K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference


Head Coach Bill Snyder

On running back Alex Barnes
“He really is playing well. I like the way he plays. I like the way he practices. I think he has a bright future ahead of him. You know, he has very good size. He has some strength to him in regards to explosiveness and yet, at the same time, he has good vision and he can redirect himself and change direction better than you would think someone of that size would. He is still learning, he is still finding his way, but he has made a lot of progress and I think he will be a fine player.”

On the performance of the safeties in terms of defending both the run and pass…
“I will not designate the schemes, but you know in some of the offensive schemes, sometimes we get caught off inside a little bit which can end up creating some problems. But, more often than not, they have done a pretty decent job of doing what they have been asked to do and to identify it. But by the same token, when you are put in the position to have to make that decision and to have to play both effectively, that is not an easy task by any stretch.”

On spreading out playing time due to depth at multiple positions…
“I am not into making everybody happy. I want everybody to do as well as they can, and it just boils down to somebody has to be the number one. In all fairness, that is the whole element of it, whoever is playing the best, that is the individual who becomes number one. Now, you would like to see as many as you can get opportunities to play but not to the point where it impacts the outcome of the ballgame. As it relates to your question, it is not just the matter of depth, it is the matter of the quality in several positions. At the quarterback position, I think Jesse (Ertz) has clearly defined himself right now and therefore is going to get the starts and the vast majority of the playing time if it remains that way. The wide receiver position has defined itself a little bit as well, maybe not quite the depth that we had originally hoped for, and at the running back position there is some good quality there, too. That changes from week to week. One week someone does extremely well, then the next somebody else does extremely well, so that is probably the arena that you mentioned where the depth has some equity to it between all of the players.”

On spreading out the ball between running backs…
“We ran the ball well, primarily our backs did a nice job, but our offensive line again took another step forward and played well. We were running the ball well enough that they all had a hot hand, and so they all performed reasonably well and there was not a break down that says this running back had a better ball game than anyone else. I thought they all played well. Dalvin (Warmack) probably did not get as much as we would have liked, but the other three certainly did.”

On what the team will work on during the bye week…
“I addressed what I think is significant and is important for them in the coming week. You know, first and foremost, we pay detailed attention to the mistakes we have made and areas of improvement that are a necessity, and at the same time an assessment of Baylor. It is not about what has happened in previous ballgames, but it is what we need to do to perform at our very best when we do go down there in a week and a half.”

Redshirt Freshman Running Back Alex Barnes
On offensive line play…
“They were just blowing open holes for all of us. They were really good at identifying blitzes and things that Oklahoma State was trying to do. They were able to recognize that and open up the holes for us.”

On the learning process at running back…
“It really came quickly with game reps. You really have to learn and adapt on the move, and it has helped getting those reps like that.”

On how the running backs help each other…
“We just talk about what the other team is doing schematically to try to stop us, whether it is stunts, blitzes or player tendencies. Also, pre-snap alignment and what we think they are trying to do against us on a particular play.”

Sophomore Tight End Dayton Valentine
On the timing of this bye week…
“It is definitely bittersweet. After a tough loss, we want to get back out there and get a win. At the same time, we can use it and learn from mistakes. We can get better and we need to prepare for a tough game at Baylor. I think it will help us out. It is tough, because we came so close (against Oklahoma State). We still have some frustration built up, but we are using that as motivation. We want to come back and get another win. Now having two weeks to get another shot out there, it is definitely a little tough because you just want to get out there and play as soon as you can. We just need to keep preparing this week, so we can go out there and bounce back.”

On what Coach Snyder addressed to the team…
“Coach Snyder touched on the fact that we did a lot of good things, but at the same time there are things that we need to correct and work on. We need to just continue to build on all of those good things while using these two weeks to correct those things a put it all together so we can get a win.”

On what makes Alex Barnes successful…
“I think just the fact that he runs hard. Blocking for a guy, all you ask for him is to run hard. He really lowers his pads. If it is a play that some guy would get one yard, he would get three or four just from sticking his nose in there and really running hard. It is fun blocking for every single one.”

Freshman Defensive End Kyle Ball
On the upcoming bye week…
“It is kind of nice to have a week to just refocus, regather and let our bodies heal up a little bit before we take on Baylor. An extra week will be good because they are a great team. We are working to improve on the mistakes that we have been making and just working on making ourselves better.”

On traveling to Baylor…
“Not having won at Baylor for a while is huge motivation. I have never played there before, but I have heard the atmosphere is crazy, and it is just a cool place to play. I am looking forward to going there, playing for the first time and getting to experience the whole thing. They have a really intense atmosphere, and they have a great team, so it will be a tough battle to play there.”