K-State Holds Weekly Press Conference

Head Coach Ron Prince
Opening statement...
“Well, we had a rough day Saturday. Bottom line, we lost a big game to our in-state rivals. There really were not any silver linings or things to be happy about. We had an opportunity to go down and win a game on the road in an environment that we thought would be exciting to go in and do that. It was a large crowd and there were a lot of opportunities there that we left on the field. I thought that one of the more important drives was the first drive. We had several opportunities to get off the field, defensively, in that first drive but a couple of very good plays by KU players extended the drive and then to come back and turn the ball over very quickly. So on the road, we have a momentum issue. We went down, had a nice long drive, and then obviously had the turnover, so things did not go well in the first half and that is a team that does a very good job with the lead. They know how to manage the game, play the game, so we had a very difficult time. The second half, obviously, the score was the way it was. We were able to put a couple of drives together but, by in-large, I thought that our running back, Lamark Brown, did what we asked him to do. He played very, very hard and did not have the same kind of opportunities to run and to get his pads down and really get rolling downhill and you can see the result. So that is obviously something we will continue to work on.

“With our consistency in the offensive line we do not talk about injuries and that kind of thing, although we did have a couple that caused us to juggle the lineup a little bit. We just have to play better and play more consistent in there. The pressure on the quarterback was a factor early and our inability to get any pressure on their quarterback was a factor. They did a good job neutralizing any pressure we might try to bring by running the option, so that was very good by them and poor by us and me.

“Going into this week, it is pretty clear that this is a terrific offense, once again. It is like a broken record every week. We say the same thing every week a terrific quarterback, very good running game. The young runner they have is doing a very nice job. I am real impressed with him. Obviously, No. 9 is one of the more dynamic players in college football and I think that their defense is very much underrated. They have a lot of really big, strong guys. I understand they have given up yards, but they have a lot of very physically impressive players and I would especially point to their safeties. They are very much like Oklahoma and some of the other teams we have faced. They are a tremendously large team. This team really makes you notice their secondary spots with how much size that they have.

“So, I think that it will be a great match up one that we need to go on the road and win. It is a place that we did not have much success last time that we were there. Early on in the game, at the half it was 17-7 and we had some success in the first quarter. But the second half was a story of turnovers. We have gone back and looked at the last two games. The last few we had with them, clearly turnovers are a big issue and they are this year. We have to eliminate the turnovers, establish a running game, and be able to defend this quarterback who is a very good player. I was not surprised by how the game with Baylor turned out. I thought Baylor played very well. They are extremely fast, as you can see. They really upgraded their roster with fast players and they have a dynamic quarterback and that is how they were able to perform in this game. We have got our work week set and we are excited about getting out there and getting on the road to get another win.”

On the team’s confidence level...
“I think confidence is always an issue. I think confidence is earned. You earn confidence from yourself by seeing yourself do the job over and over again. I think people become tough by doing tough things. So if you win tough, close games, I think it does build confidence. I think what we have had is a number of games where we have been very, very close, but that has not been enough. I think we have to be able to get in one of these games and win a close game. We thought we had something going in the Louisiana game earlier from that and the ability to close out the Colorado game probably gives us a little bit of a boost and that did not happen. That is the reality and that is where we are. And the truth is we have been in this situation since 2001 several times where we have been .500 or so 3-5, 5-3, 4-4 going into November and a couple of those years, we won 3 out of 4. In some of those years, like last year, we went 0-4. A lot of years, we have gone 1-3. Whatever it might be, there are a number of combinations. That is where we have to be able to play better in the earlier stretches, but we have to play really good football in November and that is what our message is going to be. We have to be able to run the ball, play good defense, and be effective with the kicking game, but the turnover business has to come to a halt.”

Defensive End Ian Campbell
On the performance against Kansas...
“There wasn’t a lot that needed to be said. We watched the film and saw what happened. Coach (Prince) said that after the game that it was bad loss. It was one of our worst performances against a team that we definitely wanted to beat but we didn’t because we didn’t play well.”

On moving on to the next game...
“I’m not going to say that it is going to be easy but by no means are we going to through away another ballgame. I am going to try to do my best as a player to try to rally the troops and try to get the win.”

On his concerns about Missouri...
“They have a very potent offense. This is the Big 12 everyone is good. If you don’t show up to play, you are going to get burnt. That is the way it is with all these talented quarterbacks in this conference and the spread offense is hard to defend. The thing about Missouri is that you have to get to the quarterback early and often. You can’t let them get yards after the catch because that is really where they will hurt you. You have to try to disrupt their timing as much as possible and that is no easy task.”

Linebacker Ulla Pomele
On the Kansas game...
“It is really tough. It was a rivalry, in-state, conference game so that made it very disappointing. We can’t dwell on the past. We have three more games left to continue to improve. It is not just about how you start the season but how you finish.”

On the overall attitude of the team...
“We have to stay positive and continue to believe in ourselves and in the coaches. We need to continue to go out and play every play.”

Running Back Lamark Brown
On the Kansas game...
“We are still a little upset about the way we played. We are trying to figure out what we have to do to be successful the next couple weeks.”

On the upcoming weeks...
“I feel that all of us need to go out and get the job done because this isn’t the way at all to do it.”

On playing in his home state against Missouri...
“This is a special one for me. Missouri is a good team and I want to win. I didn’t grow up a Missouri fan. I really wasn’t a fan of anybody.”

On everyone’s mindset...
“I think everyone is on the same page. We know what we are capable of, we just aren’t playing up to the level that we need to. I think we got a little lost in the whole rivalry aspect and we weren’t totally prepared to go out there and do our job.”