Postgame Quotes

K-State Head Coach Bill Snyder
On what the past three weeks say about the team…
“Well, I am not so sure. I look back beyond that. I think that period of time of which we went through the losses, I think that is what really defined this group of young people. I think the fight and the spirit, the perseverance, the determination and that never give up spirit and attitude – I think that is what I remember about this season more than anything. If there were a tag to be put on his football team it would probably be centered around all those traits. I am pleased that they came back and did what they did. Doing it – if you think about it – having to come back from a deficit in the last two of the three games is pretty significant. I think that is evidence of the never say die spirit.”

On atmosphere in the locker room…
“Well, they were pretty pleased with themselves to say the least. I am pleased that it was that way. Probably under normal circumstances, it probably would not be that way. We would have acted like we would have been there before. Considering what they have gone through throughout the course of the season, I think it was appropriate. They were excited and enthused. I was happy for them.”

On Morgan Burns’ performance…
“Well, once again, the answer is very impressed. But, it is not just Morgan (Burns). It is a whole bunch of guys out there that help that take place, and they did. Obviously, he is the guy that gets into the end zone and does the things that he does. He is a tremendously, talented and gifted young guy at that. It is an entire unit of 11 people.” 

On Charmeachealle Moore’s progression throughout season…
“Well, you have to think back to what Charmeachealle Moore has gone through with some difficult times with the loss of his father prior to the beginning of the season. It has been hard for him. He is a family man and he loves his family. All of it was really hard, and it took him quite some time. But, he has gotten to the point where he has worked his way through that and he is beginning to enjoy himself again. He is enjoying playing now. You know, in the initial face of the season, he was not even sure he wanted to be there just because the issues in his life. I admire him so much for fighting through it all and learning again to enjoy the game that he loves so much and does so again. I am awfully proud of him.” 

On how did Kody Cook change the game…
“Well, I think every youngster in our program – our offensive people – have a great deal of confidence in Kody (Cook), and I think maybe when your number one quarterback goes down, then, normally there is some type of emotional let down. I think with Kody coming onto the field, I did not sense that let down. I think they felt comfortable that he could step in and make plays and continue to try and get our offense to go. He made some plays and threw the ball reasonably well. He over threw a couple of deep balls on opportunities we had to score on, but overall, he played quite well. You know, I admire Kody so much. He is a tough young guy – tough-minded young guy. He is competitive as of anybody, I think. Our players recognize that and that is uplifting to them as well.”

On Deante Burton’s play…
“He played well. It seems like every ball game; he comes up with a big catch of some sorts. He can get up in the air, and he has a pretty good understanding of what goes on defensively and how to get himself open. Obviously, he made some – along with Kody (Cook) and Joe (Hubener) made some clutch plays in the ball game to give us a chance to maintain possession of the ball. We had some field position issues in a good portion of the ball game and could not get out of there. That was a real problem for us. What West Virginia’s offense did get – more often than not – was that short field that we created by not being as adapt as we needed to be on offense.”

Quarterback/ Wide receiver Kody Cook
On playing quarterback again…
“If someone got hurt, or something happened it was next guy up situation. I was focused on playing receiver the whole game and getting the win.”

On finishing a game at quarterback…
“Yeah, I actually got a chance to finish a game. A lot like Oklahoma State I just come in and tried to stay strong. I just tried to do what I could do to get a team win. The defense played amazing to seal the game for us.”

Wide Receiver Deante Burton 
On long touchdown catch… 
“I think it was a good play call by our coaches. We noticed we could get inside of them on a post route. Kody (Cook) told me to just go after it; I am going to put it out there for you. He threw it and I do not think I broke stride at all. It fell right in my hands and by the grace of God I got to the pylon. It worked out perfect and I think it was a big kick start for the team. “ 

On locker room at halftime … 
“Not a lot was said, just looking around at the seniors and at the staff and at the guys who give 110 percent for this team, for this family and just to see how bad they wanted it. Not a lot had to be said, but when you can do something for someone other than yourself, it pushes you a lot. Looking at guys like Morgan (Burns) and Travis (Britz) and Stanton (Weber) and Cody (Cook), these guys who have put in so many years in this program and fought. Just seeing that was motivation enough to be like, let’s not let it go out this way.”

On long touchdown catch… 
“I think it talks to the capability of big plays that this team can make and the way our coaching staff is. You never know what we are capable of. We will lull a team to sleep with four or five yards on a run play and then go over the top of them. I think that is just a tribute to our coaching staff and the kind of athletes and players we have had in the past.”

Offensive Tackle Cody Whitehair 
On never giving up…
“Yeah it is pretty special, you know in the locker room and halftime it is just you know guys walk in and they are quiet and there is a select few guys that really get up and talk and I do not know what they say or how they get to those guys but going out in the second half it is just a totally different attitude and as you can see it helped us today.” 

On how special Morgan Burns has been in past weeks…
 “Morgan, has been great. We talk about how he just gets off defense after a five minute drive and then he gets out there on kickoff and runs one back and then has to do it again. Morgan is just a tough kid, a very disciplined kid, the kid works hard and it pays off for him.”

Defensive Back Morgan Burns 
On his kickoff return…
“All of the credit goes to the returning team. They did a great job blocking and they make me look a lot better than I really am. Special teams went in for the second half and offense and defense really fed off of that. It was a great way to finish my senior season.” 

On the kickoff coverage team… 
“It was something different. They kicked it to the right side and the call was for it to go to the left side. There was one guy I got a stiff-arm on and one guy that was trying to get an angle on me, but my guys did a great job of making the block. I feel like every kick return has been a different guy making a key block to free me up. All of the credit really goes to them.”

Linebacker Charmeachealle Moore
On creating tackle opportunities…
“Our defensive linemen do a great job with their stunts and they tied up their linemen for us to come free. Our coaches always talk about how one of us is going to come free and tonight was it was me.”

On the defense protecting lead in the fourth quarter…
“Coach, always talks about finishing. That is what we talked about when doing our summer and winter workouts and everything else we do, is just finish. That is what we wanted to do.” 

Defensive Back Duke Shelley 
On getting the win… 
“It was great. Everyone came together and played as a team. Everyone had some goals in mind and we just went out and got it done today.”

On defense coming together… 
“I think we learned from our mistakes we had early on in the season. We had some bumps and bruises and things like that and we just put it all together today. We had the mindset that you are trying to get it done; you are trying to play for one more. I do not think we saved the best for last, I think we just grew up.

On defensive play… 
“I think we sent a statement and it shows what we can do as a defense. We just built off of the second half of the Iowa State game and we have just been rolling. We definitely sent a statement today.”

West Virginia Head Coach Dana Holgorsen 
Opening statement…
“The guys are pretty hurt in there. This is a game that we had circled that we wanted to get a win. Hats off to Coach [Bill] Snyder because of what all he does and how much I respect him. I want to give some kudos to Sean Snyder. Kansas State won the way Kansas State wins, Sean (Snyder) is responsible for the special teams. I do not know if I have ever been a part of a game where in spirts we played well on offense, but we could have made a few more plays. We played pretty good on defense, we could have made a few more plays to affect the end of the game.  What they do special teams ways, I have never been a part of a game where that really was the difference in the game. That is what Kansas State does, that is how they win games. I am disappointed for our guys, I told them the good news is we still have another game and I know our guys will regroup and play hard.”

On the kick off coverage team…
“We had confidence in our guys, we have been bragging about our coverage units all year. We thought Nick [O’Toole] who has been doing a good job at placing the ball, unfortunately did not do as good of a job tonight, and we did not cover like we normally have. I do not reject not kicking to [Morgan] Burns, but if I knew this was going to happen we would have done something different.”

On running back Wendell Smallwood…
“He played well, he was motivated, and we wanted to get the ball to him as much as we could. They took away a lot of our bigger sets because they are so big, physical, and just wad everything up. That is why Kansas State is who Kansas State is, they are physical and they took away a lot of those things. We had to go to more of a spread attack which limits what we can do in the run game. We got him the ball a good bit, we knew we were going to have to throw the ball when they squeezed the box, and we did a decent job with that.”

On the teams quarterback run game…
“I thought Skyler [Howard] broke his ankle in the first quarter so he was a little gimped up. I wish we would have called some of it differently. I thought we had the edge on the fourth down play but he just could not get there, I should have took that into consideration.”

On K-State quarterback Kody Cook…
“They did not change anything when he came in. We can sit here and talk about special teams all you want but we had opportunities on the other two phases to win the game. When we knocked their quarterback out, I thought we were in pretty good shape. That kid [Kody Cook] comes in a plays a thousand times better than the other one [Joe Hubener]. I shook number nineteen’s [Cook] hand out there and told him he is a gutsy kid. He was hurt too but battled through it and threw the ball a lot better than we thought he could. If you want to pinpoint something other than special teams it is when [Kody] Cook came in there because he made a ton of plays.”

On considering switching quarterbacks after the injury…
“No, it hurt us in the quarterback run game a little bit but we did not have a lot of that in this game. The injury did not affect him in the pocket. He gives us the best chance in the pass game right now to be successful. William [Crest] was ready to go but Skyler [Howard] came running back out. Skyler [Howard] has performed the best that we have, he is a competitor, and he is going to continue to work hard. It means a lot to him and we are going to continue to ride him and we could not anymore.” 

Wide Receiver Jordan Thompson
On the plan for playing K-State’s defense…
“The plan was that we were going to have to throw the ball. Just watching them on film there were a lot of holes in their defense that we could capitalize on. The game plan going in was to run the ball effectively and squeeze the box and throw it.”

On Skyler Howard playing through injury…
“Skyler is a fighter. He is very tough, probably one of the toughest quarterbacks I have ever played with. His hands were banged up and his ankle was messed up later in the game. Regardless, Skyler makes no excuse for anything and he fights through adversity. I give props to Skyler, but nevertheless as a team we did not do our job.”

On breaking a four-game winning streak…
“This one hurts. We single-handedly lost and beat ourselves. I give credit to K-State for capitalizing on the opportunities that they had. Returning a kickoff for a touchdown was a big change in the game. We did not execute well and they executed better than us. It hurts, but nevertheless we still have one game. We are down, but we know we have one game left to rectify that loss.”

Running Back Wendell Smallwood
On Bill Snyder saying West Virginia was the better team…
“I definitely feel like we were the better team. I thought they played more disciplined and did not give up when they were down. They really came out the second half and we came out a little flat.”

On a loss taking away from the November run…
“I think it definitely takes a toll on our guys, especially the way we finished and the way we played. We had the game in a position where we could have won and we came up short and did not get that fifth win and it hurts.”

On talking with coaches…
“I said in the first half that I thought we could start running more. Dana [Holgorsen] started giving me the plays I wanted and what I was asking for. It shows confidence. The game started to change and we had to throw the ball.”

Linebacker Nick Kwiatkoski
On needing a crucial third down stop in the fourth quarter…
“I mean, they were already getting a bunch on the run, so we just called a play and tried to make a play on it. It is just hard to tell what a team is going to do in that situation. We watch film, but when it comes down to it, a team can run anything. We just tried to get in the best position as possible.”

On their awareness of Kody Cook’s abilities…
“We definitely were aware that he could throw the ball and then run the ball. There was not much of a surprise. He just made plays.”

On K-State’s style of play…
“We knew it coming in. We know K-State is a disciplined team, a tough team. They do not change what they do no matter what is going on. They are a team that no matter what the score is, you cannot back down against them. They are going to fight until the final whistle and that is exactly what they did. We expected that.”

Cornerback Daryl Worley
On not being able to win for the senior class …
“It is just tough on everyone’s part, not just them. Being a younger guy, we just felt like we let them down if anything. I know they have thoughts about what more they could have done, but at the end of the day we all felt like there is a play that we could have made that could have changed the outcome of this game.”

On the defense surrendering more in the second half…
“I mean, that is just us playing our defense – trying to make as many plays as possible. I do not really pay attention to the stats and what we hold teams to. If anything, we try to hold them to the least amount of points. I mean, we did not do enough. There are plays we could have made that would have stopped them from winning by one point.