K-State Holds Weekly Press Conference

Head Coach Bill Snyder
Opening Statement...
"Well, I would like to focus on the positive things that took place on Saturday, the first of which is that we had such a wonderful crowd. I was certainly pleased about that, as were our players. I thought the students were great. It really was reminiscent of past years. I really appreciate all the effort that went in to bringing all of the former players back. It was bittersweet because I did not get a chance to spend as much time as I would have liked with so many of them. It was really a special time and all of them responded so favorably. The words I heard, from every single one of them, was that it was absolutely great. They really enjoyed themselves. I really do appreciate all the people that helped put all of that together. It was a nice event.

"The ballgame was probably disappointing to them. I was certainly disappointed with the outcome, but it allows us to understand exactly where we are. I said going into it that the UMass game would give us a basis to really determine where we are. To be quite honest with you, we have an awful lot of work ahead of us. I was obviously very disappointed in our kicking game. I think the outcome of the game would have been extremely different had we had the discipline to perform well enough in the kicking game but that's my responsibility, as are many of the other things that we look at.

"We had enough turnovers and untimely penalties to lose the ballgame. Again, that comes back to discipline and that's my responsibility. So there was a tremendous amount of disappointment, but we know where we are and we know what our issues are.  I think our youngsters will work hard and try to improve themselves. I think all of us will.

"This coming ballgame will be a very difficult trip. We know Lafayette is a very good football team. It was an eight-point game here last year, and I know that thought that they should have won the ballgame. They are a well-coached football team and they play extremely hard. They have very good quickness, as you would expect from a school in the south. I also think they will be a very confident football team."

On the play of running backs Daniel Thomas and Keithen Valentine...
"I think they both did a nice job. They are two different types of runners. (Daniel) Thomas is a fluid runner and can run with some strength and power. As you saw, he has the ability to move the pile and that comes from good lower- and upper-body strength. Keithen (Valentine) runs hard as well. But the important thing for us is that we have to block the people in front of them and give them some chances. They made a lot of things happen after first contact. So what we have to do is give them more space in which to operate and that did happen a few times."

On the play of safety Tysyn Hartman...
"He gets himself in position to make plays because he is an intelligent young guy. He is a quick learner and he has a feel for what we are trying to accomplish defensively. With the position that he plays, there are a lot of responsibilities that goes with it and he can handle that. I think he is one of those guys that are not there yet, but he is getting closer to being able to play where his maximum speed happens to be. On Saturday, he showed up in a lot of different places, not just in his two interceptions, but also in the running game. The important thing is that he did not get himself caught out of position playing the run. He came up and played the run when it was appropriate to do so, not because he was not paying attention to what his responsibly was. I think he is conscientious and he will get better as the season progresses. "

On the play of quarterback Grant Gregory...
"Grant played well. He did put the ball on the ground once and that was just a mechanical error on his part. Aside for that, he made some plays when he ran the ball. He got us a very critical first down right at the end which allowed the clock to run out. He did the things that we asked of him. I think his progress is continual. He really works at everything with a tremendous attitude. He has a great sense of leadership and he is getting more and more acclimated to what the offense is about, and hopefully he will be on the field a little more."

On how the team speed of Louisiana will prepare the team for the Big 12 season ...
"You always hope that you can take something away from a previous game that will help you prepare for your conference play and yes it will help us. You try to get your players to play as fast as they can play. I think that's pretty commonly recognized in the coaching ranks. Sometimes when a player is a little slower afoot, if he plays as hard, as smart and as fast as he possibly can, sometimes that can make up for a lack of speed. I think that is what we strive to do for our football team, to try to get our players to play to their maximum speed capacity. That helps to close the gap on the difference in speed. Yes, it does help you prepare, but as I have said, the quickness will be a factor in the game. But its not just offensive and defensive speed, Lafayette utilizes their speed on special teams. They are good on special teams. They use their starters in that department and I appreciate that kind of attitude. That is the attitude that I like to have and you have to appreciate players who play as hard on special teams as they do on offense and defense. There is a great deal of speed on their special teams, more than what you might normally find in a lot of programs."

On the Louisiana heat...
"I think that it is important for our players to stay hydrated. They have to constantly drink fluids. I think that there is a certain mental aspect of it, but you just have to go play. We practiced indoors last night and turned the heat up to about 90 degrees. The temperature and the humidity down in Louisiana will be always higher, but that's part of the game. We can't cancel the trip, we just have to go down there and play."

Freshman Punter Ryan Doerr
On special teams play...
"Right now, I do not feel like we are at where we need to be to compete and play at the level we are going to be playing at. We had a lot of errors last game and we are going to do everything we can to get them fixed and get better."

Sophomore Linebacker Alex Hrebec
On defensive performance against UMass...
"We were happy with the things we did. They (UMass) have a great team. There is obviously a lot of room for improvement and we are nowhere near satisfied. We know what we have to work on during this week of practice."

On Louisiana...
"They have a great team. We were reading last week that they had a sellout crowd, so you know that football down there is really important. Last year they were one of the best rushing teams in the country, so we have a lot of respect for those guys and we are preparing for them."

Senior Running Back Keithen Valentine
On sharing time in the backfield with Daniel Thomas...
"I feel that any game we can rush for that amount of yards. I think that it would be hard for a lot of teams to beat us, so we are going to continue to do it. I feel that we make a good one-two punch so we will keep that up."

Sophomore Defensive Back Tysyn Hartman
On defensive execution on Saturday...
"That was definitely one of the best games on defense that we have had in a while. We kept their total yardage down like had been planning on doing. All the preparation led us to put on the performance that we did."

On last year's game against Louisiana...
"I don't remember a lot. That was my first game on defense. I just remember going out there and everything was moving really fast and was kind of thrown into the fire a little bit."

On the first road game of the season...
"We have been having great weather up here in Manhattan and it is going to be a good experience for us to go down there to Louisiana with the change of climate."