K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference



Head Coach Bill Snyder
On close games with Iowa State…
“In some cases, we have been fortunate. In all cases, we have been fortunate to have a lot of good young guys who do not give in and understand that it is a 60-minute ballgame. Iowa State has always been a really good football team. They have played well against virtually everyone that they line up and play against.”

On early success and late struggles against Texas…
“They hung on, that is the best way we can put it. Once again, no one gave in or let up in an emotional way. I think that part was still there. It just boils down to execution and doing things right. We gave up a long touchdown pass that we should not have, but if we do what we are supposed to do, that does not happen. We had three turnovers in the second half. In the first half of the ballgame, we had five possessions and in four of them, we had 10 or more snaps; so, lengthy drives. In the second half, offensively we had four possessions, which we had a fumble, interception, fumble and a three-and-out. If we don’t beat ourselves, it really is not as close of a ballgame.”

On Byron Pringle’s development over the season…
“I think he has learned at some point in time during the season that it is about more than just being able to line up, run fast and catch the football. There are a lot of nuances to his position, like there is at any position. When he finally realized that, he became invested in those things, and that has allowed him to improve his performance level.”

On the in-season development of the offensive line…
“I think the biggest thing is that they have invested in themselves. They are here all the time, working extremely hard and trying diligently to try and improve upon their capabilities and correct the mistakes they make. It is not rocket science, it is just normal progression for you, me or anybody else in whatever we do. If we eliminate the mistakes, correct them and improve on what we do, we will probably perform better. I think that is the reality of what has taken place. (Abdul) Beecham has done a nice job since he has jumped in. But as I said before, moving Dalton (Risner) was not a stroke of genius. I have said that we want to put the best five players on the field, where Reid Najvar was among the five as we initiated the season, and consequently, we couldn’t play with two centers.”

On the play of Elijah Lee…
“I think he is playing well. I attribute it to his experience on the practice field and on the game field. He is mentally into it, and consequently because of his experience, he is able to process the information and make decisions quicker than he did a year ago. I think the more he has gained the experience, it has allowed him to have a comfort level on the field. Sometimes, when you are trying to do that, you are within yourself. Now, he is able to expand his leadership capabilities, and have a positive influence on others.”

On if success has translated into confidence in the running game…
“It depends on what you are referring to as success. We ran the ball well in the first half of the ballgame and a few snaps in the second half. We were more dominant in the running game in the first half of the ballgame. The confidence is developed through doing it consistently throughout, and we are still in the process of being able to do that. I think that during the initial course of the ballgame, it is a positive thing to put the clock on our side. It doesn’t happen without your offensive linemen, and they have to make positive things happen, which they did. I think anyone who plays well enhances their level of confidence. I tend to believe that you know exactly what you are capable of, if you invest yourself in hard work and execution, you have every right to be confident in your capabilities.”

On the offensive line’s development under Charlie Dickey…
“First, as I have had said so many times, all of our offensive linemen play multiple positions. That is just the nature of where we are, and we have to do that in order to have the kind of depth that we need. What Coach Dickey does is he just does a great job of coaching young guys. He teaches basics and is firm about it fundamentally. Our guys just get better and better because he teaches well and is demanding, and he makes him work hard. When I say work hard, that is his expectation and they want to live up to that expectation.”

Sophomore Tight End Dayton Valentine
On playing a complete game…
“It is one of the big things, to always come out strong. That is going to be key for us this week going to a tough place to play in Iowa State. Last week, coming out strong was really good for our team and then we were a little disappointed to come out the second half and not start the same way. That is one of the things we are focusing on this week in practice – to start the second half of practice like the second half of a game. It is always big to get a win over a Big 12 opponent, and Texas is a solid team in the Big 12, so to get a win like that in front of our home fans is huge to start the second half of our season.”

On the size of Iowa State…
“As a kid from a 4A school in Kansas, you have not seen linebackers that can run sideline to sideline like their guys can, so it is definitely a bit of a change. I think it is fun to go out there and play against great athletes like that every week.”

On the toughness of Iowa State…
“Watching film, those guys lay it all on the line. They are tough and they give it everything that they have. I think that is something that our program kind of takes pride in as well. It is definitely going to be a battle come this Saturday.”

Senior Quarterback Joe Hubener
On motivation to run against Iowa State…
“It is a huge motivation. Just based off last week’s performance, that shows what the offensive line is capable of doing. If they can get some blocks up front, we have some guys that can carry the ball and get some yardage out of it. Those guys love run blocking, so I am sure that is huge motivation for them this week.”

On the offensive line…
“They have done really well. Obviously, they are a young group of guys and they have all really stepped up and shown what they are capable of. All of those guys are hard workers. You can see it in practice; that they are willing to put in the work to be effective.”

On preparing as the backup quarterback…
“Of course that is a tough situation and you have got to just prepare for it. You have to be ready to go with the mindset in practice. You have to practice like you are the guy whether you are or not.”

Redshirt Freshman Running Back Alex Barnes
On the opportunity of getting the first road win…
“Every week our goal is to get a win. Getting a road win at Iowa State will be tough. It is pretty hostile up there, from what I am told, so it would be big for us.”

On the rushing attack against Iowa State…
“It will be really big, just controlling the clock and keeping our defense off the field by managing the game would be really huge for us. We have four running backs that can get the job done and the offensive line is balling out right now.”

On multiple running backs in offense…
“We stay warm and stretch on the sideline. We are still in the game, getting the play calls, looking at signals and keeping up with what we are doing with the game plan, so it is not a really big deal for us.”

Freshman Defensive End Kyle Ball
On his first game…
“It was a lot of fun, especially for my first game against Texas. That was my first play going in and getting that sack; it was all a blur and after that I kind of calmed down. That first play, it was just loud because it was 3rd-and-long, it was just a blur. As soon as I saw the snap, I just shot off the ball and got in the backfield and got the sack. It was awesome.”

On getting the chance to play…
“Since I greyshirted (last year), it has been like a whole year, the whole process of the offseason, going through the summer stuff and the winter stuff, so I have not had an actual season until now. It was a long wait and it finally paid off.”

On preparation for this season…
“I came here last spring, so we did all of the offseason workouts and all of the summer workouts again, and I was just kind of pushing myself. I put on a lot of weight, I put on like 20 pounds since the first time I got here and just worked really hard to try and get stronger and get ready for the season.”