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UNIVERSITY OF KANSAS FOOTBALL MEDIA CONFERENCE
October 22, 2016
Oklahoma State - 44, Kansas - 20
Q. Coach, a lot of positives from this one. Sometimes it comes down to kind of one segment of the game, and we thought it kind of came down to the third quarter. I think they had 29 total yards and 17 points. It was just one of those troublesome quarters?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, that kind of tells the tale right there. There was a couple things I was actually very happy with today. I thought our running game got going again, which is something we've really been putting a lot of emphasis on, which we needed that. Montell, I thought, did a workman's job.
Neither one of those picks were actually his fault. One of them they drop a nose, and man, they got us on that one. It's a good call, and it happens every now and then. They hadn't really shown that up until this point, but they got us on that one. It was a good call. I told you, Gordon Spencer is pretty good now. He knows what he's doing. The other one, if we can keep that from hitting Quiv in the face, we could have had a big play there, and it turned out to be a big play for them.
So those are the types of things that we've got to continue to avoid, because it led to some points for them. I think there were 17 points off turnovers for them. 7 points off turnovers for us, and that's a big stat line.
Q. Your defense, a lot of guys running downhill, especially a couple of safeties getting their nose in on every play. Got a bunch of tackles for loss. How pleased are you with the way the defense played today?
DAVID BEATY: Very pleased with a lot of the things they did. We've got do a better job getting them off the field on third down. There were a couple key third downs that led to points. I know we'd love to see those guys get off the field there. They were getting the first by maybe half a yard. We've got to do a little better to get those guys off the field, with the exception of the second to last drive, I was okay with the effort the guys were running and really balling.
That second to last drive, that's inexcusable. We'll never have that effort around here again, not while I'm here, and the kids understand that. But prior to that, I thought they had played really hard and had given us a chance to stay in the game.
Q. You mentioned that second to last drive, I think you were leading in total yards up until that point. So you've got to be pleased with the fact that your offense did put together some yardage today?
DAVID BEATY: It's an improvement. But the only stat that matters at the end of the day is the points on the board. We scored 20 points. Yeah, we moved the ball quite a bit up-and-down the field. But we put 20 points on the board. I know we went for it on fourth down down there, but we were in a situation where we needed a touchdown there, and we felt good about the call, and we just didn't execute it well enough. We've got to be able to score more than 20 points. We've got good enough players to do that, and we've got to keep executing better.
Q. You mentioned a couple of those turnovers, maybe not necessarily on Montell overall, how did you think he played?
DAVID BEATY: I thought he played really well. He managed the game really well, which was a big focus for us this week. He started on the game fast by making good decisions and not putting the ball in jeopardy. The pick to the D-tackle, they got us on that one. The dude is rushing, he drops back to the middle of the field, we got a hot route call there, and they hadn't shown that.
So if the guy's not there, we go for it a good ways. But, hey, they did a good job there, but sometimes they get you. That wasn't on him. The one later, I didn't feel like that was on him either. I felt we put it right on Cliff's face, and normally Cliff comes down with that. It just hit him in the face, bounced off, and we didn't make the play.
Well, you know, disappointed, obviously, to come in here and speak to you after one we felt like we had some real opportunities to capitalize on and really be a factor in a Big 12 game here. I thought we started off fast, which was something that we needed to do. I was pleased with the way that Montell Cozart handled the game, the way he managed the game. He had a couple of turnovers that neither one of those am I going to be able to put on Montell. You know, they got us on the one, that was a good call by Glenn. Glenn's a good defensive coordinator. They made the right call at the time. We had a hot route call, and he dropped the nose right to it. It's something we've seen before, but not out of them. So that's not on Montell.
But I tell you what, I love the way our guys played defensively. They really got after those guys. I had not seen people put as much pressure on them as we were able to get today. So there are some real positives there. We were able to get to him and hit him a few times. They normally don't turn the football over, and I know we got one, which was good, and we got points off of it. That was critical.
But the telling stat for me, is the 17 points off turnover for us. The fumble really, really hurt. That one killed us. We had a couple other mistakes, you know, the botched catch in the end zone there right as we came out at halftime that killed us. I mean, we're backed up inside our 10 again, and that's a hard place to start. But you've got to be able to deal with the situation. We weren't able to do it, but those are mistakes that should have been handled.
One with Quiv down there, backed up in our own end. All he had to do was stick his foot out of bounds and the ball comes down at the 40-yard line, Thursday, we went that last Thursday, we knew that, and yet we got the ball on the 9 or the 13 instead of the 40, by understanding what would have happened had he stood out of bounds and grabbed the ball.
So am I upset about that? Yep, I'm upset, because we already knew it. And those are the types of things that we've got to grow up, because when we don't, you're going to have a hard time winning in one of the finest leagues on the face of the planet. So we've got a long way to go, but we're getting better. I love the way our guys fight and they stay together. But we've still got a long way to go.
Q. You switched between Ryan Willis at quarterback and Montell Cozart. Is Cozart the guy the rest of the way, or are you still trying to evaluate both of these guys?
DAVID BEATY: Well, Montell did a really nice job today. He did a nice job of managing the game, and that's really what we're looking for. He did everything I really had asked him to do in this ballgame. I thought his eyes were really good. He didn't really put the ball in jeopardy other than that one.
I thought he did some great things with his feet today, which is something that we had been talking about. We put a lot of emphasis on that this week. We actually had some calls and some reads for him. It just didn't present itself very often. We called five or six run plays that were going to be pulls or reads and things like that, which is something we've got to get going with Montell. I was really pleased with the way he played today. It's a great example for the rest of those young guys about what will happen if you keep your eyes in the right place and you play by the rules.
Q. Is he your guy against Oklahoma?
DAVID BEATY: He is my guy against Oklahoma. But the rest of them better get ready to play, because you're one snap away from being the starter. So he's no different than any other position.
Q. (Inaudible) led you guys in rushing. LaQuvionte led you in receiving. But did their mistakes in the (Indiscernible)?
DAVID BEATY: I tell you what, I thought Taylor ran really well. The turnover was a tough blow. There is no doubt about that. Our defense really kind of stood up there and they got a field goal off that one, if I'm not mistaken. But that was a tough blow because we were moving the ball well, and he had some really good runs on that drive which we need from him.
We needed to get that run game going again, and it was good to get that going this week, and I'm proud of the guys up front, because they actually took the challenge and they were able to move guys off the ball, and that's what you've got to do in this league. They were able to move and create creases and our guys found creases throughout the day that helped us.
Q. You guys just have to play without any turnovers in the game that you have a chance of knocking off one of these Big 12 teams?
DAVID BEATY: Most teams need to play without turnovers. It's not realistic for it to happen like that all the time. But for us, we're in such a situation right now that you do feel like you have to play mistake-free football because it's hard to overcome it, you know? I mean, that score gets up to 37 pretty quick, and you're like, what in the world just happened? How did it get there? And you can't let yourself stew on it too long because you need to get back out there and try to get that thing in the end zone.
Q. What was the thought process on the 59-yard field goal drive? Did you think he could do that?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, we did. We think he can make it. We've seen him do it on several occasions. He had hit two, I think, at that point going in. And he's involved in our decision making there as is Coach DeForest, and both those guys felt good about it. Probably the reason it got blocked is he was driving it a little bit. That's obviously a little risky.
But I felt better about that than most people think. He's got a really, really strong leg, and, you know, we felt like he could make it, and we wanted to go on with points. We were trying to be aggressive. We were trying to go in with points there. And I felt better about that than a Hail Mary, because we haven't had a lot of those at this point. We haven't executed a bunch. We had a lot more field goals.
Q. Montell, was it his ball security that was the main reason for that?
DAVID BEATY: Game management. Being able to take care of the ball, that's the number one thing. And I think if you go back to one of the first days I ever spoke about our offense, the number one thing is that guy's got to be able to manage the game. It was very clear for us this week as we went through practice who did that the best for us. And as we go back and look at the bodies of work and see who doesn't put us in jeopardy with regard to reads. You've got to read. I mean, you don't get to pick guys out in college football. When you do, it hurts. It's not good. It comes to the tune of picks all over the place.
So he did really nice job with his eyes today. I was really proud of him. The thing I was most proud of is if you look at that locker room in there and how much they're behind Montell Cozart, that's cool to see, because he deserves it.
Q. Was that a highlight for you guys especially in the first half to get the touchdown in the end zone? How's he progressing?
DAVID BEATY: He's getting better, and better each week. He did some really nice things today. I thought he made some great plays. That break-up was a really nice play. He's a physical guy now, and he's a sure tackler. He gets them down. When they break out, there are three or four times today where the guy had a chance to get out. And if he breaks that tackle, they're going to go for a while if he gets them down. We knew coming in that he could do that. He still has some mistakes on occasion that cost us. We had that long one down there that if he would have taken the proper angle, I think he might have picked it. And that happens when you're young, but would have been nice to see him pick it off.
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, he's got a great toe sprain kind of type deal, and hopefully we can get him back this week. We thought we might be able to get him going. But towards the end of the week yesterday he just wasn't able to push off of it. So we went with the guys that we had and tried to get him some rest so we could get him back for next week. We definitely need him.
Q. Did it fall off Quiv's face mask (Inaudible)?
DAVID BEATY: I really didn't have a lot of chance to see it. It did look like it kind of went off his helmet. I think he was trying to roll his neck, and I think it went off his face mask is what I think. Montell I think was trying to lead him down the hash, and Quiv drove it a little bit to the middle. And just changed that trajectory a little bit, and that might be the difference maker on that play.
But I think he just kind of misplayed it just a bit, and it hit his face mask and bounced right up. Unfortunate that it happened because we had a big play there.
Q. Usually when they have good chemistry with Quiv and Montell?
DAVID BEATY: I think that him and all those guys. He trusts all those guys. Montell trusts them, and he empowers those kids. He knows that Shaq's going to be there for him, so he's not afraid to get that ball to Shaq. I've been around a lot of them that won't throw to certain guys, but he'll throw to every one of them. He trusts them and empowers those guys.
I thought he did some good things finding guys. Because he extended plays with his feet today, which was something that we needed him to do because he's got talent when it comes to that.
Q. (Inaudible) seeing the designed run play?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah. I mean, we had some of that in today. If you noticed before Ryan had taken over, that's when he was coming off of a separated shoulder against Memphis. So we had him strapped down. He played in that game, but he still had a completely separated shoulder from that game previous. So we weren't going to run him then and get him knocked out, and then things kind of turned a little bit and we went with Ryan for a couple weeks to see if we could get a spark out of that. Now we've got him rolling back. We think he can be a weapon with his feet.
Q. You guys played from the beginning from behind, but then you were able to kind of get a bang-bang sequence. Got the fumble and recovered it and one play and you're up suddenly. Does the team need sequences like that to kind of give you some momentum through games so they have a chance to hang around?
DAVID BEATY: Yeah, we do. We'd like to play that way. That's a lot better than playing from behind. So, yeah, that's something most teams want to do. We were able to do it early today. What really is frustrating for all of us is that it kind of got out of hand really quickly.
I don't think it was indicative of how the game was played, and that's what's frustrating for me. I thought we could have been in that game until the very end, and we made too many mistakes there at the end that lead to points. In this conference, you can't do it.
I thought our defense did a good job of holding them and getting them to a field goal there. But we should have gotten off the field a lot earlier when we had them backed up inside our five, because then we're going to get the ball back and now we've got a chance to get two more scores.
Q. You mentioned the O-line; was it a better match-up or just your guys rising to the challenge?
DAVID BEATY: They're good now. 96 is really good. Taylor is a real dude. That guy's an NFL guy, and their ends are better than you think they are. I think our guys are getting a little bit better, which is good. I'm going to have to watch the tape, but there was some real challenge thrown out to those guys this week.
But I thought Montell did a nice job of not getting those guys exposed by getting rid of the ball on time, using his eyes. That's really how it can work when you do it correctly. So I think they are getting better. There were a couple of guys that Mesa threw up all night last night. He threw up this morning. He was throwing up on the sideline. He was sick. He was going with some kind of flu or something, and Joe went down, and he had to go to center. And the dude was sick as a ghost, man. He looked like a ghost, he was so white.
But I was proud of that dude because he never asked out one time. He's a tough kid.
Q. Overall, encouraged? You were talking about the passing and what it looked like. It's been a while since it looked like that. Is that an encouraging thing?
DAVID BEATY: It was very encouraging. We had several opportunities missed today, and, man, if we can get those things knocked out, it's going to be a lot of fun. It should feel like it's about to explode. It should feel like that. And I felt like we were there, and we just weren't able to put more points on the board since we got in the early red. In the red, we were two or three.
But to me, that doesn't tell the story. We are down there in the early red, we're right outside the red, and we don't get in the end zone, and that kills you. We need to get in the end zone, not kick field goals in those situations. We cannot. We've got to score touchdowns. We can't kick field goals. So we were 2 of 3 basically with field goals, I guess, is what it amounted to.
But I really liked our receivers. I think those guys are really quick. I think they're really fast. They're as fast as anybody in this league. If we can give them some protection and get the right reads and get the ball out on time, those dudes are dangerous. They're dangerous. We'll get better each week, and we'll build off Montell's showing to be able to get those guys the ball in more space quickly, which will be good.
Q. Cozart hadn't played in a couple of weeks, but he seemed to handle the time off pretty well. Did you just expect that out of him at this point?
DAVID BEATY: Number one, one of the finest character kids I've ever been around in my life. So the way he handled the last two weeks, I mean, you would expect nothing different out of Montell Cozart. He continued to improve. He practiced. I mean, we still split the reps 5 and 5, so he was continuing to get better.
Man, if they were all like him, we'd be in pretty good shape. And most of them are. But he's pretty special. So I was proud of him. We've got to score more points though to get that ball in the end zone so we can win the game, man. You've got to score 43 points in this conference to win games. You have to. And it didn't feel like it, I don't think at times, but they scored 43 points. We have to be able to get in the end zone and score 43 points.
I know we're a work in progress, but we can do that. We just need to execute a little bit better. You know what I'm saying? All right. Thank you, guys.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports