K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference


Head Coach Bill Snyder

On K-State’s defensive improvement…
“Experience has a lot to do with it, and we have quite a few guys who have invested both years. Normally you would think of the people up front, and obviously we have returning people there, but the experience of the linebacker position to be able to get people situated in the right spot and to fit appropriately all go hand in hand. It is the experience as much as anything, and I think our young guys play hard. The more experience you have means the more disciplined you become in terms of assignment. I think we addressed this about some other positions before, but it is the ability to process information. You think about how fast the tempo teams go. There is limited time to get calls and get lined up and process the information. The greater experience you have, in other words more time on the job, the easier that becomes.”

On the passing offense…
“If we have the capacity to run the football, then we will do that. There are some other things as well but initially, it was Jesse’s (Ertz) experience. Even though we said he was a returning starter, he really was not. It took time on the job for him, and I think he has made that improvement during a period of time. Sometimes it is also the defense that does not match up and play well, so it is a combination of things. Choosing not to has probably kept the overall numbers down. I am a little bit more interested in terms of numbers and the efficiency of our passing game. Those numbers are not where they should be, so there is work to do.”

On Jesse Ertz playing with injuries…
“He is like Collin (Klein) and Jake (Waters), but it was a little more evident with Collin. Jesse is a tough young guy and does not look like he demonstrates that. It does not look like that, but he truly is, and I do not think there is a significant difference in the way they approached it. I think he is a competitive young guy and does what he has to do.”

On defensive end Jordan Willis…
“He plays so hard and is just one of those guys that you should not make a mistake with if you are on the other side of the ball. If you are slow getting your feet set or hands up, he has a good chance to win the battle.”

On interceptions…
“I am pleased we enhanced that but a lot of effort and work went into that. Every year you go through and see where your inefficiencies are and how consistent you have been and what you can do about it, then go to work on those things. The coaches did a nice job with that element of it. That is probably why we have been able to be more successful in the turnovers, as it relates to interceptions. It goes back to that element of time on the job. The longer you are out there collectively over a period of time with practice and games, you do learn to process that information quicker.”

On linebacker Charmeachealle Moore…
“I am so proud of Michael after all of the adversity that he and his family have gone through. He has handled everything appropriately and in the right way. He has gained the compassion of all his teammates and the people around him that know him well. He invests himself heavily in his team and with his teammates. I am very pleased with what he has done.”

On running back Alex Barnes…
“Alex is a little bit like Jordan (Willis). He is learning the value of extreme hard work and preparation, and that is one element. The other element is physical capabilities. He can be physical and stay on his feet and he has good low-body strength. I have seen all of those plays where he dives at the pylon, and that goes with the territory, but what impresses me is he gets hit again and again and stays on his feet and pushes the pile. He gets those extra two, three and four yards on snaps that a lot of guys will go down at that time. He makes a big difference.”

On the journey of the team throughout the season…
“It is about possessing the commitment to reach the highest capabilities that you have and improve toward that end as an individual, day in and day out. When you do that, then collectively you are going to make some progress. I think that whatever progress we have made in the last half of the season is a product of that. Players are getting invested and making that commitment to improve their capabilities and try to play at the highest-possible level that they can. I am pleased with it in that respect.”

On ending the season with three-straight wins for a second year in a row…
“The only significant thing for us right now is the preparation for this ballgame. Regardless of what the external possibilities are, that is not of any concern to us right now. I do not think this game is any different than a regular ballgame. I have said so many times that the one you are going to play is the most significant, and I think every coach feels that way. I think TCU can be as good as anybody, and I think we have the capabilities of being a good ball team but you just have to do it. The significant thing for us is being able to play a complete ballgame. The capabilities are there; it is just the ability to go out there and play well to do it.”

Redshirt Freshman Running Back Alex Barnes
On realizing he could play at this level…
“I have always felt that I have the ability. It is just having everything come together, bringing together practice reps and getting game reps too. It is just about getting more experience and being confident in myself to go out and perform.”

On who instilled the value of hard work in him…
“My grandfather and my mother. She was a single mom who raised me all by herself. My grandpa is a military veteran. He is a really hard-nosed guy, and he helped bring me up. He really showed me the ropes to life.”

Junior Linebacker Trent Tanking
On finishing the season...
“We were picked eighth in the conference and everything that we have accomplished so far was not expected from us. We could go from the team that was considered young and inexperienced to the team that can finish strong with eight wins in the regular season. I think having a 6-3 record in a conference would be a great accomplishment.”

On motivation for TCU game...
“We have not beat TCU in two years. Last year we got off to a great start but did not finish well. The year before we went there and got smacked. We are looking to go there and prove that this is a new team and that we will be able to compete and hopefully get a victory.”

On learning from last year’s TCU game...
“We are confident that we can play with anybody. We have shown that throughout the year. Last year provides a little bit of motivation coming into this game, but we are trying to focus on what we have to do this year to get the win.”