K-State Holds Weekly Press Conference

Head Coach Bill Snyder
On playing in the Alamodome again after the Alamo Bowl loss last season…
“I do not really think about it that way. Maybe there is a motivational factor there. That is a possibility for our players. That is the benefit. But for me, and I hope for our players, it is another preparation. We are not going to fret about it. We are going to try and get better today and plan for today. That day eventually will get here, so we have to take it one day at a time.”

On whether the UTSA game will affect recruiting…
“We have been there before. It is not like it is a foreign country. We have actively recruited the San Antonio area. It certainly does not hurt – that is for sure – but it is not a home game, so we cannot bring recruits to the function.”

On seeing Joe Hubener in high school…
“He was athletic and he had good size to go along with it. When we realized that he could throw the ball well, it was just all kind of a fit. We have always liked to have athletic quarterbacks, and his experience at other positions demonstrated that.”

On Joe Hubener playing different positions in high school…
“I do not think that was a tremendous disadvantage. Granted, he did not have four years of experience doing that, but there is a lot to be said for somebody that is experienced in so many other positions because you get a feel about the game from a different perspective. He has a little bit better understanding. We ask our quarterbacks to embrace a lot of different segments of the game.”

On the evaluation of Justin Silmon…
“We are all a work in progress – every one of us – and he goes right along with that. He has a lot of things that he needs to get better at, but we certainly do trust him. I would not put anyone out there that we did not trust. I thought he played well, played hard, had some good movement to him and ran aggressively when the opportunity addressed itself.”

On the importance of having a good performance this week for Joe Hubener…
“It is just like it is for everyone. It is important for him to improve his game. It is important for Cody Whitehair to improve his game, and it is important for anybody else in our program. You play that position and a lot of people view that position as somewhat unique. I do not disagree with that perception, but that is not our approach. Our approach is he is one out of 11 out there. His chores are a little more complex and difficult than someone else, but by the same token, everybody has plenty on their plate out there. He is one of them.”

On the play of Dalton Risner and Terrale Johnson…
“I thought they both played well, and again, both of them had some execution issues. A few judgement issues as well, but they were not alone. If you had to say would you play them again, I would say I would.”

On if having a tight quarterback battle in camp helps now…
“I would think so. I would hate for it to have been any different. There is a lot of things that enter into the whole picture of our quarterback venue this season, some go back a year or two ago. I think, by in large, the fact that it was as competitive as it was, between each of the four, when you narrow it down, each of them really had the capabilities and opportunities to step up and play the position. That just tells you that we had decent depth, consequently that paid off.”

Junior Quarterback Joe Hubener
On improvements to be made…
“I need to work a lot on the connection with some of the receivers and just being on the same page. I think we did well last Saturday, but there is always something to work on. Especially with not having reps with them these past couple of weeks, it is important to get back into that groove and get on the same page.”

On his upcoming first-career start…
“It is an exciting opportunity. Having never started in high school, this is my first career start. I have something to prove, so hopefully we can go down there and get the win.”

On going into the game so early last Saturday…
“I was definitely nervous going in there for the third snap of the game. I was not expecting to go in that early, but once I gathered myself, I knew I had to perform. I was the next guy in line and I knew I had to step up.”

Redshirt Freshman Offensive Lineman Dalton Risner
On chemistry with Joe Hubener…
“Throughout camp I was getting reps with him, Jesse (Ertz) and Alex (Delton). Ever since I have shown up here, I have been great friends with Jesse, but I have been great friends with Joe as well. As soon as he came out onto the field, I looked him in the eye and told him, ‘Let’s go, let’s get ready to roll.’ We have both gotten snaps before, so we were not really nervous, and we just had good chemistry.”

On being a new starting center with a new starting quarterback…
“It is kind of hard at some points to hold back my emotions and hold back my nerves. I just have to settle down and look at how hard we have worked and how hard I have worked to get to the spot and the position that I am in. I just need to go out there and perform and do what the coaches have taught us every day. If I do that, then I know it will be a good game.”

On the mindset heading back to San Antonio…
“The mindset for all of us is that we are going back to the Alamodome where we played UCLA and we just need to go out there and get on them early. We need to do what we have been doing in practice, get on top of them and take everything wrong that we did in the South Dakota game and do it right this time. We are human, so we know we are going to make mistakes, but we just need to make the small mistakes.”

Sophomore Kicker Matthew McCrane
On short field goals…
“I am never really happy with short field goals, and I think that is one thing that makes me more nervous than anything. I know if I miss a short field goal, then I will probably get ripped on the sidelines for that. On the other side of things, we need to score (touchdowns) in the red zone and that is something that we struggled with last year. I had a lot of short field goals last year and I think that is something we need to eliminate.”

On living up to successful freshman year…
“I would not want to say there is pressure, but it is more of wanting to prove people wrong. I am in a pressure situation enough as it is, so I try not to think about it. I want to prove to people that it was not a fluke year last season and I want to continue that this year.”

On increased ball height…
“We are working on ball height. I got the ball blocked at West Virginia and at TCU, so trying to sacrifice distance for ball height has been a big improvement from last season. I think it was evident this last Saturday.”

Sophomore Linebacker Elijah Lee
On shutting out South Dakota…
“It is a big accomplishment to shut out any team. We have to move on, though, because the season moves on and we have another opponent to prepare for.”

On what they worked on after the South Dakota game…
“We looked at how we need to be physical and how we can stop the run. When you can stop the run, then that means you stop them from getting those four- or five-yard gains. Those carries are what set them up with momentum to go down the field. So when you can stop that, then that is what takes away a lot of the game.”

On the identity of the defense…
“As of right now, everyone knows we are young. We want to prove to everybody that just because we are young, we do not have to count ourselves out."