K-State Holds Weekly Press Conference


Head Coach Bill Snyder
On what makes him proud of Joe Hubener…
“Putting up with me probably, as much as anything (laughter). He goes through a pretty heavy critique on a very regular basis, and he has been able to manage that extremely well. I appreciate that, and I appreciate the fact that he works diligently to try to overcome whatever problems he has had in regards to execution or other aspect of the game. I have said so many times that Joe is a bright young guy, works extremely hard, is a really good decision maker and he has an awful lot on his plate for being a first-time quarterback. We have opened up the reins considerably for him, and he has taken good advantage of that most of the time. If you think about it, from a football standpoint and from a perception standpoint outside of the program, he has probably gone through a great deal throughout the course of the year. I think everybody scrutinizes the quarterback position probably more thoroughly than any other spot, so he has gone through some of that. I admire the way that he has handled it.”

On West Virginia’s offensive change over last couple years…
“Well, that is the dialogue most of the time, but you go back and you look and they ran it pretty well. They did not really score against us last year, but they ran the ball reasonably well and threw it substantially more and had probably a little bit more success running the ball than they did throwing it. I think we got a couple interceptions and dropped a couple last year against them. You watch the running back and you say if you have him, you have to run it and watch the quarterback run the ball, so it makes sense to run the ball. I think they want to throw it. I think they want to have balance in their offense. I know Dana (Holgorsen) was not overly excited about throwing the ball last week against Iowa State, and when they did throw it was not tremendously happy with the outcome. Their quarterback (Skyler Howard) played against us last year, and I think he completed about 66 to 67-percent of his passes against us last year. So, it is not that he cannot do it. It is just them getting the balance in their offense – that is what I anticipate seeing this week.”

On his sense of the team’s momentum after back-to-back wins…
“Well, we just had the one day together yesterday. They were off on Sunday. Nobody was jumping up and down, so from that standpoint I think they accepted it and were prepared to move on. Hopefully, we will finish out this afternoon when we have a little bit more detailed practice this afternoon, and hopefully, it will be a little bit better than what it was yesterday.”

On what goes through his mind when it is Senior Day…
“Well, I do not think there is much time to get caught off on reflecting of the season, but there is a fine line – not only for myself, but for our players – our seniors – in regards to how they deal with the emotion of that. My intention to our seniors is to really confine that period of time when they are being introduced and I get to say something to each and every one of them. Not anything that I have not said before, but just a reaffirmation of my feelings towards them. I have a great appreciation for each and every one of them. They are all different young people, but they are all tremendous, good quality people – caring people – and guys who have really had an impact on Kansas State football and Kansas State in general.”

On getting a sixth win against a really good West Virginia team…
“Well, I think under any circumstances, whether it is initiated by that type of argument or any other concept that you can think of, a win on Saturday would be a very wonderful thing. It would be a very positive thing. That is really what we are focused on. What comes after that, who knows? That is the value of that. It is just not the bowl game. It is the idea of coming back and finishing the season the right way – labor under the concept that we always try to work under of playing one game at a time and each one being the most important. That sounds silly, I understand that, but we really try to approach it that way and continue to do so.”

On what a bowl bid would mean to him and the team…
“Well, you know as I have said so many times, one of the values of being able to participate in a bowl game is the opportunity to get an additional spring practice. I think that is needed by anybody and everybody. Considering the meltdown – I say meltdown and that is not an accurate statement – the fact that we were unsuccessful in those six attempts there would perhaps be some rewarding feelings for everyone if that were the case. Also, the fact that you have a lot of youngsters here that have never not participated in a bowl game. So, I think that would have some meaning to them that way.”

Junior Quarterback Joe Hubener
On what he wants to get accomplished in this last home game…
“(To) send the seniors out on a good note. We have a chance to finish the season 6-6 and have a chance to finish with a winning season. That is how we want to finish.”

On how the team feels about controlling their own destiny…
“We have opportunities in front of us still to finish the season out on a winning note, and that is our goal.”

On what it would mean to go to a bowl game…
“It would be a pride thing for me. We do not want to be the first team not to go to the bowl game. We want to beat West Virginia and finish out strong.”

Redshirt Freshman Offensive Lineman Dalton Risner
On possibility of being 5-7 and making a bowl game…
“None of us are even thinking about that. We want to beat West Virginia this weekend and earn ourselves a bowl game. I am not going to think about that as a football player. If you are thinking about that, then you are on the wrong page.”

On what it will take to get the win…
“Establish the run game on offense, and the defense will need to stop the run game. They have a pretty good offensive line. West Virginia has always been known for their pass, but this year they have started to run the ball really well. They ran for 400 yards on KU, so on defense, we have really got to stop that and make them pass a little bit with their quarterback. On offense, we just need to establish our game. Every game we have established our run game we have done well. If we can get the run game going early, then I think we will be alright.”

On the focus during this game to get to a bowl game…
“I do not think we will have any more focus than what we have already had. We have been that focused. We could have lost our bowl bid at Iowa State and at KU, and we were just as focused both of those weeks. We were just as focused all of the other weeks as well. Every week we come with it and get down to it on Monday and break down film. We are ready for West Virginia and we already know what they will do on defense. Now it is just perfecting our craft throughout practice.”

Junior Linebacker Will Davis
On what winning two straight does to the team’s confidence…
“We can do it now. It gives the guys confidence. Guys definitely have more pep in their step. A win is way better than a loss.”

On possibility of getting a bowl with a record of 5-7…
“I do not think we are really concerned about it right now. We have been trying to go out there and earn it. We have to go out there and beat West Virginia – that is our focus. We just have to go out there and earn it. That is what we are concerned with and it starts in practice.”

On West Virginia’s offense…
“They have the ability to do a lot of things. If you watch from game to game, they will be in four or five receiver sets. Then the next set they will be in a tight end and two backs set. They can do a lot of different things. They are all really talented and they are all really good players. They have a lot of returning starters and veterans. They will be ready and they will be tough, but we have to be up for the challenge.”

Sophomore Linebacker Elijah Lee
On the potential of being 5-7 and earning a bowl game…
“The team focus is practicing today and the rest of the week and let the rest take care of itself. We are not worried about the 5-7 deal. We are just worried about trying to get a win this Saturday.”

On West Virginia’s offense…
“Compared to last year, they are a lot more physical. They are kind of like Iowa State and one of those teams who want to ground it in the run, but they can also get up and throw it. We are going to prepare for everything this week because they can do a lot of things. With these next few days in practice, I am going to have to focus and the team is going to have to focus a lot more.”

On K-State controlling its own destiny for a bowl game bid…
“It makes you thankful because you have been in those hard times and are able to bounce back. We are in the situation where we can win this game and have the opportunity to win this game and that is all we are focused on. It would be special and you always want to go out on a winning season.”