K-State Holds Weekly Press Conference


Head Coach Bill Snyder
On the team’s mental focus after last week’s win…
“We have had one day of work, yesterday, and the mood seemed to be relatively business like. I thought our execution of what we did was improved for a Monday. It was not an overly-spirited practice, but I would trade that in for good execution. They all seem into it. I visited with the captains and the player representatives, and they felt like everyone was on board and moving in the right direction.”

On the injuries in the secondary…
“There are a number of different positions where we have that ongoing issue. Whether it is not being able to go and someone else having to come in and play, or not being able to practice and ending up missing a good part of the week of practice before they get on the field, all of those things have created uncertainties for us. I think the young guys that you are referring to in the back end of our defense have stepped up and played well, certainty not without the need for improvement and better execution and better understanding of defense and all of that. Overall, I was not disheartened by any of their performances.”

On playing an in-state rival…
“I would never play down the rivalry, because as I have said so many times it is so significant in the lives of so many people. With the fan base in the state of Kansas, players that so many are from the state of Kansas, it is something that has evolved from their birth and I appreciate that. Still, it is very important to me that we take everything in context and we prepare ourselves. I do not want any game to be the most significant game on your schedule until you play it. Then when you play it, it becomes the most important game on you schedule. Going into this ball game, the University of Kansas is the most important ball game that we have on our schedule. For our players, they are motivated by the in-state rivalry and the opportunity to play the University of Kansas. I think we all feel that way.”

On Morgan Burns’ conditioning playing a part in being able to play cornerback and return kicks…
“I think two things, and I asked him again last week. He had been on the field so much and came right back. He is a trooper. He tells us that he is fine and ready to go. I cannot speak for other schools, but I think we condition significantly, maybe more than some. I think he takes good care of himself and keeps himself well conditioned. In practice, he does not back off; he runs well. You know when you are looking at 120-yard run, or whatever it takes to wiggle through there, most players do not have to run that extensively for that amount of time. I think most of our other players are well conditioned for the positions that they play and the size that they have.”

Senior Wide Receiver Kody Cook
On playing KU…
“I think there is a big emphasis on it because it is your rival. We are playing KU. That is what we look at it as. Other than that, it is just another game.”

On the approach to KU game…
“We have to go in and be prepared. We cannot take them lightly or take them for granted. They are a good football team. They have been getting better and better, and they just played closely with TCU a week or two ago. We will be ready for them; we cannot overlook them.”

On moving forward from losing streak following the Iowa State win…
“I think it helps to move forward; it is a building block for us. As for week-to-week preparation, we like to look at every week the same, have that 1-0 attitude that coach talks about. That is the same attitude we bring every week that we hope to go 1-0, continue to build on it and hopefully have the opportunity to be in a bowl game.”

Junior Fullback Glenn Gronkowski
On importance of playing KU…
“A lot of these kids played against each other or went to high school together. So to the majority of our team that is from Kansas, it definitely means a lot to them.”

On Coach Snyder’s approach to KU…
“Nothing is different to be honest. It is just another game. All we want to do is go out there and win just like any other week, so it is not much different.”

Senior Defensive Back Morgan Burns
On importance of beating KU…
“Obviously it is a huge game to our program, specifically to a lot of Kansas players. Personally, I grew up in Kansas; I used to live in Lawrence for a few years. I think a lot goes into this game. There is a lot of emotion that goes into this game. Obviously it is a rivalry. I think we will take a lot of pride in this game not just to beat KU but for the rest of our season, too, to have a chance at possibly going to a bowl game. KU, their record may not say a lot about their team, I think they are a tough team. I think they have had some good games even though they came out on the bottom end of them. They are going to be passionate, have a lot of energy, and they are going to come in expecting to beat us. We have to have a good week of preparation and not take the game lightly.”

On rivalry emphasis despite records of both teams…
“It is always fun to play KU every year no matter what our records are. It is always a high-energy game. Both teams take it extremely serious. I do not think it will be hard just because the nature and the history of us playing KU.”

On having Governors Cup in the locker room…
“Since I have been here that trophy has always been in our locker room. That gives me extra motivation to want to continue that streak. Every day I see it, I want to have a good day of preparation in light of that game and to keep the trophy in our locker room. So it definitely serves as motivation.”

Junior Linebacker Will Davis
On Morgan Burns…
“Morgan is a special player, he makes things happen. Obviously you see that through special teams, but he is always in the right spot, doing the right thing on and off the field. He is one of those guys, the typical K-State football player. He is going to do things the right way, work hard in the film room and on the practice field. He is a leader on the team; a lot of guys look up to him. I look up to him. He is a great person and a great player.”

On younger players stepping up…
“It has been huge. I have said it in weeks past when your name is called, you have to be ready to step up and play. Kendal (Adams) has filled that role, and that has been beneficial for our defense. The process he has gone through, he has grown up. He has been here for two years. This is his second season, last year he redshirted and he has matured so much just like most people do. He is one of those kids that gets his mind right every day before practice, every day before meetings. You can tell he is trying to get better.”

On being young and playing explosive Big 12 offenses...
“It can be tough on a young guy. There is a lot of pressure whether it is you putting it on yourself or you feel it from the outside. You have to realize when you are young that you are here for a reason. They saw something in you, you have the potential, you have the ability, and you just have to trust yourself. You have to trust in what your coaches tell you, the film you watched and the practice you put in. I think for a lot of the young guys, they have done that. They have been able to trust themselves and their ability, and it has really helped us.”