensively and defensively. That is our goal for this week."

On playing the game at Arrowhead Stadium

"The situation has improved because we were thinking all along that we would be at a one o'clock kickoff, which would mean that we would be spending the night in Kansas City.

"Now that it is a six o'clock kickoff, we will do our Friday routine here and bus over Saturday afternoon. In that respect, it worked out pretty well."

On the size of the crowd at the game

"It's hard for me to tell. Oklahoma will travel well. They always do. How big their contingency will be, I don't know.

"I think that our loyal fans will travel to the game in Arrowhead. The thinking here in the athletic department is that our alumni base in Kansas City will support the game strongly."

On the challenges that Oklahoma presents

"I think it's a great challenge for our defense. They're going to see the best running back in the country. They want to be able to meet that challenge. We're really impressed with Adrian Peterson. Who isn't? He's really a talented guy.

"The fact that they have a big, quick, athletic quarterback poses a lot of challenges for us. They do have speed at wide receiver as well. In some ways they're like we are.

"I think it's a great challenge for our defense and our kids are looking forward to that challenge. Our kids on defense like these kinds of games."

On his relationship with Bob Stoops

"We talk about a lot of things. We usually try to find a way to make each other laugh. I know that. We talk about families. We talk a little football once in a while.

"Bob's always been good when things don't fly right here at KU. He's usually the first guy to call me and talk to me, and vice versa. If things aren't going the way he likes, I try to pick up the phone and contact him. We kinda support each other in that way.

"No football game ever will come between the friendship that Bob and I have developed over the years."

On if he stayed in touch with Stoops when he left Kansas State for Florida

"Yes. In fact, we took our children to Disneyworld one year and we swung over to see Bob and Carol."

On KU's offense

"Well I will say this, we have got to develop a consistency. We need to maintain our poise. I like what we're doing, but we have to do it better.

"I don't think we're an awfully complicated offense by any stretch. It's been the same system we installed here in our first year and tweaked it here and there. We need to settle down at all positions."

On who will start at quarterback

"We're going to start Brian Luke. We feel, based on all the evaluations of games and everything that we have, that it's in our offense's best interest to have Brian be our starting quarterback."

On what Luke brings to KU's offense

"He has been in it the longest. He's been in our system since we arrived here. He has a pretty good command of our offense. When well-protected, he'll deliver the ball the best for us in the passing game.

"He has much more mobility than folks think. He's been a guy that's worked very hard in our out-of-season program over the last couple of years and really increased his footspeed, which he showed on a couple plays at Kansas State."

On his defense being ranked No. 3 in the nation against the run

"Our defense is stout. We're playing the run awfully well, as you stated. We are getting great leadership on defense. We've got some real leaders over there.

"We're getting good play out of our defensive down guys, which we were hoping that we would. In the secondary, we're getting better and better all the time.

"The defense has a good temperment to it that you like. They're well-coached by Bill Young and all of our defensive coaches. I think they're doing an outstanding job of developing that unit over the years."

On what needs to click for them to win on Saturday and perform better offensively than they did against Kansas State

"(Laughs) We've got to execute better. That's for sure. We've got to get everybody, all 11 guys, working together. We've got to get first downs, move the chains and do it with confidence and balance."

On Oklahoma's defense

Oklahoma's defense is very talented. I know they have some young kids that are learning their way, but you can see their speedy, they're well-coached.

"Oklahoma's fourth in the conference in rush defense, and I think ranked 14th nationally. So as the tradition of OU defense — stop the run, stop the run, stop the run. That's what they work out a lot and do very well.

"And their kids in secondary now, they're going awfully good. You can see the raw talent they have, they're just kind of learning their way."

On what it's like coaching against a friend like Bob Stoops

"It's just like our old raquetball days at Kansas State. We just played hard and tried to win and played intense.

"And then we went and had a Pepsi or Coke at the local Shop Quick on the corner on the way back to the office, and laughed about all the times we ran into the walls and tripped and fell.

"It's intense, because it's competition. But the competition is on the field. And as I said earlier, Bob and I have developed a close relationship. He's a valued friend.

"For three hours or so Saturday we're going to get at it, and then we'll have a chuckle again and talk on the phone again, crack jokes and be our old selves. But what goes on the field has absolutely nothing to do with friendship."

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