Cliff's Notes version: Mark Mangino press conference, 11/10/09
Here is the Cliff's Notes version of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino's comments at his press conference today.
• Players of the game, voted on by the coaching staff: Offense: Dezmon Briscoe; Defense: Chris Harris; Special teams: Darrell Stuckey; Offensive scout team: Running back Deshaun Sands; Defensive scout team: Safety Brian Blackwell.
• Last week's game was a case where KU made mistakes and Kansas State did not. The team with the fewest mistakes usually wins.
• Nebraska's Ndamukong Suh is as fundamentally sound of a football player as there is in the conference. He's strong and quick and is hard to get off his feet. He's a smart player, and he's hard to fool with blocking schemes.
• KU didn't change its offense in the second half against KSU. The Jayhawks didn't play more conservatively because of the three first-half turnovers.
• Mangino thinks the offensive line needs a leader to emerge.
• Mangino is not going to try to push Toben Opurum too hard, because he is just a freshman.
• Right now, KU has to focus on today. Therefore, Brad Thorson gives KU the best chance to win at right tackle for these games. His best position will be reassessed in the offseason.
• Daymond Patterson didn't play Saturday partly because he's banged up, but partly because other guys have stepped up at cornerback. Mangino is thinking of the now, so he won't examine a potential position change for Patterson back to receiver until the offseason.
• Through the years when KU has had a tough spell, the team has stayed the course. The team keeps its same routine and keeps encouraging players. When you take drastic measures during a tough time, players start to question if the coach is panicking.
• Defenses are catching up to offenses. Mangino says you could see it coming. The coach says he started to see it toward the middle of last year. An observation the coach has had is that more and more teams are fading out of the spread offense. There are more bunched formations and more two tight-end formations. When you're throwing the ball, a lot of bad things can happen. There are great things that can happen, as KU has seen in the past, but many teams are becoming more conservative. KU will continue to function out of its spread set, even though the team has tried different looks. Mangino says the spread isn't dead, but teams are adjusting. Football is always going to change. It goes in cycles. It's like old clothes — hold on to them and they'll come back in style.
• Mangino is still comfortable with his spread offense. He isn't ready to abandon it just yet. KU is still going to throw the football. The coaches thinks it fits KU right now, with the personnel it has.
• Mangino knew the spread wouldn't last forever, but it's surprising to some degree how quickly more teams are going to bigger personnel formations. People want to be able to control the clock. A lot of teams want balance to their balance. When you're spread out, you have to have some talented guys to run the ball effectively.
• The coaches thought the time was right to get Anthony Davis back on the field. He has some talent. He's fast and strong and has good hip movement. Davis worked with the scout team for a few weeks, and Mangino likes the way he looks right now.