K-State Holds Weekly Press Conference

Opening statement...

“We are really pleased with being able to go on the road and get a win. After looking at tape, we didn’t play a perfect game most coaches will tell you that. I was really pleased with a couple of things we did. We were able to go out early enough to get some points on the board and have some control in the game. From a learning standpoint, the third quarter did not go our way. This is a very proud team that we played and they came back. Just a year ago, they were in the (Big 12) title game. No matter how the game was going at the beginning, this is a team that is used to winning at Colorado. We thought we could find some opportunities early in the game, but we knew that they were going to come back and respond to that.  We were able to come back from (Colorado’s) very best response with Jordy’s (Nelson) reception and again with Yamon’s (Figurs) run. We knew that they were going to make some fundamental changes at half, becoming a drop-back passing team, which they hadn’t shown much desire to do during the year or they were going to run the football. We didn’t anticipate giving up the big runs that we gave up. We thought that if we could force them to run the football in the second half, they couldn’t put up enough points to catch us. That wasn’t quite right. Their quarterback got away from us.”

 

 “I thought we had a great day in the kicking game Saturday. Most of the day we had our average start, which is something I pay attention to, at the 34 yard line. Their average start was in the 20’s. We had a 13-yard difference almost every time they got the ball to start a drive or we got it. In the games that we win or play well, we’ll have that differential in average start. It was a good road win. That was our main focus to go into a place where we haven’t won in awhile and take care of business.”

 

“Josh’s (Freeman) performance during the game we knew was very solid. After going back and watching the tape, there were a number of players that made it possible, but (Josh) did a terrific job. He was very poised and very much in control of what was happening. He was that way in practice all week very confident. I thought that James Franklin did a great job in defining to the offensive players how the game was to be played. (Colorado) had two outstanding middle linebackers and a presence on the defensive end in No. 53. We felt like we needed to throw the ball on first down because this kid had been owning third-and-long situations coming into the game. If we could stay out of third-and-long, where he could wreck the game for us, and pick up that yardage on first down, then we could have to opportunity to run the ball on third down if we needed to. That was a maturing point for us offensively to make those changes and do those things.  I found growth in all aspects of our game.”

 

On the Texas game...

“This quarterback (Colt McCoy) is a terrific player. From the players I have seen on tape, this quarterback is as fundamentally sound as anyone. He is really well coached and great mechanically. For a player of his youth, he really looks advanced. I think he’s right there with the quarterback from Louisville, Brian Brohm. He has a really fine option in No. 4 (Limas Sweed), their receiver. I don’t know if we faced someone quite like this wide receiver. It puts you in a dilemma. If you try to do too many things to double-cover him, their running game is significant enough to really hurt you. Between the quarterback being very accurate and poised, having an option that most people can’t defend one-on-one, and a running game that can hurt you if you don’t have eight people in the box, that explains why this team is where they are statistically.”

 

“Defensively, they have a defensive end, No. 80 (Tim Crowder), who is in an elite nature. By himself, he could wreck the game. They’ve got a number of players like this on the roster. These offensive and defensive coordinators are among the best in the country. They’ve been there for some time now. This team is very impressive on tape, very well coached, and has some momentum. With that said, I like our chances. We’ve gone back and looked at tape and will practice well this week. If we can put together consistent days where we can

define that game and make it the kind of game we want to play, we like our chances. We like our home crowd. We like playing here. We expect to play well. If we can play well, I think we’ll win the game. We’re not coaching different it’s just that the challenges are different.”

 

On playing a team of Texas’ caliber...

“You have to go in and know that a team like this will get yards. Field position will be gigantic. If we can keep them having to operate the long field with our kicking game, that will give us some options on how to defend this offense. I don’t think that you can go into the game and take away one aspect of their offense because the other one could beat you. I think that we’ll need to be very balanced from a defensive standpoint, just as we’ve tried to be on offense. We want to make the game go a particular down and distance and get into a rhythm that we would like it to go from snap-to-snap.”

 

On linebacker Zach Diles...

“Raheem Morris jumped on the Zach Diles’ membership committee immediately. He became a fan as soon as we got here. (Morris) said, No.52 is going to be our Mike linebacker.’ He identified that before anyone else did. He just thought that (Diles) had the right stuff and the right makeup. He was a guy who really wasn’t a household name a year ago, but he has great movement and has really done a terrific job in assigning the defensive sets and getting us aligned properly. He’s really made some terrific growth and has taken some ownership there. From that aspect, that’s the middle linebacker’s most important job. He is in constant communication with our defensive signal callers and makes the adjustments on the field along with our safety Kyle Williams.”

 

On Colt McCoy...

“This quarterback may not have the same dimensions as Vince Young, but he is very comfortable and poised. He would be terrific in whatever offense he is in. I try not to make outlandish statements, but I see a lot of the same things in Tom Brady that I see in Colt McCoy. He is very calm and very patient. If you’re in a zone defense, he can find the open receiver and put the ball in the exact location that it needs to be in against that zone defense. Everyone else in the system has become comfortable in the spread offense, and he has been nothing short of spectacular in it. Very similar to Daniel at Missouri, this offense is something that is very familiar to him. When you watch him operate in the pocket, you would think he was a fifth-year senior back there.”

 

On the Texas game being a statement game...

“Statement games, I think, are for the last game of the year. I think they are about championships. Is this a great opportunity? Sure it is. To be able to play one of the very best teams in college football, coming to your home, is perfect. It’s the same way we approached reasoning for playing Louisville. I think that you can see that our diagnosis of what kind of team Louisville was going to be was accurate. This is great. This is why you coach. This is why you play. You want to go out and compete against the very best and see where you are. We’re excited about it there’s no question about it. I don’t want to give any impression that we are not excited about this game. All of the other things that we don’t have any control over, like the bowl situation, are something that we don’t pay much attention to. These issues in the game are going to be challenging enough.

 

Junior Offensive Lineman Logan Robinson

On playing Texas on national television ...

“It’s always good to have a TV game. As far as a chance to play Texas, we are very excited about that. They’re a really good team that has been playing extremely well all season long. It gives us a chance just like Louisville to come out and see how we stand up.”

 

On being more excited for this game than others...

“As far as me, this is game number two, so I don’t know if you can count that as being more excited or not. I was pretty excited and nervous against Colorado. I jumped offsides twice. It’s going to be a big-time challenge, especially for the offensive line. They are a really great team both offensively and defensively. I think all the guys just want to do all they can to play well.”

 

On Texas’ defense...

“After watching them on tape, I definitely think they are some of the biggest and strongest guys we’ve faced all year. We’ve played teams that have really good defensive ends or a really good linebacker, but this is a good team all around. They’ve got good players at every position and it’s just something that we have to concentrate on for our practices and for the game.”

 

Freshman Quarterback Josh Freeman

On if he’s excited about getting the chance to play a top-five team...

“To a certain extent. It just means that you have to prepare that much harder. You just have to keep grinding. You can’t take one snap off. You’ve seen what their team is capable of they’re ranked in the top five nationally.”

 

On Texas’ defense...

“They’re a fast defense. I don’t think it’s anything we can’t handle. They are a big, physical defense. It should be interesting.”

 

On if he is excited about playing Texas...

“I’m anxious, but I’m anxious for every game. I’m looking forward to going through this week and having good practices and going out and playing well on Saturday.”

 

On his game against Colorado...

“There’s always stuff you can improve on. It (completion percentage) could have been higher if I would have done a couple more things right. It was enough to win the game, so I’m happy with that.”

 

On gaining bowl eligibility...

“We’re bowl eligible, but we’re not guaranteed a bowl. There are a bunch of teams that are going to be 6-6 or 6-5. It just depends on who is doing well. We have to win out to secure a bowl.”

 

Junior Wide Receiver Daniel Gonzalez

On gaining bowl eligibility...

“We’ve just taken the mentality of taking it one game at a time. Now that we are bowl eligible, I guess it takes a little bit off because everyone didn’t expect us to go as far as we have so far.”

 

On the team’s progress this season...

“I think we’ve come a long way. Our defense has played well all season and our offense is finally starting to click. I think we have a real good team.”

 

Senior Safety Kyle Williams

On Texas’ Limas Sweed...

“He’s a good receiver. We just want to limit what he can do and not let him have break-out plays on us.”

 

On playing his last game in Manhattan...

“It’s probably going to be an emotional day for me. I don’t really think it’s hit me yet, but it will be special. We’ve got a good team coming in, so it will be fun.”

 

On playing Texas...

“Any time you get a top-five team coming in, it’s always a good challenge for you. It let you see where you’re team is.”

 

Senior Defensive Lineman Quintin Echols

On gaining bowl eligibility...

“It was nice to win in Colorado, but now we’re on to Texas. It’s a big game with a big opponent, and that’s what we’re looking forward to. Getting bowl eligible is something good, but we always want to do something more.”

 

On Texas’ offense...

Texas’ offense is really good. After watching them on film, they deserve all the props and pubs that they’re getting. It’s just up to us as a defense to work hard in practice all week and put a game plan together to stop them.”

 

On if they are intimidated by Texas...

“You would think so, but it really pumps us up. We came to practice yesterday and we were like we’ve got Texas let’s go.’ I don’t think anybody is intimidated at all. If you think you’re a big-time player on this team, then it’s time to step up, and this will be the perfect time to step up. I think we are a big-time team, and I think it’s time for us to show that.”