K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference


Head Coach Bill Snyder

On Alex Barnes’ game against Baylor…
“There were a lot of things that had an impact in the second half of the ballgame. The capacity to be able to run the ball as effectively as we did goes without saying. It was a very positive thing in the course of the ballgame as it related to the outcome of the ballgame. Jesse (Ertz) also made plays in there that were also truly significant plays in the course of the ballgame. I like the way Alex competes. He runs hard and downhill well, and that is an element that we really want our running backs to be engaged in. He has certainly done that, not that the others have not. Saturday’s ballgame was not necessarily a different path for him as you watch him through the course of the season; you see the capacity to do what he did the other day, the ability to run hard consequently and effectively. He also blocked well too with some major hits as a lead blocker. They are all interchangeable and who will start will kind of depend on what we do.”

On this senior class playing last home game…
“I cannot make a comparison with other classes for two reasons – one is that I have not thought about it that way, and two, I would not anyway because they are all special. You have to have a great deal of respect for young guys in this particular day and age who are willing to stick with something. For all of them, it has not been the greatest journey in the world. Some of them have gone through more difficult time than others and still manage to never give up and persevere through all of it. They gained a great deal in terms of their value system and it obviously gives them a chance to be successful in life, and I am quite confident that they will. Yes, they have been very meaningful to the program and to the university. When you look through it, you do not see guys that have gotten in trouble or guys that have not done well in the classroom. You see guys who have done what they needed to do and have been great teammates to the rest of the team.”

On secondary taking a step forward...
“I thought that it was a joint venture. They certainly made some improvement. We gave up three touchdown passes in the ballgame, so I was not too pleased about that. Overall, collectively in the passing game aside from that, I thought we did reasonably well. We made improvement across the board there. We had some help up front as well that created some hurried throws and obviously created some sacks and pressures that were significant. As I said before, it was a team effort in the running game, it was certainly relative in the passing game. So it was 11 guys that helped make a difference.”

On blocking out distractions…
“When you think about how you try to prepare people in your program, we always talk about keeping it between the white lines and making every thought and every moment in every hour of every day focused on the task at hand. For them, that may be in the classroom or with their family. As it relates to football, it is that total investment in all that goes on. That is true for me and true for coaches as well. If we get caught off in distractions, then we are probably not going to be as good as we need to be on game day. It is important to practice what we preach, and that is the way I have always done it.”

On offensive linemen Scott Frantz and Reid Najvar…
“Our offensive line, collectively, has played well. They have improved week in and week out. The two that you mentioned have been a part of that. Reid has stepped in and taken that spot from Dalton (Risner) so we could move Risner to tackle. That was a lot of pressure on Reid being a first-time starter at a position as significant as center. He has played extremely well and had good leadership and guidance. He is a tough, young guy that is going to give you his best every single snap. Scott is one of those guys that has been in a new experience. He is focused on it and tries his best to be the best he can every single snap. He has been very steady through this point in the season.”

On D.J. Reed’s kickoff return…
“He has really done well in practice and fits in great with the kick return team. It was my feeling and Sean (Snyder)’s as well that he had earned that opportunity. It was a critical moment in the game. I would not have let Sean put him in there if it was not for having a great deal of confidence in what his capabilities are. I appreciate D.J. because of the way he approaches things. He is going to give you everything he has every single day and does it with a great attitude. He is a guy that gives his best effort on every single snap, even on the practice field. He is always trying to learn. Good, bad, or indifferent, D.J. is always trying to find a way to make it better, and I admire him for that.”

Senior Defensive Back Dante Barnett
On the Kansas offense…
“I think, like any team in the Big 12, they can create big plays. If you look at the games they have played, they have led the games multiple times. They’ve been in a lot of big games. They have the big-play capabilities. We just have to make sure that we do what we do to stop them.”

On what makes Bill Snyder such a great coach…
“I think how he molds the student-athletes on the field and off the field. He is not one of those coaches that just cares about what you do on the field; he also cares about your well-being off the field as well.”

On his legacy and how he’d like to be remembered…
“As a great player and student-athlete here in Manhattan, Kansas, for this university and program.”

Senior Wide Receiver Deante Burton
On remembering watching the first game against KU…
“It was a long time ago. I remember hearing about the rivalry as a kid. Just seeing that while I was growing up and getting into football, you can see the rivalry grow from there.”

On his greatest memories from his time at K-State…
“Just the people. I have been blessed to be around a lot of interesting people. I got an opportunity to be around all of you. You have seen me grow up. I have been around a lot of good people and that is something that I will not forget – so many things that you learn and so many faces after being here for so long.”

On what makes Bill Snyder such a great coach…
“He has seen a lot. There are not many things he has not seen and has not been a part of. You do not slip anything past him. He is like a grandpa who knows everything. Picking up his wisdom and life lessons from him is something that a lot of guys will never forget. That is something that sticks with us.”
 
Junior Quarterback Jesse Ertz
On the in-state rivalry against Kansas…
“I think that just having a lot of guys from Kansas on the team, we want to play for them. They already have friends on their team or family that go to KU and stuff like that, so everybody is going to be playing their hardest, that is for sure.”

On what makes Bill Snyder such a great coach…
“Just probably consistency. Everybody knows what we have to do every day and there are not a whole lot of days where you just show up and (mess around). It is the same thing every day – we come to work. I just think that kind of adds up and turns into wins.”   
 
On what it would mean to help Coach Snyder win his 200th game…
“It would be pretty cool for us, especially these guys from Kansas that have grown up watching him. To be a part of that would be pretty cool and a big accomplishment.”
 
On the key to their recent running game success…
“The offensive line has been great, so that would be the first obvious point; they keep getting better. We have a lot of different guys that can run the ball, and we just have a pretty dynamic running offense with a lot of different things we can do. If you come in and load the box, we will throw short games and quick stuff and make you make tackles.”

On Reid Najvar’s success at center…
“I have been really happy for him because the guy works hard. He has been around for a while and he went through some injury things as well. For him to finally be on the stage and playing well, that is awesome.”

Senior Offensive Lineman Terrale Johnson
On what it would mean to him to be a part of Coach Snyder’s 200th win…
“It would feel good. That is a big thing for him and for me to be able to see that I was a part of a program. We are trying to do something special here, so if we get that win, it would be special not only for us but I think the fans would love it, too.”

On his early struggles at K-State…
“My redshirt year, I was not in the season form yet. I was in developmental and just struggling, and Coach Dickey told me that I had to pick it up. I told myself that I won’t quit and get it together. After that, I kept pushing to get better and better. After my first winter, I stepped up and showed people that I can help out and that people can trust me.”
 
Junior linebacker Elijah Lee
On the Sunflower Showdown…
“It is exciting. You do not get that many opportunities to play a big rivalry game like this. For something that has been going on for so long, you just want to keep the tradition going on.”

On the mentality after the win against Baylor…
“We are on to the next week, and we want to get a win this week. That is what we are focused on, and that is what we are going to prepare for and get ready to do. ”

On wanting more wins…
“Yeah, we want to finish like we did last year. That is something we are really fighting for and that is something we are striving for.”

On this weekend’s matchup…
“It (Kansas’s win against Texas) makes the game a lot more exciting. They are not down, they are on a winning streak now, and that is something you want to be ready for. Those guys are going to be fired up, just like us.”
 
Junior Offensive Lineman Reid Najvar
On stepping in for Dalton Risner this season…
“It was not too much pressure at first because a lot of the guys depend on me and know I am there to fit the job and do what I am supposed to do. They are there to support me and that helped a lot. The coaches believed in me, so it kind of eased the pressure off me, and so far I am doing good with it, I believe.”

On how Dalton Risner has helped him with the position…
“He is there, especially early in camp, to give me information on blocking assignments and things that I am a little rusty on. I know it now, but he was there to help me with it all the way.”

On the key to the offensive line’s recent success…
“I think it is just the repetition of perfecting our technique and watching film, as Coach says. He always tells us to watch film and plenty of it. We do that and we focus on the little things and that help us come out to be winners.”

Sophomore Wide Receiver Byron Pringle
On the growth of the offense…
“We have just been working every day, trying to get better – working on better execution, working on understanding the play book and being able to connect as one.”

On KU and playing them for his first time…
“They are a sound football team, so we just have to come out and execute. Kansas is a team that is not going to give up. They are going to compete all four quarters. This is my first time. I used to always hear about it when I was playing at Butler (Community College). I know this is a big thing here in Kansas, so it is very exciting.”