Tuesdays in Vanier | Texas Game Approaches

Just like every Tuesday, head coach Bill Snyder and select players gathered with the media to talk about this week's upcoming agenda.
While much was discussed, today's K-State Sports Extra has put together a few highlights from yesterday's press conference.
Coming off of a gritty 31-30 win at Oklahoma last weekend, the Wildcats now look ahead to its upcoming game against Texas. While the upcoming game took over much of the conversation at yesterday's press conference, Snyder spent a lot of time looking back at his team's win over Oklahoma. 
Overall, while Snyder was proud of the toughness his entire team displayed at Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, there were two players who especially stood out to him.
"After the ballgame, in the locker room, I identified two youngsters because of their degree of physical and mental toughness that I had a great appreciation for," explained Snyder. "One was Jonathan Truman and one was Jake Waters because they're tough young guys. Off the field, they're as nice, well mannered, polite and selfless as anybody you'll every find, but you put them on the field and that degree of toughness they have is significant to play the game."
Waters completed 15-of-23 passes for 225 yards and two touchdowns against the Sooners, while he also rushing 10 times for 51 yards and one touchdown. Though the quarterback was knocked to the ground time and time again, including one hit in particular that sent him to the locker room to get checked out, he played the entire game with intensity and never backed down.
It was the same story on the defense with Truman. The senior linebacker recorded a career-high 17 tackles, stopping everything that went his way.
Along with Waters' and Truman's play, Snyder was pleased with the effort and the discipline of his offensive line at Oklahoma. 
"They were not penalized, and being in that environment down there with so much noise, it's so easy to get discombobulated with the cadence, the snap count and communication," explained Snyder. "They handled that very well. They're becoming a little bit more seasoned."
Heading into this weekend's game, the Wildcats sit at No. 1 in the Big 12 as the only team undefeated in league play. 
"I would like to think that (the team's hunger) is on going and continual regardless of a win-loss record or where you stand in league rankings," said Snyder, "but I'm not oblivious to (rankings), and I know they understand where they are. I think they're enthused about that, and rightfully so, but then again, you can't begin to take things for granted, that gets you in trouble. When you begin thinking about where you are as opposed to where you need to go, that could get you in trouble as well."
Texas Roots Result in Added Excitement for this Weekend's Game
With 23 players on the roster hailing from the Lone Star State, it should come as no surprise that a few of them grew up rooting for the Texas Longhorns.
However, for guys like sophomore linebacker Will Davis and redshirt freshman place kicker Matthew McCrane, all they knew growing up was wearing burnt orange on Saturdays during the fall. Both of their fathers went to the University of Texas, and both dads were die-hard Longhorn fans.
"We had season tickets all growing up," said McCrane, who grew up in Brownwood, Texas. "I've been to every Texas bowl game since I was a little kid. It's surreal getting to play against them, but at the same time, I just want to do my job. I play for K-State and if we can beat on Texas, I'll be pretty happy."
Playing primarily in the Wildcats' past three games, McCrane is a perfect 3-for-3 in field goals this season with a 27-yard long last Saturday at Oklahoma and is 18-for-18 in extra point kicks. While nerves aren't something that have come into play for the young kicker so far this season, one would imagine as he goes up against his father's alma mater this weekend he could be feeling a bit more pressure.
However, that's just not the case.
"It's just another game," said McCrane when asked if nerves could come in to play on Saturday. "It's the same kick every time. I think Coach Sean Snyder harps on that every time with me: it's the same kick whether it's a 25-yard field goal or a 40-yard field goal or whether 70,000 people are watching you or nobody's watching. It's the same kick every time, so as long as I keep that in my head and keep focused, I think I should be fine."
While McCrane and Davis both said they haven't talked to many of their Texas friends leading up to this weekend's game, they have talked to their dads. 
"There's a little bit of an in-house rivalry going on right now," laughed Davis, a native of Southlake, Texas, "but it's been fun." 
So far this season, Davis has recorded a total of 12 tackles with a career-high six in K-State's 32-28 win over Iowa State on Sept. 6, and, like McCrane, he said there's no added nerves heading into this weekend's matchup - just excitement. 
"I would have to say it's exciting," Davis explained. "It's exciting to get to play against a team you watched growing up. It's not going to be weird, but instead, it'll be exciting."
Exciting as it is to go up against the team you idolized as a kid, regardless of the outcome this weekend, both Wildcats know they have the support of their Longhorn fathers.
"My dad, he jabs me every once in a while, but he supports me," laughed Davis when asked who his dad would be rooting for this weekend, "but I do think he's kind of torn himself."
McCrane agreed with Davis' statement.
"I don't know if he'll be in orange or purple, but my dad, he definitely supports me," said McCrane with a smile. "We've had fun texting back and forth, but if we can beat Texas and get by them, that'll be a good feeling for me."
For additional information about this weekend's game, fans can check out www.kstatesports.com/gameday for more on Saturday's matchup between K-State and Texas. 
The entire Bill Snyder portion of yesterday's press conference is online through K-StateHD.TV and can be viewed for free by clicking here
Week seven was an exciting one in the NFL, and a few former Wildcats found success with their respective teams. From updates on Jordy Nelson to Daniel Thomas, check out this week's 'K-State in the NFL' by clicking here.
Photo above right: K-State's Matthew McCrane kicks a field goal against UTEP at Bill Snyder Family Stadium in Manhattan, Kansas on September 27, 2014. Photo credit: Scott D. Weaver/K-State Athletics

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