K-State Holds Weekly Press Conference

Head Coach Bill Snyder
On the importance of the K-State offense scoring early against TCU…

“I think it goes without saying – it is vital for us to not only score early but throughout the course of the ball game. I think early is important. If you fall behind with a team like that, it is pretty difficult to get back on the table, and that is what happens to a lot of teams – they fall behind by not scoring early, as you indicate. Then the spread becomes somewhat significant and you get out of your game and have to go to something to catch back up, and that creates some problems for you. I think the short answer is it is important.”

On how crucial it is to keep TCU in check…
“Well, again, everybody would answer the question the same way. It is vital for us – not only in the fourth quarter – but throughout the course of the ball game. We have to play better defensively, we have to be able to defend against the pass better and we have to go up and make some plays on deep thrown balls. They have a wealth of talent coming back. They are experienced on offense. I think they have eight or nine starters coming back, and obviously, (Trevone) Boykin and the receivers. I do not know whether (Kolby) Listenbee will go or not, but they have a wealth of guys who can run. They will get up and compete for the ball, and you cannot overlook the fact that they run the ball extremely well because they have good balance in their offense. They ran for 336 (yards) against us last year, so we have to be able to defend both. It is just what you have to do.”

On how he will spend his birthday on Wednesday…
“It will be like every Wednesday for the past 26 years. They are all the same. I will not do anything, and I never really have except when I was a little toot; my mother made me blow out the candles on the cake.”

On comparing TCU from this year to last year…
“Well, you know, I think they are better on both sides of the ball. They are young defensively – that is the impression that one would get. But, the same guys are playing week-in and week-out and you see them get better. Not trying to do immense amount of things of what they do, not totally basic, but nevertheless, what they do frequently. So, the younger guys have gotten better at it. They have three seniors, three juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen on their starting defense, so they are not an experienced team like their offense where they have eight or nine returning starters. They have eight seniors, a senior leading the offensive line and returning quarterback. So, you know you would like to think that there is some youth there that would benefit you, but the numbers brought out are pretty significant up to this point in time. I do not think they have really skipped a beat. Like I said, in all reality, they look better on tape to me.”

On thoughts of pulling redshirts this season…
“Well, we have worked a number of young guys that are freshmen – first year freshmen – into our team periods. So, consequently, we have prepared guys if indeed we were to have some of the issues that we are having right now. It is certainly a possibility. We have a number of guys on both sides of the ball prepared if we have to.”

On experiencing a fifth- or sixth-string quarterback situation…
“I cannot say that I have. I do not know if it has happened any place, but we have certainly set the standard for it, have we not?”

On what Kody Cook could do at quarterback being a primary position…
“I have not really thought about it that way. I can only tell you what I have said before: I thought he prepared well, I thought he played extremely well, I liked his poise and nothing seemed to get to him. I do not think he was nervous by it. He would probably tell you that he was. I thought he was quite poised in the ball game and had a very fine command of what the offense does. I had not thought about if he had been there. If he would have been there all of that time, then we would have been short changed – which we are now – from the receiver point. I guess we have to play him both ways – divide him in half.”

Junior Quarterback Joe Hubener
On watching a majority of the Oklahoma State game from the sideline…
“It was tough sitting out, being on the sideline and knowing I was not contributing, but getting back in there was not a challenge. That was just the next-guy-up mentality and knowing you have to lead the offense and get a score.”

On the quarterback position…
“It has really been a wild rollercoaster ride for the quarterback position. It is really a testament to the guys that we have because Kody (Cook) is as good of an athlete as anybody. He was able to step in and fill those shoes.”

On facing the No. 2 team in the nation…
“You want to get into these types of games because you want to prove yourself. You cannot prove yourself playing against the 122nd ranked team, you need these opportunities against quality programs where you can come out and shock the world. If we come in and get an upset on Saturday, then that is huge and it really says something about this team. We want these type of opportunities.

On the team’s mindset going into the TCU game…
“Obviously going against No. 2 TCU is a huge challenge to be looking toward, and we want to show up to play. They are the No. 2 team in the nation and there is a reason they are No. 2. They are going to show up to play, so we need to show up and play our game.”

Junior Offensive Lineman Terrale Johnson
On Kody Cook coming in as quarterback…
“People heard Kody Cook was coming into the position and probably wondered if he can even throw the ball. I know everyone was watching it and thinking it was crazy that this receiver was throwing the ball. I knew what he could do and after the reps that he was taking, it was not a surprise to us that he was going to go out there and shine like that. He is an athlete and he competes hard.”

On playing with Kody Cook as quarterback…
“I am pretty sure Kody came here as a quarterback to start out with. When the situation really came, we were thinking to ourselves, ‘Oh, Kody is really playing quarterback.’ You have to get in the huddle like nothing was wrong just like he was supposed to and he led us down the field. Kody did a great job and he is an athlete, so I was expecting it to happen like that.”

On his mindset going into the TCU game…
“I am excited. This is my first time being in a situation like this, knowing that we have a great team coming here and that we get to play in our stadium. Everyone heard about the loss we took, so we have that weighing on our shoulders, but we have this great opportunity in front of us. I am excited and ready to get this week going and get ready for game day to make our fans happy.

Sophomore Linebacker Elijah Lee
On Saturday’s loss…
“It is a bitter taste, but you know the season goes on and you have to prepare for another team. At the end of the season, that is a game you can look back on, but right now we just have to keep the wheels going.”

On TCU’s offense…
“They are a team that can go fast, and if you are not paying attention, they will go deep on you no matter what the time is. So you always have to be ready for that deep ball.”

On how to prepare to play TCU…
“We just have to prepare well this week, and they are coming into our home stadium. We always have that advantage. Maybe the home field advantage will knock off some of those big-time plays because they will not be able to communicate as well and they will not be on the same page at times.”

Junior Linebacker Will Davis
On how the defense is preparing for TCU…
“Yesterday we watched a lot of film on them and saw what kind of talent they have around the ball. We had a good practice yesterday defensively, so we had a good start to the week and things are looking good. It is just a matter of getting better and looking to improve.”

On playing a top-five team at home…
“It is exciting. It gives us a great opportunity to do something special here. I think that builds a lot of excitement with the guys.”

On what the biggest challenge is playing against TCU...
“It makes it hard to defend. They have been putting points up all year against everyone. Every player on their offense is explosive, and that presents problems for us, but we are excited to get going.”