Another Tuesday media press conference with head coach Kliff Kingsbury, punter Dominic Panazzolo, and safety Jah’Shawn Johnson. I’m just going over Kingsbury’s quotes, but obviously the other quotes are there as well. To get to the injury news first, Kliff Kingsbury said that Alan Bowman isn’t practicing full-go just yet, so my expectation is that if Bowman isn’t practicing at full-speed that he’s not going to go. I’d also mention that this is totally normal and we want Bowman to be fully healthy when he does come back, not at anything less than 100%. It seems that Kingsbury has pretty much always deferred to his team’s detriment of players being absolutely 100%, so I’d expect nothing other than that here.
Also, Kingsbury said that Paul Stawarz and Travis Bruffy are still working back from their injuries and Kingsbury didn’t indicate if either would be available. Kingsbury was also not certain about the return of T.J. Vasher, he said that he gave reps to Caden Leggett, Myller Royals and the transcript says “Don” but have to presume that he’s talking about Dalton Rigdon. And finally, Tony Jones was sort of injured against TCU, but Kingsbury doesn’t think it’s serious.
In any event, here’s Kingsbury talking about Bowman:
Q. How much has Allen been able to do?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: More and more. I wouldn’t say he’s full go yet, but he’s been easing his way back in. We’re obviously going to be precautious and make sure he’s not out there until he’s 100%. Such a rare injury, we want to be overly cautious, if you will, make sure he’s protected and safe out there.
Q. From what we’ve seen Thursday night, when he was in here Sunday night, it looks like he’s throwing without any pain or discomfort. Is he chomping at the bit?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: Yeah, he is. He can throw, do all those things. Obviously it was an internal injury. It’s a unique thing for us. We’re just making sure that he’s 100% before we put him back out there.
Q. Is he not really doing anything in a team setting yet, pads?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I would say that’s fair.
Kingsbury is also asked about how Kansas has done this year and the change in offensive coordinator for Kansas:
Q. Looking ahead against Kansas, what has really stood out to you about their scouting report, after watching some film?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I think they’ve made a big jump from last year to this year, not only personnel, but the way they’re executing. Lead the country in turnover margin, which is a huge indicator of success. They played hard every week, have great coaches, great schemes. They’re right there.
I think when you look at some of those losses, it’s close going into the fourth quarter. They’re fighting, scratching, clawing. They’re a much improved football team from last year. We’re going to have to play really good.
Q. Change of the offensive coordinator in the past week, change your preparation at all?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I think it has to. You go from watching film on a certain coordinator, what he’s been doing all your, not really knowing what direction they’re going to take it with Coach Beaty, whoever else is calling it. I think you definitely have to be prepared for anything.
And here’s Kingsbury discussing the man who will most likely be at quarterback on Saturday, Jett Duffey:
Q. What kind of conclusions did you draw about Jett’s play given how much struggle it was in the first half, what he did in the second half to feel like there’s something there you can build on?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: There’s no question. I’ve always known that about Jett. A dynamic play-maker. Mentally tough, no question. To be able to kind of hold from that game, have to watch it for a series, then come back in and lead his team to victory on the road against the best defense in the conference statistically, it says a lot about who he is as a competitor. You can build off that.
Got to be smoother in some of our operation or decision making, things like that. He’s just a redshirt sophomore. He’s got a lot of growth, a lot of upside, there’s no question.
Kingsbury was asked about two different players, on offense, Kingsbury was asked what made receiver Antoine Wesley so good this year:
Q. How much was Antoine Wesley stepped up these last few weeks?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: He’s been incredible, he really has. His work ethic, when you watch him in walk-through, the focus and the attention to detail from walk-through on is through the roof. It’s how you want all your wideouts to prepare and practice. It carries over to the game.
He’s a great role model for all those young wideouts, just the way he handles his business on and off the field. It’s been impressive.
Q. Where has he specifically improved coming into this season?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I think that’s it: focus. We moved him back outside. Since we did, his attention to detail, his work ethic, his preparation off the field, the film study has been through the roof. It shows up on Saturday. He’s playing with a lot of confidence. He’s not thinking. He’s just going.
And also cornerback Adrian Frye:
Q. Obviously the defense improved a lot. For Frye, what’s made him able to have the success he’s had?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I think he’s a very good athlete. He’s a very skilled athlete. He played receiver in high school, punt returner. He’s great around the football. Highly, highly competitive. I got to see it last year on the scout team. He challenged those receivers. We had a bunch of guys that are playing in the NFL right now, he’d go up and challenge them, wouldn’t back down. I knew he was competitive. He’s just worked at it, worked at it, prepared the right way. You’re seeing the results on the field.
And last, but not least, Kingsbury was asked about the identity of this team:
Q. Do you know the identity really of this team yet? Just seems like they’ve played so many different ways.
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I think resilient would be the only thing I’ve seen that I can put my finger on. They’ll fight, play hard till the end. You can work with that.
Q. You mentioned the resiliency a couple times, the dog mentality. How have you established that?
KLIFF KINGSBURY: I mean, you got to go through some rough times together, I think. A lot of these veteran players, particularly on defense have been a lot. Jah’Shawn, Dakota, Jordyn been here three or four years. You go through it together. You keep working. Coach Whitt does a tremendous job of the mental toughness side of things during the off-season.
I think going through the battles together, taking your lump, continuing to perseveres.