K-State Holds Weekly Press Conference

Head Coach Ron Prince

On the Iowa State game...

“After looking at the tape, we felt that the win Saturday was very positive, defensively, for us. As I sat here and talked a week ago about the challenges that we had in the Missouri game I felt like we did some very positive things to start the game and the Missouri coaches did a really good job, offensively, adjusting. The rest of the game we kind of felt like we were one step or one play behind. It was just the opposite in this game. Iowa State did some very nice things and was able to move the ball against us early. Our coaches and players did a nice job adjusting. From there on out, once we got things going, we felt during the game that we were a step ahead. I thought it was tremendous growth for us and I thought it was worth mentioning. We had a big challenge this week with a capable thrower and a terrific runner, he’s a very good leader. These kinds of people are very difficult to defend. They used a lot of wide receivers on the field to move the ball in a variety of different ways. It really came down to having the opportunity of having a variety of defensive backs in this game, and play a very solid game. I think the play of our defensive line was a significant factor in the game to be able to continue to play eight of nine defensive linemen in the game helps us to continue to put some pressure on the pocket. I think teams have done a very nice job of trying to beat the scheme, so we’re getting the very best that people have. Right now, our kids are hustling through that and our coaches are making the adjustments. I was very pleased, defensively, with the move that we made this week. That was something that we needed to do and were able to.

 

Offensively, I thought it was very important for us to be able to respond in the third quarter. We have not been a particularly good team in the third quarter throughout the season. With the score tied 10-10, I thought it would be very important to be able to come out and play well in all three phases. We did not end the half particularly well although we did have a very important series of plays there but offensively we didn’t accomplish what we wanted. To come out in the third quarter, and mainly the second half, to play our best half of football on offense this season with the kind of balance we wanted to have and to be able to run the football on our terms, we took some strides there and that was good to see.”

 

On Colorado...

“This week we have a significant challenge defensively. I think No. 2 (Hugh Charles) is the best running back that we’ve faced this year. He is somewhere in the combination with players that I’ve been familiar with recently somewhere between Leon Washington of Florida State and Frank Gore of Miami. He is similar in style, in some ways, to Lee Suggs and Kevin Jones of Virginia Tech. He has that kind of talent, he’s tough, he can run between the tackles, and he has incredible speed if he can get to the edge. Defensively, they have No. 53 (Bryan Stengel) who, I think, is every bit of a player as Corey Moore and Dwight Freeney were in college. He has the kind of ability to rush the passer. He’s been an absolute terror on offensive tackles this year. Every game he’s just living in the backfield and if you don’t take great steps to deal with him, he’s the kind of player that can wreck the game. Our coaches feel that this might be the best set of linebackers that we’ve faced. As evidenced by where they sit both Jordon Dizon and (Thaddaeus) Washington in tackles in the conference is an indication of their abilities. These guys are physical, there’s no flaw in their game, they’ve been very difficult to run the ball against, and they are very effective as blitzers. Everybody knows about their kicker who might be the very best. He’s quite a weapon. Once he clears mid-court he’s got the green light to shoot and he can hit them from anywhere. If the ball is spotted anywhere on their side of the field, he can probably make it. To be able to go on the road and play well will do us a lot of good. In order to accomplish that, we’re going to have to practice well. We had a good practice yesterday and another good practice today will put us on the right path.”

 

On the defensive depth...

“I think it was important to get players like Andrew Erker playing time early in camp and season. Players like Moses Manu have really saved us. It has really helped us big time. The number of plays that Brandon Balkom, Eric Childs and Rob Jackson have given us has really been terrific. Junior Moran has really been a force in there and has pleased us quite a bit. His play has been very disruptive. His numbers might not be as gaudy as Ian’s (Campbell), but I think he has been every bit as important. To be able to take a guy like Antwon Moore and have Coach (Matt) Wallerstedt do a really job with him and taking what he does well and putting him in a position to make plays for us. We’ve been able to keep the pressure with a three-man rush and adding him when we need to as the fourth rusher and kind of a wild-card type of player in there. That’s credit to the coaches trying to take advantage of his particular talents than just burying him on the roster behind Brandon Archer or behind some other player.”

 

On Colorado’s record...

“To be honest with you, I don’t pay that much attention to the record. If you watch the games, then you can see just how dominate they are on defense. They’re not giving up much of anything on defense. Offensively, when this running back gets it going, he’s one of the very best I’ve seen. So, I don’t really put much thought into that as it relates to how the game is going to be played for us. In fact, I probably pay more attention to the Texas Tech game, which is absolutely a coach’s nightmare going on the road up there and watching that game. And, as we all can see, Texas Tech has a very good team. The record, I wouldn’t pay much attention to. Obviously, going on the road against Georgia was a good test for them. I thought they played very well in the game. I just look at how all the players and how the different parts of the team perform. This is a very good performing team. There’s nobody in this building taking this team lightly. Obviously, the last two trips up there haven’t been very successful. We understand that this is a team that has our number the past two years. We understand that this will be a challenging game to go on the road and win. But, at the same time, we expect that if we play well and do things that we’re suppose to do, that we will be fine and we will be pleased with the outcome.”

 

On James Johnson and Leon Patton...

“I just like whoever gives us the best chance to win that week. Sometimes guys get into a little bit of a groove and you let them go with it. I think if you look at Patton’s batting average, it looks pretty good. He got in there for a play and did something real positive with it. It goes all the way to practice we’re looking at competition everyday in practice. Those guys know that with every single play, we’re evaluating what they’re going. No matter what the score is, we’re interested in how everybody’s performing.”

 

On the bowl situation...

“We just said that we want to get to November and be in the hunt. We’re in the hunt to play a fourth game. We’ve got three games ahead of us, we’re in the hunt to play a fourth that’s really what we’re in the hunt for. Now, with that said, these four practices will do us a lot of good towards doing well this weekend. That’s really about as far as we’ve taken it. It would be great for our team and our program to get a fourth game, no matter where it is or who it’s against, it will do us a lot of good. If we practice and play well, then I think we’ll be pleased with the outcome of all these games that we have. We just want to make sure that this is not the time for us to blink. This is the time for us to put another good week of practice together and go out and play as well as we can. Then, I think we’ll get the picture of how to do this at a higher level.”

 

Junior Running Back James Johnson

On his play the last few games...

“I think I bring a lot of speed and experience to the team. I have been in college for a while and I have a feel for the game so I am doing alright thanks to the offensive line.”

 

On how the running game has performed the last few games...

“The offensive line has been doing a great job opening up holes for Leon and me, and that is why the running game has been doing so well. You just have to give all thanks to the offensive line.”

 

On the importance of winning Saturday ...

“It would be good to win this game and get to a bowl. The bowl game just gives us another chance to win.”

 

On his movement up the depth chart...

“When I started the team after junior college ball, I was like sixth or seventh on the depth chart. It was just another step in my life and I don’t want anything given to me. I want to earn everything I get.”

 

Sophomore Linebacker Antwon Moore

On the switch from safety to linebacker...

“Whenever I got here I was recruited as a safety. I was kind of small for my size but at safety I was at a perfect size for where I was at. I never expected to play linebacker. When I played in junior college, some of my players and coaches told me I should think about playing linebacker but I didn’t think so.”

 

Thoughts on playing linebacker...

“It’s going great. I love it and it’s very exciting, I’ve been able to work with Coach Wallerstedt and he’s a great coach, really energetic.”

 

On how Brandon Archer and Zach Diles have helped him at linebacker...

“Brandon Archer has really helped teach me the plays and some things I need to do on the field like playing with quickness and since I am a smaller linebacker, I need to use my quickness instead of trying to run through an offensive lineman. Both he and Zach Diles have given me keys to be successful on the football field.”

 

Freshman Quarterback Josh Freeman

On the importance of Saturday’s game...

“This game is just as big as last week. Coach says that November is just like the playoffs; if you want to play in the postseason you have to win in November and that’s where we are and we have to get it done.”

 

On Colorado’s defense...

“Their defense doesn’t play like a 1-8 football team. They are playing like a team that has a chance to play in a big bowl game and we just have to prepare like we are going up against a Big 12 opponent.”

 

On the play of Logan Robinson...

“I didn’t even notice he went in until the second half. I guess he got in there early in the first quarter but he did a really good job.”