There isn’t an interview room for the visiting team in Lawrence, so reporters scurried around the parking lot getting reactions from players. Maybe it was the environment? Maybe it was getting back into the Win column? Maybe it was the defensive shutout?

Regardless of the reason, both coaches and players were bluntly honest in the minutes following the Kansas game. As you’ll see, there isn’t much left to interpret from the quotes below. Regardless, there are some interesting thoughts to be gleaned…



Charlie Strong: “The thing you would like to see is just consistency with our offense.”

Reading between the lines – Look, he knows it’s a problem, just like everyone does. To hear him openly acknowledge it should give fans confidence that it’s an area of focus.

The key word here is ‘consistency’ – that means that Strong doesn't want them to do things differently on offense. He wants them to do them better.


Charlie Strong: “On first-and-10 we have to get in front of the chains and get a manageable second down."

Reading between the lines – Another blinding glimpse of the obvious that is refreshing to see publicly acknowledged. The undercurrent here is the comment on playcalling…another way to say his quote is, “When it’s 2nd & 8, we are very limited in what we can do to pick up positive yards and avoid a 3rd & long situation.”


Charlie Strong: “The guys came up with big plays at the right time.”

Reading between the lines – Go back and look at Strong’s quotes after UCLA and BYU. In those games, he talked about very specific plays where a missed tackle, or a blown coverage was ultimately the difference in the game.

Here he is saying the same thing, but citing the difference as his guys making the play necessary. This wasn’t a smothering defensive performance in his mind – this was a fine line and Texas did what was necessary to be in the right side of the line on Saturday.


Quandre Diggs: “The guys on the defensive line continue to work hard and make our job easier.”

Reading between the lines – Here is a young man that is being labeled as a malcontent by many fans. People are weary of Quandre “blaming others”.

Instead of talking about having two interceptions on the year or the defense’s nine total INT’s, the very first words out of his mouth were him giving credit to his teammates. Diggs understands that the DL is helping them do their job and he was quick to acknowledge it.


Jordan Hicks "They are division 1 players just like we are. They had the same amount of time to prepare to put that ball in the end zone, as we did to keep them out. It means a lot to this defense and to this team. It was great."

Reading between the lines – “It was just Kansas.” – that was the line most fans were uttering on Saturday evening. Here, Hicks reminds everyone of something that’s proved every Fall Saturday…every team in D-I has a few capable players.

The difference between winning and losing isn’t much. Upsets happen every weekend.

I’m not telling y’all that the Jayhawks are a Top 25 team, but to shut them out, at home, is a nice day’s work.
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Jordan Hicks: “Focus. We have to go out there and compete. It is going to take the same thing it takes every week. We have to execute.”

Reading between the lines – That’s Hicks talking about playing Baylor. Similar to Coach Strong, Hicks didn’t say the team needs to do anything differently, instead citing ‘execution’.

Bottom line – the players and coaches have faith in what they’ve installed in practice. Those fundamentals are not going to change.


Cedric Reed: “ I haven't been playing the best football I'm capable of, like I did last year.“

Reading between the lines – Keep in mind that Reed is a senior that will be getting paid to play at this time next year. Now re-read that statement.

No blame. No excuses. Nothing other that an unfiltered opinion on himself…and it came from someone that has plenty of reasons not to draw attention to perceived deficiencies.


Jaxon Shipley: “This week we should have probably scored more points than we did, but the defense played a great game so we are just happy to get a win.”

Reading between the lines – Was Shipley commenting on the relative strength of the opponent, or was he saying that the offense did the right things on Saturday and was close to scoring more? Either choice is an interesting one.


Jaxon Shipley: “You have to come out and start fast. You have to show them you can play. I think the most important thing is to come out and score on the first drive. I think our defense has done a really good job so I think they can hold them as well. It's ultimately about the offense right now, we need to match the defense.”

Reading between the lines – There it is. The benchmark is set. The offense needs to score on the first drive against Baylor.

Pretty startling that Shipley would say that in public. It’s also a glimpse at the pressure that side of the ball is feeling.