K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference

Jordan Voelker

Oct. 18, 2011

Head Coach Bill Snyder
On the significance of the Kansas game…
“All games are significant, as most people say. Winning is hard under any circumstance. They are all really special in their own right. That is never meant to downplay the rivalry and what it means to so many people, but this is just the next game, and therefore it becomes the most important game we play. That is just kind of the way we approach it. If you make the exception for any football team, then you do not have the consistency you preach about all the time. I understand all the stuff – I have been here too long to not understand it. Our players understand it for the most part. Some who are new and were not around Kansas have not been raised that way, probably. They do not have as much insight to it, but I am sure their teammates that are from Kansas – we have an awful lot of those guys – probably share it with them. Even as players, you can get ahead of yourself. It is not so much thinking about the results and all the rivalry stuff that goes on with it, but how can you prepare to be the best you can be and that is what we try to focus on.”

On the offense so far this season...
“I think we need to be more prominent than what we have been. Like anything else, there is good and there is not so good. I think the very positive thing is when we have had our backs against the wall, and absolutely have to do it, we have been able to do it. You do not like to run the risk and roll the dice, but that is always going to take place. You would like to have some consistency about it, and we have not had that. We have not had it that far back – 95, 94 yards in the first half last week is evidence that we were not as productive in the first half as we needed to be. In the second half, we were, with still some exceptions. Again, like anything else, to be playing 60 minutes of football and you have 22 guys on the field at a time, there are going to be some good things and there are going to be some not so good things. You just have to try to eliminate as many of the not so good things that you can.”

On if the team underestimates Kansas’ abilities…
“I would like to think that they would not. I know that they are intelligent young guys. I know that they understand that anyone can get anybody at any time and all those things that go along with it. I would like to believe that they still believe the same way we have addressed it here and certainly with our team so often. It is a step at a time. Today is going to be about today, tomorrow is going to be about tomorrow, and Saturday is going to be about Saturday. It is about how we prepare and consequently how we play and not whoever the opponent might be.”

On the special teams...
“Kind of like everything else, we have our good and we have our bad. I look at last week and we had a kickoff return which was a major play in the ballgame, to block two field goals in the game were major plays in the ballgame. For our kickoff unit – which had kind of been up and down – allowed average field position of 21 yards on five kickoffs and that is as good as it gets, unless you kick them all out. By the same token, we had another kickoff return that we had the chance to go the distance, and we did not execute that as well as we should have. We lost that opportunity. Our return game, in punt returns, was in place – it was not effective so that was not good. We missed a field goal and the extra point. Again, we are doing some very, very fine things and some things that need repair work. That kind of fits the mold of the offense and defense and special teams a lot.”

On if special teams is the fastest way to get on the field...
“Sure. As you know, we have a youngster who got banged up in the ball game – Jared Loomis – last week. Here is a young guy who does not get on the field on defense and he runs down there and makes a knock-out shot – a great play – and hits the ball carrier within the 20-yard line. That is a big play. That is a major play in the ballgame. You do not want Texas Tech playing on their own 40. But, he is a guy that when he is on the field, he takes advantage of it and does a great job.”

On if the team will continue to “saw wood”…
“There is probably too much to do about things like that. You have to look back at the fact that our guys have played well – well enough to win, let me put it that way. Not as well as you like, but well enough to win. Am I confident that they will continue to do that? If they continue to practice well and practice and prepare themselves to play well, then I think they will. It is not something you just turn on Saturday afternoons.”

Tight End Travis Tannahill
On playing Kansas this weekend…
“No extra motivation is needed for this game. We’re playing for the Governor’s Cup, and that’s always exciting.”

On having the Kansas fight song being played during practices…
“You know, it’s a rivalry game. It gets the blood flowing, gives us some extra motivation. Coach is just giving us a little more to get us going. Records mean nothing when it’s a rivalry game, anything can happen. The song wasn’t on for long. We need it to practice our audibles and center snaps, so it really does help get us ready for Saturday.”

On being surprised at being 6-0…
“Definitely not. We came into the season thinking we could do this. We’ve had some close games, some exciting games. But we looked at every game on our schedule and there wasn’t one that we didn’t think we would have a shot at winning. We’ve had a couple bounces go our way this season, but I think the rest of the year is the same thing. We might need a couple of bounces, but I think we can play with every team coming up.”

Running Back Angelo Pease
On this being a rivalry game against an unranked opponent…
“It won’t be an easy game. It’s a rivalry game, so we’re going to get their best shot. We approach every game the same. We come in and prep so that we can go out and play our game.”

On ignoring KU’s record and prepping to play the team you see on tape…
“I never look at a record. Every team is going to come in and give us their best shot. We’re going to go out and practice this week, prepare and be ready for whatever they may throw at us. Being underdogs or whatever, it doesn’t bother us. We go out there and play our game. We’re going to come out and just play until we get respect.”

On what B.J. Finney brings to the team…
“He’s a center, so you know center is probably the most important position on the line. He’s doing a really good job at making his calls and keeping the offensive line on track. It’s really impressive considering that he’s a freshman. It takes a lot of skill to do that. I’m very impressed with what B.J. is doing. B.J. is a great guy on and off the field.”

Defensive End Jordan Voelker
On the rivalry between K-State and KU…
“This is a big game for us. It has been growing up. You just grow up with this atmosphere. It is just the rivalry between the two schools. It is the talk of the neighborhood, the talk of the towns. It is just a big thing to all Kansas kids.”

On staying focused and not looking forward to Oklahoma…
“We are just taking the aspect that they did play Oklahoma so close, so they are improving on the season. That is a tribute to them. They did a good job against Oklahoma, and they are a great team. I think that just keeps us in focus there.”

Defensive Back Nigel Malone
On this game being different from the rest…
“We have to come out each week. You definitely cannot sleep on this team. They have a lot of good athletes as well. They have had a lot of close games. I know that they held (Texas) Tech to I think 20-0 at some point in time. So you cannot sleep on a team like this. Coach has preached to come out and play the same way.”

On how the special teams are doing this season…
“It definitely has been up and down, but special teams have been important to us at crucial times during games. In the Baylor game, I know we had a fumble recovery on a kickoff which led to a touchdown that we definitely needed in that game. I know (Tyler) Lockett definitely put a spark in the beginning part of the game that kept us up with (Texas) Tech during the first half. So special teams has proved to be crucial for us.”

On special teams being treated different than other schools…
“This is definitely one of the places that special teams have been preached. Like I said, it is an important part of the game, but coach does put a specific emphasis on special teams. It is definitely an underrated part of the game, but is something that is need and proven in our game. It is something we needed during different parts and is something that is preached.”

Offensive Lineman B.J. Finney
On the team’s excitement this week…
“I would say the guys are a little more motivated. It is the same old story – no one is giving us respect no matter who we play. So I think we just want to play some more football to try and gain that respect.”

On who is not giving them respect this week…
“It is the same old story. Anyone can lose on any given day. We are just going to play football and handle it that way.”

On the coaches playing the KU fight song during practice…
“It will help us get accustomed to what Memorial Stadium is like and what is sounds like when everybody is in full swing playing the KU fight song and chant. It is just a mental preparation for us.”