K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference



Head Coach Bill Snyder
On the halfway point of the season…
“I think there are some areas we have made improvement. I think there are some areas where, perhaps every year, have been kind of up and down, inconsistent. Where are we in relation to the beginning of the year? If you asked me last week I probably would have said that we are ahead of where we were at the onset after this past week’s ballgame. I would say if you could take away six plays, that is still true but you cannot take them away, so obviously it is not. We were collectively not as good this past week as we have been in regards to the progress we had made previously. I thought we were going that way, but we took a hit.”

On the mentorship provided by older defensive linemen…
“I think there is some. I know Jordan (Willis), in his own way, his quiet way is a good mentor for the younger guys. I think Will Geary, to a certain extent, and I think Tanner (Wood) really is coming into his own and doing likewise. So the answer is yes, I think so.”

On the Texas defense…
“I think you have seen it come collectively during the course of the season. They are getting personnel sorted out. I think they have played an awful lot of young players early in the season and kind of sorted through that. What they will come to I think remains to be seen, but I think they will come to some closure on all of the guys that they want on the field, particularly on defense, and consequently they have begun to work together better. You see far fewer mistakes in the last ballgame or so than you did previously, particularly in the last ballgame. I think they are just getting settled in more than anything else and acclimated to playing with each other on the defensive side of the ball.”

On what Texas running back D’Onta Foreman brings to the table…
“When you watch him with his hands on the ball, he is a very powerful runner, stays on his feet extremely well, has excellent lower body strength but can bounce the ball out as well and has got speed to go along with it. He is a very talented, young back and what is impressive to me is he has been consistent about it throughout the season. Obviously you have to credit the offensive linemen as well for doing the kind of job they do and the balance in the offense between the run and the pass, which is the way they want it. They have been successful having a balanced approach. Normally you gain a great deal of those stats in a non-conference schedule and then it kind of feathers out a little bit in the conference schedule, but you look at it and he has been consistent all the way through. If you look at it, I think he averages 145 or 146 yards a ballgame during the conference season, and he averaged almost identical during the non-conference season. So there has been a great deal of consistency, and he is durable. They give it to him a ton of times and he still comes back for more.”

On improving the team’s offense…
“You have to go back and address what the issues were in the previous ballgame and any issues that may have had carry over from earlier in the season. I think, number one, we have to enhance our passing game. Number two, we have to be able to finish plays, which we have not done as consistently as we need to, and that means carrying out a play until the whistle blows or to play through the whistle. I think the capacity to remain and have some consistency in keeping our penalties extremely low. In the past, we were able to do that, but that was not the case this past week and earlier in the season where we went through a couple of ballgames where the discipline was of a positive nature and we eliminated the vast majority of the penalties. They popped up and got us again this last week, so it is a common nature of things.”

Senior Defensive End Jordan Willis
On Texas’ running game…
“It is a challenge. Obviously we have to play with good fundamentals, get off the football, spill the block that you are supposed to spill, whatever your responsibility is.”

On the series against Texas…
“Anytime you play against Texas, it is going to be a big game because of the history that the University brings. They are a good football team, so any time you can beat them, you obviously had to do a lot to achieve that.”

On the team’s progress since the first game…
“We have had our ups and downs. We have not had a road win yet. Right now, we are a team that is doing well and then not so well. It is just a matter of putting it all together. I know Coach Snyder has been speaking about this, so it is just a matter of starting the game and finishing the game and doing it all the way throughout.”

Sophomore Tight End Dayton Valentine
On the offense through the first six weeks…
“We have come a long way from the start of the season and definitely still have a ways to go. We have kind of had ups and downs throughout the whole thing, from being productive and efficient to having a few weeks where we have struggled. Overall, I think we are still growing. We still have a long way to go, but I still think we are coming along nicely. We are seeing a lot of guys develop really well, and I am excited for the second half of the season.”

On the positives within the offense…
“There are a lot of doubts coming in at the beginning of the season, such as having a young offensive line. Those guys have come a really long way. To see how productive we have been able to run the ball in a few games has been really exciting. As a tight end, being able to block, create holes, let guys get loose and being able to run the ball well has been fun to be a part of. Through the passing game, we have had ups and downs as well, but we have had a couple of games where we have been very efficient. Just continually being able to build on that, it has all been exciting to watch.”

Junior Linebacker Trent Tanking
On playing special teams…
“I love it because it is my way to contribute to the team. All those offensive guys and defensive guys, they do their thing to contribute and help us win. Anything that I can do, which has obviously been special teams during my tenure here, I just love getting on the field and contributing.”

On playing Texas…
“It will be intense. All of the games since I have been here have been close and intense. We are getting ready for a hardcore, pound your fist in the dirt type of football game.”

On Texas running back D’Onta Forman…
“On just the little bit of film that we have watched, he is an amazing running back. He is very physical and very fast. He hits the hole downhill hard and is very tough to tackle.”

Sophomore Offensive Lineman Abdul Beecham
On playing Texas…
“Texas week is a special week for me coming from Texas and growing up watching the Longhorns. It will be a great game. I am excited.”

On keeping the home winning streak against Texas…
“It would mean a lot to keep that streak alive. K-State is all about tradition and to keep that tradition going would mean a lot to not only me, but to my teammates and the school as well.”