Cliff's Notes version: Mark Mangino press conference, 9/15/09
Here is the Cliff's Notes version of Kansas football coach Mark Mangino's comments at his press conference today.
The full audio is posted here.
The full video is posted here.
• Players of the game, voted by the coaching staff: Offensive, Sal Capra; Defensive: Maxwell Onyegbule; Special teams: the entire kickoff return team; Offensive scout team: Erick McGriff; Defensive scout team: Prinz Kande.
• The staff was pleased with KU's effort on both sides of the ball and in the kicking game.
• Mangino felt like KU was in control of the game from early on, but that the Jayhawks left some points on the field.
• Mangino on Duke: "You can see a team that's getting better."
• Capra did just about everything very well. His run-blocking was good and his pass sets were good. He's an intelligent guy that helps communicate things to others on the offensive line. Capra might not be the biggest or fastest guy on KU's offensive line, but he's very sound fundamentally.
• Caleb Blakesley did some nice things against UTEP. He still needs play at pad level and get his pads down so that opposing offensive linemen can't get their hands on him to block him easier.
• Jake Sharp is physically quicker than he was last year. That's because he had a great offseason of working out.
• Mangino believed that, coming into the season, KU's defensive linemen needed to take better care of the little things in pass rushing, like getting a good jump on the ball.
• The coach feels good about his backup offensive guards. Trevor Marrongelli is getting better. Mangino said it was good for the team to be forced to play without Jeremiah Hatch for a while to see how his other offensive linemen would react.
• Hatch is sometimes trying to get off the ball too quickly to go make his blocks. When he does that, his tail rises up, causing the snap to sail. Mangino says the problem is getting worked on and will be fixed.
• Justin Thornton is an intelligent player. Because he understands the mental aspect, he's able to fit in different places and help us. He's like a utility player in baseball. He's a darned good utility player for KU.
• Mangino said to play nickel back for him, players needs safety skills but not necessarily cornerback skills.
• Both Northern Colorado and UTEP's defenses were catered to stop KU's passing game.
• Toben Opurum has done a good job. There's more to this game than getting the ball and running upfield with it. The coach believes Opurum is probably learning something every day on the practice field or in the meeting rooms.
• Maxwell Onyegbule started as a linebacker in the program. After his first year, he switched to defensive end. Onyegbule has worked his tail off in the weight room. Now, he's playing with confidence, and he's playing hard every snap. Every once in a while, coaches saw flashes of brilliance from Onyegbule in practice. The coaches were patient with him and his development.
• The KU coaching staff's expectation is perfection on offense, even though, obviously, that is unattainable. The coaches know the offensive unit has a chance to be really good, so when there are little mistakes, the coaches don't think they should happen. Most teams in America would have like to have KU's offensive performance against UTEP. A few reasons KU wasn't as crisp on offense Saturday: Some routes weren't crisp, there was bad communication on a few passes, and sometimes, flat-out execution wasn't there. Receivers also dropped some passes they don't normally drop. Mangino still said he'd take 34 points in the first road game and run with it.
• Raimond Pendleton is activated, but he'll have to earn his way back into the rotation.
• Mangino on KU's basketball success: "Basketball's not a negative for us; it's a plus."