K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference


Head Coach Bill Snyder

On West Virginia’s offense…
“The speed of the game will be up-tempo from what we have seen up until this point in time. I think the speed of the personnel that they put on the field will be enhanced from what we have seen in the previous games. They are a team that likes to cast the ball downfield, and they will certainly do that, but they have a good blend of run and pass, which makes it a little bit more difficult from a defensive standpoint. Their quarterback has experience now. Last year, he was somewhat inexperienced and he is an improved quarterback. He has the ability to operate their offense, make good decisions and throws the ball better than he was last year. He is always a threat to run the ball, and they have some running backs and probably five wide receivers that all have good hands, skill and can run quite well. Their number one and two running backs are both good players. They are a little different in style, but not completely. They have good speed and bring some thrust to the game in that they run hard. They have a pretty composite package. They can throw it deep, throw it short, throw it in the middle, run it on the edge, run it inside and the quarterback can run it.”

On replicating West Virginia’s tempo in practice…
“We worked against it diligently and constantly, but it is always a concern because you have not experienced it on game day yet. There are other schools in our conference that are even faster, so we know that is on the landscape right now. We expect to see it virtually every week and it is always a concern. We have experienced it over the years and normally we have been pretty decent about getting lined up and getting our calls in, but we do work at it.”

On being aggressive against up-tempo offenses…
“That is the thing that you really have to guard against and you work diligently on. If it is just a matter of lining up and playing, you do not even need calls for that, you just line up and go. What we do not want it to do is disrupt the continuity of the game for us. In other words, it is about whatever you want to get on the board, or on the table, or on the field. Let us work diligently to be able to do that and not be disrupted by the tempo and not let that take away half of your defense. We work pretty hard trying to do that and it has not caused us to back away from any game plan we may have done.”

On making a statement to start Big 12 play…
“I do not know about a statement. It is just about playing the game as well as you possibly can and trying to get better. You are trying to win a ballgame. If you do, it says you won and that is about it. On Monday, we are going to talk about whether we got better or not and where we did not get better, what the mistakes we made were and how do we improve on them.”

On K-State’s defense ranking first in the nation…
“The message never changes for the most part. They can all read, so they get the picture. But they also understand that we are going to face a plethora of offenses right now that are very impactful. West Virginia has a very good offense. I think they are fourth or fifth in the conference and that is at 500 yards per game. There are an awful lot of great offenses coming up. The test is still on the table.”

Junior Linebacker Elijah Lee
On how he found out K-State’s defense ranked first in the nation…
“I was scrolling through Twitter last night and that is when I found out by reading people’s tweets. I feel like we are playing at a high level, but at the same time, we could play a lot better. I am excited to see what we can do and see if we will end up at the top.”

On West Virginia quarterback Skylar Howard…
“Going into it, we are just focused on our game and do the things that we have been doing well; disrupting the quarterback, creating turnovers and flying to the ball. I think if we do that, we will be able to throw him off a little bit.”

Sophomore Defensive Back Kendall Adams
On defending against the spread offense…
“I think we are ready for it. We have experience and we are a lot more aggressive this year than we were last year. Coach preaches every day how much talent we have in our DB room, and we believe a lot more in ourselves and we go out there and make plays.”

On facing an up-tempo offense…
“We will deal more with the passing than we did the first three games, but we are ready for that. We know that is how our conference plays, so it is not anything that will surprise us. We have focused on a tempo offense practice before this week, so we should be ready.”

Sophomore Tight End Dayton Valentine
On the non-conference games…
“I thought overall we did pretty well. That first loss to Stanford wasn’t ideal, but we learned a lot from it. Coming off of that game, I feel like we were able to take our mistakes and build on them, and that showed in the second and third game. That is one thing that I am excited about. I feel like we have gotten better every single week and we continue to build, so hopefully we can continue that into conference play.”

On conference play…
“Our mindset now is that we have to go, it is go time and everything matters here. Now we are actually playing for a championship; that is what we are getting into now that conference play is starting.”

On quarterback Jesse Ertz
“Everybody on offense has a ton of confidence in Jesse. We know that he is the go-to guy whether it is escaping the pocket or making a pass. It has been fun to watch his continual development from the first game to the third game.”

Redshirt Freshman Running Back Alex Barnes

On the starting running back battle…
“It has been what it’s been. Whoever goes in plays as well as they can and tries to get the job done for a victory for the Wildcats. If I do get in, I am going to do the best that I can to potentially earn a role in the rotation.”

On the West Virginia defense…
“They run the 3-3-5, so it is a look that we are not used to seeing all the time, but it is very effective and gets the job done for what they want to do. A lot of confusing looks, so we are going to have to get ready for that.”

On third-down conversions…
“It is crucial (to carry the ball and get the first down). It is the difference between having a first down and getting your offense the ball again, and having to punt the ball and have your defense try to make a play. Being able to convert on third down is critical.”