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K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference


Nov. 12, 2013

K-State Athletics

Head Coach Bill Snyder
On the improvement of the offensive line...
"I think it is more of a mental approach. Coach (Charlie) Dickey is a very sound, fundamental football coach, so they have been engrained in the fundamentals through the entirety of their time here. I think it is the mental approach that we addressed before - maybe taking their performance for granted at an earlier stage in the season and realizing over a period of time that it takes more than just experience to have the kind of success they needed to have. They have developed a better sensitivity to finishing plays, going to the whistle, that type of thing. The average play lasts about six seconds and you have got to play for six seconds. I thought that we were kind of taking some things for granted, and we probably played about three seconds of every snap, in other words, didn't finish plays and we weren't practicing that way. But once they kind of got the message and realized that we needed to practice that way in order to play that way, they began to finish plays in practice better and that has carried over onto gameday."

On his conversations with K-State graduate and current TCU head coach Gary Patterson... "I have seen Gary and his wife on some football-related events and we have dialogue. When we see each other, we engage in what I believe to be some very meaningful dialogue."

On preparing for TCU and the injuries they have sustained...
"They have pretty good depth at the positions they are banged up at. They have good players behind them. They have a plethora of running backs who have all stepped up and played extremely well. We go into every ballgame anticipating that whoever they have on their roster - unless we have seen the hospital bill - we anticipate they are going to play. I think they will have more back than you anticipate, and that is the way we prepare. There is that misperception that if somebody is a starter and isn't able to play, there is a weakness at that position. As long as I have been in the game, what I recognize is when the backup gets a chance - that is all he ever wanted was a chance to play - and he steps up, you realize, `Wow, he is probably better than the guy he replaced.' Young guys get motivated to do that, and it should tell young guys what motivation can really do for you. It happened with TCU last week, with two of their running backs out, the third string goes in and wins the ballgame for them."

On TCU's stout run defense...
"It presents a great challenge, it always has been. If you look back over a period of time, it's TCU's stronghold, not that they don't do other things well because they do. They play well against the pass, all their stats defensively are in the top echelon of the nation, as well as the conference. It (run defense) presents a problem. We did not knock them out of the box last year running the football. They are extremely sound. What they do they do well, they are a physical football team up front, they run well in the back end. I know they have some injury problems back there, but I have not seen any drop off in how they cover. No one has had great success throwing the ball against them. They are just good at what they do."

On the importance of clinching bowl eligibility vs. TCU...
"It would be a positive thing at this point in time. I think all of our players are interested in that. We do not spend a great deal of time talking about it, but you have to realize too that there is an equal amount of motivation on the other side because TCU is going through the exact same thing. They are fighting for their lives in a bowl game as well, so they will be motivated as will we."

On what is holding TCU back offensively...
"I told the coaching staff on Sunday morning and the players on Monday that I don't have the answer for that. They have a guy that can throw it with the best of them. They've got a guy that can run it with the best of them, and he doesn't throw it badly. They've got some running backs, depending on who is healthy and who's not. Like I said earlier, the No. 3 back comes in and knocks them dead. Wide receivers, I saw the youngest go up and make incredible catches at the end of the Iowa State ballgame. Coach (Gary) Patterson said he was awfully good. They have skilled players. I don't know why they have struggled. I am sure Gary knows. I am sure he has a great handle on it, but for the life of me I do not know."

Junior Offensive Lineman B.J. Finney
On the closeness of the offensive line and what has brought them together...
"Off the field, it is just things like eating dinner together, coming and watching film as a group. On the field, it is just communicating better, making sure that we are getting each other's calls and making sure that we are aware of what is going on as far as defense and just communicating better."

On the improvement of the team both mentally and in terms of technique...
"It has just been being better prepared all the way around - taking advantage of the reps that we get, focusing on technique, making sure that we are sound in the fundamentals, and then coming into film and making sure that we are catching all of the little details for defensive fronts and tips and things like that to help us catch movement. It had just been helpful doing that as a group."

On if the game Saturday against TCU will be a battle...
"It will be a battle. There is no way around it. It is just going to be an all-out war. TCU has a great defense, and we are going to be tested just to see what kind of offensive line we have."

On the physicality of the TCU game last year and what is to be expected this time around...
"I expect the same thing. They are very physical. They were beating us off the ball and beating us at the point of attack. They were doing a very good job at making sure that they controlled the line of scrimmage, and as an offensive lineman, it is hard to swallow that pill when someone is doing that. So we are expecting a lot of that same physicality and a lot of that same toughness from this TCU team. Even though they do not have the same record as last year, these guys are still the same team and very good athletes. They are a great team, and it is going to be a hard game."

Junior Linebacker Jonathan Truman
On the momentum of the team...
"The momentum is high. We just truly believe that we have been getting better and taking steps forward each day and each week. So the momentum we are carrying into this game is pretty high."

On the brotherhood on the team...
"This is a tight-knit group. We have been all season even when we struggled towards the beginning of the season. We have always been tight. Now people probably realize it more, but we have always been a tight group and when things go wrong, we just look to each other for help."

On the importance of Saturday's game...
"This game is really important for us. Obviously we take every game as serious as we can. It is another game for us, and we will take it like all of the games, prepare well, and see what we can do on Saturday."

On the possibility of becoming bowl-eligible with a win...
"I think it might be in the back of some of our minds for sure. Obviously it is there, but our focus is on TCU this week and that is what we plan to keep our minds on."

Sophomore Defensive Back Dante Barnett
On the attitude of the team right now...
"We are trying to be consistent. That is what we say around the locker room. We cannot let these couple of games make our heads big. Let's go out and finish the season these last couple of weeks."

On the importance of getting bowl eligibility out of the way on Saturday and if it would be a sigh of relief...
"We do not really look at it as that. We just look at it as another game that we can go out there and win. We will worry about the bowl game when that time comes. It would not really be a relief. We still look back at a couple of those losses, but winning that game would show that we have improved since those losses and have gotten better each week."

On the turning point of the team...
"We wanted to win. After the Texas loss, it was tough and we thought about it. We needed to play with more energy and be more consistent on the field. That is what we have been doing."

Sophomore Place Kicker Jack Cantele
On the ability to overcome adversity...
"Well first of all, I would say that I am very confident in this team. I would say that being here, my third year now, this reminds me a lot of the season that we went to the Cotton Bowl. This reminds me a lot of that team, except for the fact that we won the close games instead of lost them, and that is the major way that we have grown this year. We have started to finish ballgames in the fourth quarter and also start ballgames better than we have been at the beginning of the season. I think we have decreased the number of penalties that we have hurt ourselves with, also we have eliminated the turnovers, and we are also causing more turnovers. The staple of our team is winning the turnover battle."

On how big the game Saturday will be for the team...
"Every game throughout the season gets bigger and bigger. This is the biggest game we have played yet and the most important game we have played yet, especially as we look to become bowl eligible. We want to finish the season the right way. We want to win every game from here out, and I think it would be a great turnaround from the way we started."

Sophomore Linebacker Charmeachealle Moore
On getting bowl eligibility right now after this game and not having to worry about it the rest of the season...
"Right now we are not looking at that. We are just looking to be 1-0 every week, like Coach Snyder says and just take it one game at a time."

On the physicality of the TCU game last year...
"Every week is going to be a physical game, and we are expecting it and for them to bring their best."

On what makes Ryan Mueller such an impressive player...
"How he practices. He practices hard, he plays hard. He practices how he plays."