One Day at a Time

"We try to take every game one at a time," Snyder said during his weekly Tuesday afternoon press conference. "Everybody does and everybody says that, but that's always been our mantra - a day at a time. Our approach is correcting our mistakes and preparing ourselves as well as we can for the next opponent. It's trying to be the best you can be in every segment of the game, correcting mistakes and trying to prepare well for the next one."
That 'one day at a time' mentality has carried over strongly into his team this week, and after dropping it's home opener last weekend, K-State has spent the past seven days focused on getting back on track before returning to the field tonight to face the Louisiana Ragin' Cajuns.
Snyder said Monday afternoon's practice was the most motivated practice he had seen from his team since training for the 2013 season began.
"There was just a determination on the field and it permeated the entirety of the team," Snyder said about Monday's practice. "It was a very determined practice, which I appreciated a great deal. We need the emotion and we want that spirit to be there... that's a positive thing, and really, it was that determination aspect of it that seemed to be on the field (Monday), and I appreciate that from our young guys."
But it wasn't just Snyder who noticed the intensity of the practice, offensive lineman B.J. Finney also took notice of his teammates' hard work.
"There was a lot of enthusiasm and a lot of spirit," Finney said about the practice. "Some of us were pretty angry with what the outcome of Friday was and we wanted to change it. There was a high level of intensity, high tempo and everybody was into it. It showed how fast things can go if we get into it."
High intensity and high tempo are two components that the Wildcats must bring to the table tonight at 5:30 p.m., in Bill Snyder Family Stadium if they hope to overcome the Cajuns.
Last weekend, Louisiana fell 34-14 to Arkansas in its season opener. However, despite the loss, the Cajuns roster is made up of talented, strong players who will be coming in to Manhattan with a chip on their shoulders as the program is only one victory shy of it's 500th all-time win.
"They're bigger and they're more physical (than North Dakota State)," Finney said. "They're a strong defensive unit, and obviously their offense is very, very good. Their defensive linemen are very big and strong and they play physical, so we're going to have to get back to our mentality and get back to the way we play, and we're just going to have to go out, perform and execute."
After back-to-back 9-4 seasons, Louisiana returns junior quarterback Terrance Broadway to lead its offense.
Last season, Broadway passed for 2,842 yards and 17 touchdowns while also rushing for 796 yards and nine touchdowns.
Against Arkansas last week, he went 15-of-28 for 171 yards, had one touchdown and one interception.
"They have their quarterback, Broadway, who is a dual-threat type guy," Snyder said. "He possessed the ball 46 percent of all the snaps they had last year, so either by running the ball himself or throwing it, that is half the time, so he is the guy you have to play close attention to."
On the Wildcats' side of the ball, junior quarterback Jake Waters is coming off his debut Wildcat performance against NDSU where he went 21-of-29 for 280 yards, had two touchdowns and two interceptions.
"Jake played well, and he wasn't without a few errors, but he showed that he can throw whatever range he wanted to throw," Snyder said about Waters. "He threw the some intermediate throws, he threw the short throws. When you have the opportunity to throw the ball deep, you want to make sure you're doing it and he did it. I thought both of the longer TD throws, were really well thrown footballs."
While Waters remains No. 1 on the depth chart for K-State, Snyder noted he wished he had played sophomore Daniel Sams more often last weekend.
"You have a good athlete like Daniel and you have to find places for him, which we will," Snyder said when asked if Sams will see time on the field tonight, "and the answer is yes, we have something in place."
Sams, native of Slidell, La., will be competing tonight against his long-time best friend, junior wide receiver Jamal Robinson. They attended Salmen High School together and have been talking about this game since the schedule was released.
"Both of our families are coming up, so it's going to be an emotional game for me," Sams said. "Jamal and I have been texting back and forth. He was one of my receivers and he knows my game, but he hasn't seen me throw since high school and I haven't seen him catch. He's been telling me, 'I hope you do well against our defense, but at the end of the day I'm not going to let you win,' and I've been saying the same thing, 'I hope you do what you do against our defense, but I'm not about to let you win.'"
In the end, while the Cajuns bring a lot to the field, K-State football has taken this week to regroup, refocus and remind themselves who exactly they are playing for each and every game.
"Nobody likes losing, but maybe that loss is what we needed to grow as a team," Sams said, "because we're still young, as far as the quarterback situation and the offense. I feel like taking that 'L,' it's growing us together and we are coming closer as a team.
"I feel like we've improved dramatically, and come Saturday night, we'll be ready."
After sweeping both Southeast Missouri State and Southern Illinois yesterday, K-State Volleyball looks to finish strong at the K-State Invitational in Ahearn Field House this afternoon with its final game against Siena at 1 pm. For fans also attending the evening's football game $3 tickets are available at the volleyball match, all they have to do is show their football ticket at the Ahearn Field House box office. 

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