K-State Holds Weekly Press Conference

Chris Harper

Oct. 11, 2011

Head Coach Bill Snyder
On giving up more big passing plays than running plays…
“First and foremost, what people have to understand is that you look across the country and you look at every play beyond 10 and beyond 20 yards, the majority of them would be passing plays. A successful passing play is going to be of 10- and 20-yard throws. There is always going to be more than that. We like to not give up long-yardage plays. Last week, we gave up some of those 10- and 20-yard plays. We did not give them the deep ball, the real deep ball. The major plays, first and foremost, you have to defend against. The rest of those are just icing on the cake. They are going to get a 20-yard throw and a 10-yard throw. Once in a while, teams will get a 10, 20-yard-plus run, but it is just being able to, from our standpoint – probably most people’s – be able to eliminate the real plays that break your back. Once in a while, someone is going to get the shorter, bigger plays. You have to try to keep those to a minimum. You know, it goes back to being at the right place at the right time. Sometimes you are not.”

On Texas Tech’s offensive line…
“We have played against big offensive lineman before. They average 317 [pounds], a little over 6-foot, 6-foot-half-inch across the board, plus the fact that they are returning starters. You have five returning offensive line starters, and four of them are projected No. 1 right now. They are a physical group and they can kind of engulf you. We are undersized in that regard for the most part. As I said, I think our guys will continue to compete. It does create some obvious issues, but we have faced it before. It will not be a unique experience.”

On holding opponents to 30-percent on third-down conversions…
“I think our defensive players are really cognizant of that, and they make it important to themselves. They have developed a spirit about that, which I appreciate a great deal. If you remember two years ago when we first got started, I was really concerned about the spirit of our football team. Last year, I still had some – but not as much – concern about the spirit of our football team. Defensively, we have begun to express that spirit a little bit more. I think it is beneficial for them. They like, appreciate, enjoy celebrating a good performance. A single play performance, or a series in the case that you are alluding to which gets them off the field on a third down. They are starting to get excited about that and I like that.”

On playing another fast tempo team in Texas Tech…
“You get more opportunities. Our preparation two weeks ago helps us for a little bit on this game. Probably the thing in addition to people being spread out all over the place – that is not unique in college football – but you know, the tempo with which so many teams play now. When we played Baylor, we played a fast football team. We played Missouri, we played a fast – by fast, I am talking about the tempo, how quickly they get lined up, call plays and snap the ball. This will be the fastest tempo we have played against. The previous couple of weeks have been beneficial as we prepare to get lined up, get the calls in, and understand what we are doing before the snap of the ball.”

On TCU accepting an invitation to the Big 12 Conference…
“Well, I am pleased about it. I visited with Gary (Patterson) about it. He is excited. I think it is a positive thing.”

On the blocking ability of the wide receiver…
“That is a very difficult thing. It is the hardest thing they have to do. Not that catching the football is easy, but blocking out – it is kind of like tackling. Most teams tell you that the way the game is played today that if you do not tackle in space, then you are going to be really bad on defense, which is probably a pretty accurate assessment there. The same thing holds true offensively. If you are going to spread people out, you better block on the perimeter with your wide receivers. That is out in space. That is you against him. You better space when there is 50 yards to work with. That is not an easy task to do. I think we are getting better as we go. I have seen us progress. We still need to be better, but we are moving in the right direction. It takes – and I have shared this with our team – it takes a pretty unselfish individual, which we cannot be a good football team unless we are disciplined. I think a couple weeks ago, Chris (Harper) got maybe five or six balls in the ballgame. Everyone jumped up backwards. He is on the field 70 snaps, and he catches the ball five or six times—that is 64 or 65 snaps; what are you doing then. You are not twiddling your thumbs. You have to make a sacrifice to do something to help your football team, when you would really like to help them by catching the football, you know, and running up and down the field. You have to be unselfish to do it and our guys are making headway.”

On Collin Klein’s performance this season…
“I think I have a feel on how he is performing. It does not have anything to do with how well he is going to perform on Saturday. He has done well. He has had his ups and downs throughout the course of the year. He has done all of those things that we have talked about. He has been very competitive. He has shown a tremendous amount of leadership. He has shown a tremendous amount of toughness. Athletically, he has certainly had some success throwing it, and certainly some successes running it. He is a guy who makes it important to enhance his game and become a better player week in and week out. That is what you want from all of them. As long as he is doing that, I am confident he will continue to improve. It does not mean you are without your ups and downs.”

Offensive Lineman B.J. Finney
On thoughts of being undefeated…
“Being 5-0 is great. We have really worked hard as a team to get where we are right now. The main thing is that we cannot forget what got us here, and we have to work hard to continue to get better.”

On being the underdog going into the game…
“Coach Snyder always says do not pay any attention to it because we cannot control it. Just go in and execute our game plan and do what we do. That is all we can do.”

On the stadium in Lubbock…
“They just keep telling us that it will be a hostile crowd, that it is going to be a great game atmosphere.”

On the team’s troubles playing in Lubbock in the past…
“I know it has been hard on K-State down there. I have not really been told any details about it, but every time you go down there it is a clean slate, a new shot to do what you want to do.”

Wide Receiver Chris Harper
On the strides the program has made since last playing Texas Tech…
“It has made huge strides since then. The mentality is the main thing that has changed. We have gotten better athletes since then, but the mentality is the main thing.”

On striving under the title of underdog…
“I come with the same feeling each game. If we just do what we do, then I think we will be fine. Like I said, the guys that do the lines do not play the game. They do not know anything about it, so I do not pay attention to that.”

On being ranked…
“I did not know we were ranked 17th, honestly, but that is good. That is the best we have been since I can remember, but that means that there are 16 teams out there that are better than us. So we just have to get better.”