K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference


Head Coach Bill Snyder
On addressing the penalty issues from previous games…
“Those are things that have to take place in the course of a ballgame and in the course of practice. It is a discipline element, and that requires accountability and coaches are responsible for implementing the accountability. It is not after the fact on game day, it is during the course of the week. We have to do a better job of holding players accountable when those things take place in the course of a practice week. There is an approach to scrutinizing that more closely.”

On Winston Dimel’s presence near the goal line…
“It is kind of the nature of our offense to have a fullback guy and we have had somebody who has always fit that category for the most part. Winston does a nice job and is good in a lot of aspects of the game. He can run because he has some girth to him, he can run aggressively. He does some other things as well. He can block and is good in the passing game. All of those things are important. When we get down there, it is not just automatic that he is going to get the ball. We have a lot of guys, as you have seen, that are good goal-line runners as well. Sometimes is not a matter of knocking people back as it is finding the right seams and to put the ball in the right place. Winston has the ability to do that too.”

On the defense being an improved unit form last year…
“I do not look at the statistics, only when the season is over, but just based on the assessment and evaluation of where we are right now, I would say, yes, we are an improved defensive football team from last year. I think that would speak very negatively of us as coaches if we were not considering the fact that we have a good deal of experience coming back as well. As I have said so many times, experience is a major factor whether it is good experience or not and some of it last year was not. Being on the field and experiencing certain things, understanding how to deal with those things that you experience on the field and know what to go back next week and prepare for and improve upon. I think our guys have done that and I think we are reacting quicker. I have said that in here a number of times that the experience gives you the ability to process information faster and consequently react faster and consequently play faster.”

On Jesse Ertz’s comfort level in the passing game…
“He is still a work in progress and is still learning. Once again, getting adapted to certain things when you have not been on the field for an extended period of time can be abnormal and a little different from what you see in practice, just different exposures. He is gaining more and more in the way of exposure, and as he does so, he gains greater confidence and execution, and decision making becomes better. It is the nature of the game.”

On the key to Dominque Heath’s improvement …
“I think he does a pretty good job of leadership within the (wide receiver) group because he has a little experience, at least as it relates to practice and some game experience outside of (Deante Burton). He has been beneficial in that respect. He brings some diversity in the fact that he does not always have to line inside, he can line outside as well. So he can play across the board because of his experience. He has some good quickness to him and is not afraid to lay out and make catches. He can make some of the hard catches that we have seen him make.”

Senior Defensive End Jordan Willis

On the defensive performance Saturday against FAU…
“Any time you can hold a team to seven points or zero points and your offense puts a lot of points on the board it is a good thing.”

On depth of defensive line…
“It brings more comfort to the coaches because they know if somebody gets injured or something like that, they have another guy that is ready to go in.”

On forcing turnovers…
“Coach Snyder has told us that we need to force more turnovers. Obviously we are getting interceptions as well, so we did a good job last weekend, whether it was fumbles or interceptions.”

On penalties…
“The biggest thing is just discipline. Last year we had three or four offside penalties on the defensive line. Besides that you would have to go back eight or nine years to find an offside penalty. The biggest thing is discipline; in practice you have to practice watching the ball. From my vantage point, I have to watch the ball so I do not jump offside. We have not had an offside penalty yet this year, so we have to continue to be disciplined in practice.”

Junior Linebacker Elijah Lee
On this year’s defense compared to last year…
“You can tell by the guys walking around and the confidence we have going on to the field. We come out of the locker room with all of the confidence too.”

On the message from coaches after a lot of penalties…
“That is not who we are. We have to start focusing and doing the little things right because having those type of penalties in league play will kill us.”

On the importance of finishing non-conference strong…
“It is very important. We still have little things to iron out before we get in to league play, and that is something we are going to take day-by-day this week. We have to keep creating turnovers and play hard and physical.”

Sophomore Tight End Dayton Valentine
On catching his first-career pass at Stanford…
“It just feels good to be able to be incorporated in all aspects of the offense, whether it be blocking or in the receiving game. It felt good just being able to snag a catch in the game.”

On the use of tight end in the offense…
“I think one of the strengths of our offense is the fact that we can be balanced and be able to throw and run. I feel like if I can be a reliable option, then it can take some of the pressure off of the guys on the outside. I think it could definitely create some balance and help out the whole offense.”

On quarterback Jesse Ertz…
“All of us have a ton of confidence in Jesse. You have seen him be able to escape some situations. He is pretty slippery in the pocket. It definitely makes it easier when you know you have a guy back there that can run as well.”

Redshirt Freshman Defensive End Reggie Walker
On his forced fumble against Florida Atlantic…
“That was pretty exciting. It was my first sack of the season, so I have got to be excited for that.”

On settling in quickly with the defense…
“There really were not too many nerves, even in the first game I really was not that nervous. I just feel like I have been doing this for a while, so I have just have to go out there and prove that I can do it.”

On the confidence of the defense…
“We are growing. The confidence is pretty good because we know that we can make those plays and that we have to continue to make those plays.”

Redshirt Freshman Running Back Alex Barnes
On the success in his first game running the ball…
“I really enjoyed it. All of us have been working really hard to do what we do on Saturday, so we hope to replicate that in the future.”

On the competition at running back…
“It is pretty intense. All four of us are trying to get on the field, but it is a brotherhood. We are all out there each and every day suffering through practice, but we enjoy it and we make each other better.”

On sharing playing time at running back…
“It does not change much at all, we are all rooting for each other. We are all friends in the locker room. We have lockers right next to each other, so it is not a competition that gets in the way of our friendship or our lives outside of football. We enjoy each other’s company and we have a lot of fun.”