K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference

Collin Klein

Sept. 27, 2011

• Gametracker (vs. Baylor)

Head Coach Bill Snyder
On the play of the defense against Miami...
"Obviously, in the last four snaps of the ballgame, we played as well as we could have played. I was really impressed with that. It was first and goal on the two-yard line, and we had 11 guys to the ball every snap. It was not a matter of being able to stop them and let them carry it forward a yard or a half of a yard. We had people bent back. They had lost yardage down there. The pursuit was great. Throughout the course of the ballgame, we were an improved defense. We still have our shortcomings, but they are not too difficult to define. We gave up some big plays. We gave up one running game which was a great lesson, I hope, for individuals on our football team. It happened because we had an individual, one single individual, lined up incorrectly and therefore, out of position. Most offenses will find that if you allow it to happen. It was a moment to reflect on and learn from with our players. We gave up some big plays in the passing game as well. One out of position individual can cause the scoreboard to light up. More than anything, I think we are improved. We probably, first and foremost, have to make sure we know our assignments and are responsible. There are little things. But those are the big things in what we are doing."

On the performance of the linemen against Miami...
"They played well. I have a great appreciation for them. These are big guys; offensive and defensive linemen, and they are playing down in a place where it is more humid than what they have experienced here, even though we have practiced diligently in the heat. With most teams, there is a rotation system where a guy goes in and plays for four or five snaps and comes over and has a chocolate malt and relaxes, does those things and comes back on when he is nice and fresh. We do not have those luxuries. Our guys played the vast majority of the snaps, and I have a great appreciation for them on both sides of the ball. They did a very good job playing responsible football, with one exception that caused a touchdown.  They were assignment sound and played aggressively and maintained their presence on the line of scrimmage. We did not get knocked back off of the ball. I'm obviously enthused about that."

On being 3-0 and entering Big 12 play...
"You are looking at an uphill battle. It goes without saying that the quality of play in the Big 12 Conference--it gets tougher, week-in and week-out. Our deal is what it has always been. All week we have to make sure we are improving, that we are becoming better and better and better, and we have done that until this point in time. There is no guarantee that kid plays in the future because the competition gets tougher. We are 3-0 and trying to get ourselves a lot better and to realize that it becomes a lot tougher and tougher and tougher. You can get better and look like it on the scoreboard. That is the deal. We have to take care of what we can and improve."

On former K-State assistant and current Baylor coordinator Phil Bennett...
"Phil is a tremendously talented defensive football coach and a great person, dear friend. He knows what we do extremely, extremely well. We have to take that into consideration. We will certainly try to avoid playing to what he might believe would be our particular plan of preparation for the ballgame. It will be perhaps a little different than what he will anticipate. He is also smart enough to anticipate that is the direction we will go. At the end of the day, more often than not, it will probably boil down to who prepares the best and takes all the guesswork out of it and it is just lining up and playing our game."

On the amount of possession time and securing a win...
"That is a major part of it. I will give you an example where you run in to some issues. We had the ball 11-plus minutes to three- plus minutes in the third quarter of the Miami game, and they outscored us 14-7. It is not a matter of saying we hold the ball for 35 minutes that we are going to produce a victory. The important thing is what takes place in that possession time. We had possession time against Baylor last year -33 minutes - but we lost the ballgame. You have to do something with the possession time you have. You have to move the ball, gain field position and have to get the ball in the end zone. On the other side, if someone has it for 59 seconds, and they get seven points on the board, then that gives you a lot of possession time, but it does not give you a lot of satisfaction."

On the progress in practice...
"I would like to think they are getting a little better. I told our players after the ballgame, and again yesterday, that I do not think that we had practiced as well last week as we were going into that particular ballgame as I thought we could have and should have. The point that I made with it was that if we had practiced better, then the ballgame would have not been as close as it was."

On the improvement of the offensive line...
"Improvement was made. There was a vast majority of our football team who has improved from week one to week two to week three. There has been consistent elevation in our performance level. We have become better - to what degree, I cannot tell you. We are a long ways away from where we want to and need to be."

On the bonding of the offensive line...
"I think it is important. Offensive linemen live in another culture, and they do bond together. These are guys who were not a part of the bonding last year, and now they are growing together in different ways. I think it is beneficial. They are vested in making that improvement week-in and week-out. The better they know each other, the better they perform. It helps them to have a better understanding and a good feel for each other. Experience with each other is vital in their improvement."

Quarterback Collin Klein
On the Miami game...
"We definitely made some improvements. We were able to make some plays in the passing game. The running game across the board was more consistent and we executed well individually and collectively. We made some plays and again in the big picture it is another positive step in the right direction. We have been able to make improvements in games up to this week and it is just something that we have got to continue to do and then good things will happen."

On having more of the playbook open...
"It is one of those deals where whatever play works at that time and again it is just a matter of whatever play is called executing it and if all 11 guys are on the same page and we make the play. Sometimes it is whatever the play is called and executing it."

On how he is physically feeling...
"I am feeling a lot better. It was a physical game and Miami is a very physical team and a very good defense. They played extremely hard and hats off to them and I was just extremely grateful that we were able to hang together as an offense and as a team to be able to score when we needed to score and hold them when we needed to hold them."

Offensive Lineman B.J. Finney
On facing a ranked Baylor team for the conference opener...
"It is always a big game when it is a conference opponent. Just opening it at home just makes it that much sweeter."

On taking snaps in the conditions in Miami...
"Honestly it was kind of like the day after it rained here in the summer. It was hot, humid and sticky. There was not really that much to adjust to."

On how good the team is after three games...
"I would say that we are good. We are not where we need to be. We have not arrived yet so there are always improvements that we can make."

On the improvement of the offense since the first game...
"I would like to think that we have come a long way. As far as improvement as a unit and execution, we have definitely improved but there are still improvements that we can make and we still have a long way to go."

Defensive Back Tysyn Hartman
On the mentality of the final minute against Miami...
"We have to get a stop. We have done it before for a few weeks back when we had to get a goal line stand, the stakes were higher than a shutout since it was for the game."

On what was said in huddle before fourth down play...
"It really was not much of a huddle. We kind of called a play hoping that they tried something that they had but they came out in a set that we were not used to, and somehow found a way to cover it down and Tre (Walker) made a good play on the goal line."

On the team speed against Miami...
"We have good speed as well. We may not run faster forty times than them but as coach says all the time that if we play smart and we play hard, then we can play just as fast as anybody."

Defensive Lineman Jordan Voelker
On the adjustment of the first road game...
"Miami's fans were pretty loud and it was a great atmosphere for playing in our first road game. I am sure that our fans can stimulate the same thing for Baylor and make it a little bit difficult. The offense had that one series where they had three or four penalties in a row so hopefully they can get Baylor on that same track and have them do that same sort of thing."

On the motivation from last year's game against Baylor...
"That is a big motivation for us because we were really thinking that they were going to beat us in the air last year and then they came out and ran the ball more than we were anticipating them doing so we are just preparing for all aspects of the game this year."

On the defense over the last three games...
"We think that we are a new team but you still have to look at the past and see what they did to us last year. We have got to prepare a little bit better and put more on the game than we did last year. Just try to do everything we can to be ready this year."