K-State Holds Weekly Press Conference

Head Coach Ron Prince
Opening statement...
“We have a very tough match-up this week with the front seven of Nebraska. Both lines of scrimmage are going to be challenging for us. I had a chance to go back and watch all the games and I have kept one eye on this team because they played Virginia Tech earlier in the year and I kind of have a sense of who Virginia Tech is and what their talent level is. I was very impressed watching the tape, how they held up physically with them. Virginia Tech has a terrific quarterback who can make a lot of plays and, ultimately, that was probably the difference in the game. I have been very impressed with how physical Nebraska has been on their line. To magnify that, I think if you look at their game against KU last week an offensive line and defensive line that we had quite a bit of trouble with they were capable of neutralizing pretty well. So that will be the bulk of our focus going into this week to make sure that both lines give us an opportunity to do something positive.

“From a skills standpoint, I think that the two wide receivers that they have, No. 87 and No. 17, are terrific. I thought that last year as well. They are very underrated and do not get the attention that some of the receivers in this league do. I think they are both phenomenal players. They have another couple really big running backs. No. 10 has emerged and No. 5 has been a terrific running back for all of his career. I think the quarterback, in a league full of great quarterbacks, this is a player that does not get a lot of attention and should. I think he is as good and as pure of a passer as anybody you have in the league. He has also added the ability to run the football to his game this year, so that is very impressive.

“From a defensive standpoint, I think that the big defensive tackle, No. 93, has my attention. He has phenomenal size and strength and is a player who can hold it down in the middle. They have a number of other ones, but I guess he got the most attention just from the national standpoint with a penalty he got late in a game. He plays hard and he is tough to deal with. Their safety, No. 4, he is a really good player. We are very familiar with him as we tried to recruit him. He is a terrific talent, a great tackler and I think he has a very bright future ahead of him. We will have our hands full with this group. They are a good team and have a bunch of big, strong players and our guys are excited about going and getting lined up with them and trying to get our fifth win.”

On the last week’s game vs. Missouri...
“We missed the fewest tackles of the season last week. Missouri is a very interesting team because they are very fast. We match up with a team like that. They are not a two tight end, two back lineup, knock-everybody-down-like-bowling-pins type of team like Nebraska, Oklahoma, or Louisville or some of the ones we have seen, so we match up right now better with those types of teams. I think that the play of Blair Irvin, Cedric Wilson, and Josh Moore really helped us. We were able to matchup decently but when Jeremy Maclin got on our safeties, that was not a fair match up. That might not be a fair matchup on any safeties. I think that No. 45 not being in the game hurt them a little bit. He is usually a bigger part of their production. I don’t want to discount that. I thought our players understood exactly where to fit on these teams as it was something that we worked on during the off-season.”

On the BCS bowl system...
“I am not one of those people in favor of a college football playoff. I am in favor of the bowl system. For a lot of reasons, as somebody who participated in the 1-AA playoffs, I think there are unintended consequences to that and maybe a lot of people are not thinking about that. I think the bowls are terrific. It gives a lot of teams the opportunity to end their season on a positive note. It gives a lot of teams the opportunity to practice and get their rosters ready for the future. It gives fans in certain parts of the country an opportunity to go somewhere where it is warmer. I think those things factor into it and, overall, I think it is a very positive experience. I think it would be very important for this program to get into the postseason.”

Defensive End Ian Campbell
On last season’s loss to Nebraska...
“I don’t know if you ever forget anything like that. They beat us pretty handily. It is the worst loss from pretty much any standpoint for me and about anyone else on this team and that is something you don’t forget about. It was a long day and there is no question about that. It was unfortunate also when you are trying to do something and it just won’t work for you. People on the outside can talk about players not trying, but that is absolutely absurd.”

On the importance of reaching a bowl game...
“It would mean everything and that is the entire reason you play football. Right now it is almost like a playoff. We have to win these next two games to get the opportunity not a guarantee to play in a bowl game. We have to do everything that is in our power to make the choice up to somebody else.”

On players letting up in light of the coaching situation...
“There is no one that is acting like that around me. I hope not. I would like to think not. There are a lot of young guys that are trying figure some things out right now because they have never been through this type of transition before. I’m not going to say that it doesn’t distract some people but the guys that we have playing are all pulling in the right direction.”

Defensive End Eric Childs
On the team meeting last Wednesday...
“It was pretty normal meeting. I came in when Coach (Bill) Snyder was leaving. It was pretty normal about all his stuff because we still had a game this week. Coach Prince is going to be my coach for the rest of the season.”

On his attachment to Coach Prince...
“I have a definite attachment to Coach Prince. He has been great to me and he has taught me a lot over the three years that he has been here. I am definitely going to miss him. I still have two games to play so we need to get this team ready.”

On how the team is handling the coaching situation...
“You can tell by the way we came out against Missouri that we are still focused and we are all still ready to go. There are two games left that we need to win, so we are going to go out and try to win those two games.”

Running Back Lamark Brown
On the current atmosphere among the team...
“It is the same it has been. We are trying to win two more games to get to a bowl game. We are trying not to focus on the future of the program right now. It is hard because everyone is asking all the time but we are really just trying to focus on Nebraska.”

On the importance of going to a bowl game...
“It is going to be important for us as far as the development of the younger players and getting us on a roll, which will help us out with recruiting good players. I would think that it would help us think that the season would be a success if we make a bowl game because it was one of our goals before the season started. We are just going to keep working at it.”

On the coaching situation...
“Wednesday was rough. Once I found out about everything, the day just kind of slowed down and I was down about a lot of things. Wednesday was a really bad day for me. As far as last week, I just hurt the whole week knowing that Coach Prince is not going to be here next year because he is the guy that got me here. I am just trying to work through it right now. I plan on being here next year, working with a new coach and help the team get where we want to, which is winning the Big 12.”