K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference

Head Coach Bill Snyder

On the play of the K-State defense against Stanford...
“I thought we played well, but we did not start well. At the end of the day, it was all the first 15 minutes of the ballgame. In the last 35 minutes of the game, we held them to 77 yards or something like that. It was an accumulation of not getting started well and giving up scores on the first three possessions. During that period of time we were not very good against the pass. We were not very good on third downs. We gave up three big plays through the course of the ballgame, which were all defensible plays. We got lost on the touchdown pass. We missed two tackles on the big run. And we had the angle on the guy and overran the ball on the other touchdown run that they had. Not any one of those plays created the outcome, but they all helped. There were about 12-15 snaps where any three of them would have altered the outcome of the game, in my mind. They were all three things that we did that we should not have done. From a defensive standpoint, those three big plays counted for a substantial number of points.”

On facing Christian McCaffrey…
“I think he is just what we talked about. He is a tremendously gifted player, but he is a wonderful young man as well. I admire him and appreciate him a great deal. He carried the ball 22 times, and we missed two tackles on him at the line of scrimmage to give him a long gain. We gave him another long gain by overrunning the tackle. In the other 20 snaps, he had 2.5 yards per carry. I thought we played well against him with the exception of two snaps.”

On third down defense…
“We just did not start well. We gave up a lot of things. We gave up first downs, second downs and third downs. That was a big part of it. We finished excellent, I thought. The last touchdown run that he had, we made a mistake prior to that which put them in position to do exactly that. They really should not have even had the ball. Again, that is on us and the fact that we had control in the outcome of the ballgame. Stanford is a very fine football team, but it really was in our hands.”

On the K-State offensive line…
“I thought what they did best was endure the first opportunity to get on the field. So many of them have never been on the field before and have that youth factor to them. I thought they did well in that respect. I think the negative things were that when we were going to throw it and they knew we were going to throw it, we had some difficulties in our pass protection. There were certain things that they did that created some problems that we have to get better at. I think from a talent standpoint and a mental preparation standpoint, we can overcome that. Maintaining and finishing blocks is something that we have to improve on. Sometimes the physicality was there, sometimes it was not. It is just that consistency factor, I guess. For guys that were on the field for the first time, I thought they did reasonably well.”

On Dante Barnett returning…
“I think it was significant to have him back in the lineup for a lot of different reasons. He played well. He did not really have assignment errors. He played reasonably well against both the run and the pass. I think his leadership, his guidance and his direction of his teammates was beneficial for us in the ball game.”

On Jesse Ertz…
“He left quite a bit out there. They recorded eight sacks. Sometimes he had difficulty getting the ball away, but he did a nice job on scrambles early in the ballgame. That is significant for us. He has to be able to do that for the quarterback running game. I think he had some decisions that he would like to have back in regards to checking or not checking and receiver selection. He had never been in that position before. I tell our players and coaches all the time that you have to study everything. There are certain things that happen in the ballgame that have probably never happened to you before and may never happen again to you, like when we were coming out of our own end zone and we take a safety and then he throws the ball up for grabs. It is quite conceivable that they might not have called it a safety and that was an interception that put them in a great position to score. It was late and he just had not been in that situation before. That is my fault for not putting him in that situation so he could have reacted better.”

Senior Safety Dante Barnett
On the early bye week…
“A lot of bye weeks happen around week seven or week eight when you have been through half the season, but it is only week two right now. I think it will be beneficial for our team having a bye week this early so that we can improve before we start our next game.”

On being energized to start the Stanford game…
“I loved it. The atmosphere just made me feel at home. That is another thing that we want our defense to focus on is playing with energy. I feel like we play better when we play with energy.”

On defense playing close to perfect…
“I think we were very close. It was just when we messed up, it cost us. Stanford took full advantage of our mistakes and scored touchdowns. I think we played a pretty good game, but we still lost and that is not something that we want to do.”

Junior Place Kicker Matthew McCrane
On missing a field goal…
“It is always disappointing to miss a kick. We were not able to do it, and I think it hurt our team. It was the situation that we needed to put the field goal in and we did not do it. I failed on it.”

On improvement this year…
“I think it is evident during practice. We have been hitting the ball further and deeper than we have before. It is a big confidence for me because I think I was a little bit short last couple of years.”

On what he needs to work on during the bye week…
“I think it is that we get more reps in practice, which is a positive impact from that standpoint. We just have to keep focus. We have to watch the games next Saturday and watch our opponent. Bye weeks are tough. We have long practices with full pads most of the time but that is part of football.”

Sophomore Defensive Back D.J. Reed
On what Duke Shelley has said to help him transition to Division I football…
“He just told me to relax because he was also nervous his first game, which I believe he started against TCU last year. He said he was feeling the same thing. Dante (Barnett) also helped me out by just saying to relax and that you have already practiced for this so you are ready to take a deep breath and play football.”

On his competitiveness with Cedric Dozier…
“Cedric (Dozier) is my roommate and he is a good football player. We push each other at practice, same with Duke (Shelley). None of us are really relaxing because we have to work hard to keep the spot. So that is how I approach every practice.”

On Dante Barnett…
“He is very smart. He emphasizes watching film and doing the little things kind of like Coach Snyder empathizes those things. He is like a big brother to me. He looks out for me and tells me to relax before the game and he gives me little pointers.”