Postgame Quotes - SFA

Kansas State Head Coach Bill Snyder
On the opening night effort…
“I don’t want to take away the positives and all of the good things the guys did. I would probably dwell on the things that weren’t so good. Overall, I thought we played reasonably well offensively. We scored in our first four or five possessions and we had the three-and-out. The thing that put a damper on our offense was the three-and-out we had at the opening of the first drive in the second half.  We can’t afford to do that. Defensively we have some work to do. We made some mistakes and we just have to do a better job. It’s not rocket science to be able to stop the quarterback when he pulls it down. They did a nice job scrambling with the football, we did a reasonable job of defending against the scramble. We are not a very good pass-rush team, so I thought in the first half we really did play well up until the last part of it when they had those two drives when we realized they might be able to move the ball and they got some plays on the scrambles. We gave up the first down in the first series and after that they were three-and-out, that part of it was positive. But you have to be able to sustain it throughout the course of the ball game. I thought our return game and the kicking game was reasonably decent. Our guys did a nice job on coverage of the kickoffs. We had a few flaws in there, but we made some plays inside of the 17-yard line on two or three plays.”

On Elijah Lee…
“He has made progress and I base that off of practice. I really can’t tell you how well he played, but I don’t think he played poorly by any stretch of the imagination. It is something I will have to watch video tape of.”

On Charles Jones, DeMarcus Robinson and Judah Jones running tonight…
“We have got to stop being stubborn and make sure Jones gets the opportunity to make plays. I thought [DeMarcus Robinson and Judah] played well and ran hard. We didn’t get a multitude of big plays, but they were getting consistent yardage. Five yards per carry isn’t tremendously bad but it probably should have been better this evening.”

On the 30-yard run…
“We have to learn how to play when the quarterback goes back to throw it but decides to run it, we need to make tackles instead of letting them get 25 yards down the field and into the end zone. There isn’t any carry over from one season to the next, but it is about plays. People got scrambles against us last year and we gradually got a grasp of it so I guess we will see it this coming week. Sam Richardson can bring it down and pull it out and his eyes are going to light up when he sees the tape tonight.”

On the number of plays tonight versus other openers…
“This was just a minimal portion that we showed tonight I would say we showed about 40% of what our ability is in our playbook. I don’t know how that compares with last season or any other season, I just know you try to put on the field those things you feel have an opportunity to be successful against whoever you are playing against. Whatever package that is, it is going to vary from week to week so we put on the field what we thought we had an opportunity to have success with.”

On the running backs’ performance…
“I think Charles Jones did a nice job. He caught several throws and I don’t think he put any on the ground and I was pleased about that. He got a little bit of yardage and salvaged some plays.”

On the performance of the offensive line…
“I think we played reasonably well.  We had a little difficulty from time to time, but overall I think their grades from their coaches will be positive.  It is something we can hang our hat on for the future knowing that we are going to get better.”

On Morgan Burns’ effort tonight…
“There is no question he will always give you good effort. He plays hard but had a little difficulty on some things, but he made a lot of plays and broke up a number of passes and had the obvious positive returns.  He ran hard and was able to pick and choose where he goes. There is still a little left to be desired there, but he ran well.”

On the number of people able to play tonight…
“It is important to have the opportunity to play. We did get all of our twos in after the first drive of the fourth quarter and that was positive on both sides of the ball. I probably would have liked to put them in a little bit sooner.”

On Charles Jones and the Wildcat formation…
“I love that he ran as hard as he did. He was an aggressive runner and made some of those second effort plays where he gained yardage after contact. I was pleased with that tonight.”

On DeMarcus Robinson making his first appearance tonight…
“I think he was pleased about playing tonight. I don’t think he should be disappointed in how he played. I think he ran well, ran hard, and got some extra yardage from time-to-time.”

On Kody Cook getting his first touchdown tonight…
“Just the idea that he made the play pleases me. He was one of those guys starting off very positive after camp or two-a-days and then all of the sudden went downhill and was just starting the comeback lately. It was good to see him have an opportunity to make some plays.”

Senior Quarterback Jake Waters
On the offense…
“It was good overall, but there are some things we want to get better at. For the first game I think we started fast like we have been talking about. For the first drive we wanted to get the ball down there. We had some good signs, but we still have some stuff to work on.”

On comfort level…
“A lot more comfortable and I am feeling better out there. There was some first drive jitters obviously, but after that I was settled in. I was seeing the defense pretty well and getting some plays we wanted to get against it. I wanted to do better obviously with some calls and some plays, but for the most part I felt okay.”

On new players in the offense…
“It was awesome. I was so excited to see those guys get out there and play. They made some great plays tonight. Our running backs were running crazy and seeing the holes great. Then our receivers were stepping up their game, and we needed them too so that was a good sign. ”

Sophomore Running Back Charles Jones
On his performance tonight…
“It felt good, I felt like I performed well for my first game, but there is room for improvement.”

On the Wildcat formation…
“It is a lot different because you get the ball faster than if I would have been in the backfield. The coaches felt confident in me for running that package today. We used this formation throughout camp.”

On DeMarcus Robinson and running multiple running backs…
“Coach Snyder told DeMarcus Robinson and I that we would both be getting carries tonight. Starting really did not matter to me as long as I did what I can to help the team out. I think that both of us performed well during tonight’s game. The running backs as a group did a really good job of being versatile.”

On scoring his first touchdown…
“The feeling is like no other, it is one of the happiest moments in my life.”  

On the offensive rhythm…
“I felt like we had a good rhythm tonight, especially since we switched running backs a lot.”

Senior Wide Receiver Tyler Lockett
On scoring the first touchdown…
“I was just doing anything I can do to help my team out. Jake [Waters] saw a check on the play call we had and he called it. We had to be on the same page and luckily we were. It helped bring a spark to the team and that was able to carry on throughout the rest of the game.”

On not playing after first quarter…
“It was a coach’s decision. Being able to sit out, I was able to work on other skills as far as encouraging people. You got to people step up like Kody Cook, Steven West, Judah Jones, and Deante Burton. We are going to need that especially when we go down the road. This game was able to build their confidence to be able to push us into this next game.”

On Kody Cook…
“Cody changed from being a quarterback to a receiver and all you have been seeing is his hard work and dedication. You were able to see it today by how he showed it out there on the field. He was confident, he knew what he was doing, and he listened to Coach Coleman throughout spring and fall camp. Whenever the ball came his way, he made the best out of the opportunity.”

Senior Defensive End Ryan Mueller
On how it felt to play the first game of the season…
“Our team looked great, we haven’t played a game in eight months; it was great to see the fans out there. It is great to finally start playing on Saturdays again.”

On the performance of the younger players during the Stephen F. Austin game…
“I am glad the younger guys are starting to step up.  I definitely saw growth from the start to the end of camp for our younger players. Seeing them put it all together during today’s game, they looked phenomenal. It was important to get the younger guys out there so they can see what the game atmosphere is like.”

On how the defense performed tonight…
“The defense did great tonight; we won.  Obviously we have to go and look at the film from the game, to see how we can improve from our performance tonight  Our upfront guys were not able to stay in their lanes and that is why the quarterback was able to break away for long runs.  The quarterback got two long scrambles on us that really added to their rushing yards. Take out those two plays and we did really well from a defensive line perspective.”

Senior Linebacker Jonathan Truman
On finally playing the first game…
“It felt good. We had a lot going into our preparation and with their new coaching staff we had a few question marks. We knew we were prepared and I am glad we came out with the win.”

“The first game there is always butterflies in the stomach. I was just ready to go. Today was a long day and we were in the hotel for a long time. More than anything I was excited to get going and actually play football.”

On stopping the rush…
“A huge goal of ours is to stop the rush and that shows in other facets of the game. If we stop them from running then we make them one-dimensional and we can do a lot of things with that. I am glad we got this first game going and knocked the rust off and we are ready to go and get better in the future.”

Junior Defensive Back Morgan Burns
On starting for the first time…
“It has been a few years since I have started a game. Just being out there and starting corner for the first time was fun. It was fun playing with my defense and being able to look to my right and see the guys I have been practicing with for the past couple months. I really enjoyed it.”

On making big plays…
“It was fun. I just had to remember what my coaches taught me and just keep my eyes on the receivers and just play fast.”

On return game…
“I played running back in high school so I was excited to get the ball in my hands again. Coach [Andre] Coleman told me to see the hole and just hit it as fast as you can and keep moving your feet. I just wanted to put the offense in a good position to start the drive.”

Stephen F. Austin Head Coach Clint Conque
On the mood in the locker room…
“Everybody was disappointed. Obviously missed some self-inflicted opportunities, but I also have to give credit to Kansas State. They are a great physical football team. Anytime you play against a dual-threat quarterback and they do have the talented young backs, you make yourself susceptible to the quarterback run and a play-action pass and that hurt us defensively. Offensively, we were really kind of close, we caught the ball on the sideline and dropped the big post ball. We had a big run. I thought both quarterbacks played well, but we could catch the ball a little bit better. We had three of our starters suspended for the first half of this game, but that’s no excuse. We are a better football team. We saw them a little bit the second half. We are certainly disappointed, but we are not discouraged. We knew it was a tremendous challenge coming in here. We will certainly take some positives, but there are some areas we must improve in.”

On the decision-making with the quarterback situation…
“It was scripted. I think it was the third or fourth series and then we gave Joe [Minden] back-to-back series in the second half. What comes from that is that we feel like at our level we have two young men that we can win with that both manage the offense and make plays and throws. They showed some escapability today. They both had long runs. It is obviously a position that we feel can really be a strength for us. I thought offensively, we were really close tonight. We have got to clean some things up. Kicking game was not to our standards and again Kansas State has something to do with that, but we did not punt it very well or kick it very well. We did not cover as well as we like to. I never saw their punter, but he is a nice young man. We have got a lot of work to do. Obviously, we knew this when we took over this program. There are some scabs and some wounds, but I thought we took a big step to come into a tough environment against a top-20 team in the country and compete. We made them play hard for three quarters. I probably made a poor coaching decision by going for it on the 4th-and-1 on the 39 or 40-yard line instead of punting the ball. I thought that was the real turning point in the game. We have got a lot of work to do, but I think we have a lot of quality players on the team, but we are not quite there yet. We are certainly looking forward to playing at home next week.”

On the Wildcat formation…
“We made a halftime adjustment and at times we were able to do okay. We just did not have the right fits. It is something we are going to see later in the year by some of the teams in our conference, so it is something we are going to really have to study. 24 is pretty good, that young back he put in there. In the 4th quarter they had two or three good tailbacks, 20 or 24 maybe. He is really dynamic. I told Jake after the game their receiver Lockett on that touchdown pass could not have been covered any better without a pass interference. You can tell they have spent a lot of time together over the summer and the last couple years. They have a chance to be really dynamic. The Wildcat was a little bit of a surprise for us, but we did try to make some adjustments. We just have to play that particular formation better and we will learn from that.”