Kansas head coach Mark Mangino and select players discuss the game in Norman.
NORMAN, Okla. --
No. 4 Oklahoma hosts No. 16 Kansas at Memorial Stadium
on Saturday afternoon. Kickoff is slated for 2:30 p.m. on
Ron Franklin will call the game
with analysis from Ed Cunningham. Jack Arute will provide
features from the Owen Field sideline.
OU held its
The Jayhawks also met with the media on Tuesday and
complete quotes are below courtesy Kansas Athletics
Media Relations. View Sooner
for complete information on attending
the game in Norman or following TV, radio and internet
coverage of the Sooners across the nation.
SoonerSports.com staff will blog
from the sideline during Saturday's game.
Throughout the day, you can view our commentary and
observations from the field, notes from the media relations
staff in the press box plus fan
and reaction during the game.
Coach Mark Mangino
"Last week (against Colorado) we saw improvement
in the offense, particularly up front and with the
running game. The passing game continues to grow as
well. Jake Sharp played well. Todd Reesing and Kerry
Meier played well. Our young tackles are improving.
On the defensive side of the ball we are starting to
get some rhythm in terms of being where we are supposed
to be, making the calls that are necessary and connecting
the front and the secondary. We are going to spend
some time this week improving areas of special teams
that need attention.
"This week we travel to Norman to play OU. As
you know, they are a very good football team. They
have a lot of quality players and they are well-coached.
They have great discipline and have size and speed
on most places on the field. They are coming off of
a loss to Texas, but that is not a factor in this game.
They will be business-like in their approach this week.
We just have to go down to Norman and play really smart
football. We will have to make plays and we will see
what happens. Our kids are playing well right now in
most areas and we are looking forward to the challenge
and opportunity of playing another great Oklahoma team."
On the season-ending injury to OU linebacker Ryan
"I am sure it has an impact on their
team. He is an outstanding player; there is no question
about it. But OU has overcome injuries to key people.
If you look at their history under Bob Stoops they
have lost quarterbacks, running backs, defensive lineman,
you name it, they always find someone to step up. I
am sure they are working on that right now."
On his relationship with Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops:
"It is a great relationship. We have played against
each other before and we will do it again. He is a
very close friend of mine. He is a guy that I can always
count on and he can count on me. But we are both competitive.
It has absolutely no effect on the competition that
takes place (there) on Saturday. We understand what
is expected out of us professionally and that is all
that matters. There is no one football game or one
recruit that will change the relationship that we have."
On OU quarterback Sam Bradford:
"He doesn't get disrupted very often and he doesn't
get flustered very often. If he has a bad play he quickly
puts it behind him and moves on to the next one. He
takes hits and he shows great leadership. Any time
you play a guy like that you have to be ready. We have
to be good at coverage and pressure. We are getting
better at four-man pressure, but we have to be good
there too. We can't blitz every down; that won't work
against a team like Oklahoma."
On recruiting in the state of Oklahoma:
"I enjoy going to Oklahoma because you know that
those kids are well-coached and they have great competition.
Like in Kansas, they are good people down there. If
you stop to get gas everybody wants to talk football
with you. They are good folks."
On the OU fans:
"I was lucky in that I was able to be there (OU)
at a time when they won a national championship. When
you do that they don't forget very quickly. They know
all nine assistant coaches that were on that staff.
They are really great fans and great people down there.
They treat me like I am still a part of their program
down there. My first three or four years at Kansas,
if we won a game, probably 20 percent of my mail was
from OU fans that were well-wishers. The last time
I went down there the fans were waiting at the gate
and they were telling me, "welcome home".
If you win a national championship there then they
declare you a resident of Oklahoma forever. I am fortunate
to coach in two states where we have great fans and
On growing up in Oklahoma:
"Growing up I was always an OU fan. My dad played
for Oklahoma. Playing them will bring up the intensity
level a bit for me, but I am going to go out there
and play my same game and hopefully show them what
they missed out on. I am glad to be a Jayhawk."
What Oklahoma missed out on:
"They missed out on a hard worker and a good football
player, but you know, that is the way things go sometimes."
On if he carries a chip on his shoulder into this
"No, I am glad that I am here. It may make me
play a little more intense, not that I am not usually
intense. Going against a team that you grew up wanting
to play for will motivate you to want to show them
On not getting enough respect for being the only
undefeated team in the North:
"Sometimes things are just going to happen like
that. Mark May of ESPN usually picks us to lose, but
it doesn't bother us. We always have a chip on our
shoulder and we just want to go out there every week
and show that we can play with anybody. We are going
to go out there this weekend and play with confidence
and hopefully come out with a win. I have always liked
being an underdog. It is great to prove people wrong
when they pick against you."
On his first trip to Norman:
"It is fun. It is fun to play in other stadiums
and go on the road and play in different environments.
It will be fun to play down there. They have a big
stadium, great fans, and it will be loud. It should
be a great environment to play football in."
On trying to get off to a quick start:
"It is big every game. Hopefully we will turn
it around this week. We know that they have been scoring
points in the first quarter. Hopefully that will change
this week and we will score and they won't.
On the cause of the Jayhawks' slow starts:
"It has been all sorts of things from top to bottom.
It hasn't been just one thing. We just need to come
out ready to play and get going from the start."
On getting more four man pressure from the defensive
"I think we all take it upon ourselves as a defensive
line that we have to get pressure, whether we are bringing
a blitz or if it is just four defensive linemen. So
we always have to get pressure on the quarterback."
On Oklahoma's offensive line:
"Oklahoma probably has one of the best offensive
lines in the Big 12 and they will be a tough challenge
for the entire defense this week."
On what it will be like playing in your
home state of Oklahoma:
"I am looking forward to playing in front of my
family and a bunch of my friends from high school that
go there, so it will be a lot of fun to play there.
We are going to take it just like it is any other game
On what it will be like playing in your home state
"It should be fun; I will have a lot of friends
there. Everybody from my school goes to OU, so it will
be a lot of fun to see all of them."
On Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford:
"He is really good when he stays in the pocket,
we know we have to get some pressure on him and get
him moving, because it seems like that is when he struggles
a little bit. Overall he is a really good quarterback."
On holding down the Oklahoma run game:
"I know that they have been struggling in the
run game lately, so we know that we have to keep them
there. I know that OU loves to run the football, so
if we can stop the run that would be big for us going
On the significance of playing Oklahoma:
"It's a huge game; they are a great team and we
are a great team. We are playing in their house and
it's going to be a good challenge for us."
On Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford and the offense:
"He is pretty accurate. I was watching game film
all day yesterday and he is a great leader. He throws
his passes and gets rid of the ball quickly. They have
a great running game and it's definitely going to be
the best offense we have seen this year, so we have
to be ready for them."
On what a win against Oklahoma would mean for the
"It would be huge. We want to stay on top of the
North and win the North division and this is one of
the stepping stones. They are one of the best teams
in the Big 12 and the nation. If you want to be the
best you have to beat the best, so we are looking forward