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September 21, 2019

Les Miles

Lawrence, Kansas

West Virginia -29, Kansas-24

LES MILES: I'm going to start with statistics first just because I think they tell a story. The time in possession was 22 minutes for the opponent -- excuse me, for us, and 37 minutes for the opponent. We had two turnovers. We had a great third down opportunity to start the game and missed that one. We were four for ten in third downs. And Pooka, who is somebody that we want to get the ball to more, and we did, had 76 yards. And he certainly played a more impactful role in that game. Our total offense was 417. Their total offense was 394. Carter Stanley had 19 of 25 and 275 yards. And including the last play, I felt like we were going to win. And if we could have made a little different cut on the back end of that play, we may have. Questions.

Q. You mentioned you would have liked to have seen Pooka get the ball more. What kind of prevented that from happening tonight?
LES MILES: Well, we had him in a position where he was going to be able to get the ball in a lot of places, because they didn't have to designate Pooka. Well, absolute -- the reverse of that happened. Right. He just didn't get the ball often. Of course, now, we didn't have the ball often. It would be very difficult for me to tell you that there's somebody at fault when we just didn't have the ball in the length of time at all.

Q. Then you referenced the time in possession. What was kind of killing you guys offensively, especially the first half?
LES MILES: They made plays. I mean I have to be honest with you, I didn't expect them to be that good, and they made plays, and I think our defense was on the field in the first half just seemingly forever. And so I feel like, you know, that was significant certainly.

Q. I know on the radio you mentioned the role in the kick and the interference call. I was just curious, what's your interpretation of how that rule is called? Does the receiver get to land?
LES MILES: The only thing I would tell you is if they want to eliminate an exciting play from college football, they need to come up with a rule and just ban the play. Okay. But when you say if you give them the opportunity to catch it and then you kick a ball like that and very probably -- and again, without seeing it, you know, in slow motion, they may have gotten there first. But if they didn't get there first, we should have every right as the having arrived on the scene first, to have the ball. And I didn't -- and the reason that you call a play like that is because you don't think he can get to it. And frankly, that was the reason why we called the play.

Q. And then just to see the way the crowd, especially the students turned out today, I was wondering if you have any thoughts on the crowd.
LES MILES: I was thrilled. You walked into a stadium that was very live, that people were enjoying football. And I'm thrilled. I'm thrilled. All we've gotta do is win a couple more games in a row and do some things that we should enjoy doing, because to me the support is coming. And we are coming.

Q. Was there any adjustment you made at halftime that led to the increased offensive productivity?
LES MILES: Yeah. I think the staff picked some wide plays that affected -- their defense kind of played the center positions of what would be the box. Okay. And so basically it was pretty standard that you could get outside. And so we did so better in the second half.

Q. I know Josh mentioned it on the radio, too, but you guys lose, but you come off the field to an ovation from fans. I just wondered what you think the KU fans saw from your team today?
LES MILES: I just was very thankful that the people that came into that stadium enjoyed what they saw, because those kids were playing their hearts out. And I am thrilled for our players because I want you to know something it's not easy finishing second in the game and coming to practice and busting your tail, because they're going to bust their tail again, and they know it. And yet, that fanbase that's giving them a standing O and enjoying how they played makes a difference. It really does. And we thank them. Thank them for being there, thank them for supporting what would be the Jayhawks.

Q. Right after that on-side kick doesn't go your way because of the call, how did you think the defense and then ultimately the offense right after that kind of responded?
LES MILES: I thought they responded hard and fast. And I think the second half was a different half. I mean I think it was a different game. I think we realized that there's things that needed to take place, needed to take place now. And I think that that made a difference in how we played the second half.

Q. And then what set up that quick strike, 75-yard touchdown for Parchment?
LES MILES: They put themselves in position where we could take advantage of that throw. Yeah. To be honest with you, we would have loved to have started all those throws a little earlier in the game. Their secondary coverage certainly was capable. But I liked our -- I would have liked to see those matchups again. I guess I will this Sunday.

Q. Coach, I was just curious your thoughts on Carter and his development the last two weeks in just controlling the offense.
LES MILES: I think what Carter is doing is just what this team needs, and he pulls the ball down and runs. He moves to avoid pressure in the pocket. Very accurate. And he wasn't perfect today, but none of us are. But he was really good. What he did, he did the things that were good enough for us to win.

Q. I think at halftime you told the broadcast that Carter did everything you'd asked him to in the first half, but maybe it's time to ask him to do more. I guess going back to what you said a couple answers ago, would you have liked to have taken more deep shots in the first half?
LES MILES: Yeah. I have a difficult time saying I'd absolutely love to, but we only had the ball X -- I mean I would have to say we took some deep shots but didn't hit them. We finally got some deep shots on line and we connected.

Q. In the past when Carter has made a mistake you described him as trying maybe a little too hard to make a play. With those two turnovers today, is that what you saw out there or something else out of him on those?
LES MILES: Well, I really am backing Carter Stanley and feeling like he's doing the things that we need him to do as best he can. And I think he continues to improve. And I think our football team becomes a better football team with Carter Stanley as we go. Obviously two turnovers are issues. Okay. I mean you can't survive with those kind of happenings. But he's a pretty special quarterback. He's got a nice arm. Seems to has a knack for running the football. So I'm kind of good with him.

Q. Just one real quick and then another. Dru Prox is out late. Do you have any update on him?
LES MILES: Yeah. I saw him in the locker room after the game, and he was walking. And I would guess that he'd be okay. But I do not know.

Q. And you mentioned the turnovers for you guys. I think minus six for the year. How do you address that moving forward?
LES MILES: That's the -- you know, when you throw the football, you're going to have those issues. But what you're going to have to do is certainly become more efficient and attack it a little bit more specifically. But he threw the deep ball maybe better than some of the intermediate throws. And so maybe we dial up a deep throw more often.

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