• Loading KStateSports Tweets...
    1 second ago
MAIN ROSTER | SCHEDULE | STATS | TRADITION | FACILITIES | CAMPS | CLINICS | MEDIA GUIDE | ARCHIVE
K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference


Nov. 19, 2013

K-State Athletics

Head Coach Bill Snyder
On this senior class, his first full class since returning to the program...
"They are all different as are every group of young guys. It is not a matter who recruited them. It is just the matter of the fact that they are here at Kansas State. They are part of the program, part of the family. They have been good young guys and have made a wonderful contribution to the university, the community and our program. So they will certainly be guys that we will miss, but by the same token this is just a springboard into the rest of their lives and the neat things they have ahead of them."

On containing Oklahoma's rushing attack...
"They have three tremendous running backs and you have to add the quarterback to that. They are all very fine athletes. The defining factor in addition to that is they have five returning offensive line starters that are all big, physical, athletic guys. They do a nice job up front to make some of those things happen. Probably what goes somewhat unnoticed is that against Iowa State, in the second half of that ballgame, they had three snaps for 204 yards. To go the long distances with the big plays certainly speaks volumes about their offensive line, but it tells you they also have wide receivers that can block downfield to give those backs a chance downfield as well. They are all invested in it. They have 11 guys heavily invested in that phase of their game, the running game. That does not mean they cannot throw it though because they can."

On preparing for the possibility of facing three Oklahoma quarterbacks...
"The good thing is you can only get one on the field at a time. I say that with reservation that you could potentially see two. We have always known (Blake) Bell to be a guy that can run the football. They put in the youngster last week, and he ran the football so very well. He had one of those long-yardage plays for a touchdown. They are all good. I do not think there is a significant difference in regards to them throwing the football. I do not know, maybe we see the third one, and I do not know all of his capabilities other than the fact that I know he can run the football. If the first two are available, then both of them can throw the ball as well as run it. So they present the complete package. Oklahoma would probably think one, and they would know far better than I would, is a little bit better in some phases of the game. I do not know, but they have a reason for why they put one ahead of the other. They are going to play their game, and I think it will be vested in what they believe they can have success with against our defense. That is what they will go with regardless of who the quarterback is."

On what has made the senior class special this season...
"I think the obvious thing is the fact they did not give in when the opportunity presented itself right after the first game, in fact. I think there was even a lull prior to the rest of the nonconference schedule. I think it was really what I have said so many times. There came that point in time going into our conference schedule that they really decided there was a better way to do this. It starts with their values and their attitudes toward how they prepare themselves, what they did on the practice field, their commitment to those things, and the improvement that it would take to become a much better football team than they were. I think they invested in those things. Then I think there was that period of time during those first three conference games that you lose and there were two ways to look at them. We played well enough to win or we had the opportunities to win. We did not necessarily play well enough to win, but we had the opportunities to succeed in those ballgames and we just did not. To me, to overcome that was just very instrumental in whatever has taken place with this group for the rest of the season because it could have been so easy to say that we cannot climb the hill, we cannot get there."

On how the projected cold and windy conditions may affect Saturday's game...
"Well we had heavy winds at segments of times this last week and I thought we handled it alright. We had some issues far greater than the wind. I do not think that was really a factor. We were fortunate in the wind and the decisions that we made, but also the wind shifting. We started with it coming out of the southwest and it ended coming out of the north, so there were some decisions made that I think were significant for us. The wind was never a real factor, not in the kicking game or with our quarterbacks. If all holds true, this may be a little less of a wind. You never know, but based on past experiences we will probably be alright with it. Our guys are accustomed to that. We stay outside when we get to this time of the season, so our guys are used to it."

On what attributes to the success of walk-ons within the program...
"There are probably a lot of things, and I would suggest that each and every one is a little bit different. To me, the thing that they probably have in common is their tremendous sacrifice that they make. Most young guys come into school in this day and age and face the cost of education and the economic issues across the country. You would have to go on campus and ask our students how many of them are receiving a variety of different financial aid packages, which our guys cannot if they walk-on in the program. There are certain restrictions in that regard, some limitations there. They also do not have the opportunity to spend some extra time with a part time job to help pay their education. They do not want and their parents do not want to build up debts that students create over a period of time just to get their education. That is a real sacrifice and it takes a special person to make those kinds of sacrifices for the love of the sport. So I think when you get those kinds of guys, by and large, they have those types of values that we talk about all the time. They are so special and you know what you are going to get out of those guys. You know you are going to get tremendous effort, a great `want to,' and they make the commitment so they will make the commitment on the field. Nobody will work harder, nobody will care more, and nobody will be more disciplined about it. They still have things to gain, certainly the opportunity to play, get on the field. They realize that here, probably here as well as any place in the country, there is a chance as a non-scholarship player to get on the field to compete. The precedent has been set year in and year out. I just think that those things are inside that really make the difference."

On Bob Stoops' growth at Oklahoma...
"I do not know about how he has evolved. Bob has always been a tremendously talented football coach. Somebody asked me that yesterday with him having been here. I remember Bob as a player, Mike as well, because we were at the University of Iowa together. They were coming from a football family. Their father was a very talented high school football coach and heavily invested in it. They were very competitive, but they were really bright about the game of football and they really invested themselves in it and had a great understanding of what they were doing and how they were doing it. I think they are just competitive and all Coach Stoops' have progressed accordingly. You do not just go to Oklahoma and win. I remember when Oklahoma was not winning ballgames. To go there and do what they have done, to establish the program to the level of what it has been and is, is a pretty special achievement."

On if this team's turnaround this season has garnered greater respect...
"Sure, but it could all come to an abrupt halt. This is not the time to reflect back and say we have arrived because we have not. We have won four games in a row. I do not know how big of a deal that is. For this group, coming from where they were, they have made that improvement, and so they have accomplished something up to this point in time. But like I said, that could go by the wayside in a heartbeat."

Sophomore Quarterback Daniel Sams
On how proud he is of the turnaround this season...
"It feels good to see where we have come from. Even though we did not have a chance to win the Big 12, it feels good to see all of your teammates giving their all just to win the rest of the season. When you still see the guys giving their all, it feels good to know that everybody still cares about the season and finishing."

On how getting ready to play Oklahoma makes him feel...
"I cannot wait. We have not won a game against Oklahoma in our stadium in 17 years. It feels good to have the possibility to break that streak in front of our fans."

On how important the running game is going to be this week due to the weather...
"Even under those conditions, Coach Snyder still stressed that we are going to do what we are going to do. As long as we execute and show up to play, the weather should not really be a factor."

On how the team has put a walk-off win behind them and focusing on their next opponent...
"We have been doing well. Monday practices still have a lot of intensity. We are not really getting complacent. I can still see that we want to grow. Each week is a new opponent and a new approach. We have been doing our thing."

Junior Linebacker Jonathan Truman
On his thoughts about the walk-on success at K-State...
"When I first showed up, I did not hear much about it. It is something that really came to my mind after I showed up, realizing how much success people have had here walking on and just working with the system."

On if it amazes him how many successful walk-on players there have been at Kansas State...
"Yes, it just speaks to our great coaching and the system that we have here. If you have the right attitude, work hard, go through the system and listen to coaching, then you have the chance to be successful."

On this week's game against Oklahoma...
"It is very important. Obviously every week there is a challenge for us. We have new challenges every week. This week we have the challenge to plug up the run game. Also, we have to be ready for the pass game."

On what challenges Oklahoma's offense brings...
"Oklahoma is skilled on offense. Offensively, they have a great offensive line that blocks great for their running backs, and their running backs run great. They have two quarterbacks who both have the capabilities to make big plays. We just have to be prepared for that."

Sophomore Defensive Back Dante Barnett
On how comfortable he is making plays on the edge of the field...
"Each week Coach asks us to come in the game and make plays. That is what we are here for. We are prepared."

On what is good about Oklahoma's running game...
"The running backs they have are very athletic and good, so their play action pass is very good. So you cannot be too aggressive on the run since they have very good play action and good receivers that can make plays too."

Senior Punter Mark Krause
On knowing that the home season is coming to an end this week...
"I have tried to just not think about it to be honest. I am just trying to take it one game at a time. I am excited that it is ramping up, you could say. There was a point in the season where it was looking pretty bleak. I did not want my first year to be part of a class that did not do something special. We are kind of doing that now. I have not thought about it coming down to an end, but I also appreciate the journey to get to this point."

On knowing the season could have gone very badly and they turned it around...
"That is the great part about this team - we never gave up. Everyone kind of decided to say that it was a do-or-die situation and it really was. Like I said, the journey just to get to this point has been crazy. It has been a special thing to be a part of, and I am just really glad that I can say that I was a part of it. I can honestly say that we never gave up. That is the biggest thing that I will take away from all of this, being with a group of guys that never gave up, and it is a learning experience for all of us. It being my first year, I had to learn a lot along the way, and so did a lot of other guys, but this is something special that people are not going to be able to take away from us."

On the senior class and what they have left here...
"Well just look at the things that this class has accomplished or been a part of, I guess you could say. The class that I am with has gone to the Pinstripe, Cotton and Fiesta bowls, and now whatever bowl we end up at this year. That is pretty successful to anyone. Obviously, there is a little more that we all wanted. We wanted to be another Big 12 Champion team, but like I said earlier, the thing that you can count on with this group of guys graduating this year, is that we will never give up. The leadership really stepped up whenever it had to and that is what will be the biggest take away. What everyone needs to see is that this group of guys refused to give in. That two and four point in the season was a pretty big drought and it is hard to come back from something like that, but we found a way out of it."

F
reshman Fullback Glenn Gronkowski
On Oklahoma...
"They are a good team. They have a lot of tradition there. Where I am from (New York), everyone knows about them. They are a tough team. It is always difficult for anyone to get a win against them. So we will have to play disciplined, and we have to play tough."

On trailing late against TCU...
"I was positive. We work on that all the time, the two minute drill. All we needed was a field goal and you just need to have faith in your teammates. So I was pretty confident at the time."

On if the team had this confidence to win a game like the game against TCU earlier in the year...
"We had two of those earlier in the year, and we did not get them. That being said, probably not. We were in that exact situation being down three or four points with two or three minutes left in the game, and we did not come through on either of those. So I would say probably not."

Sophomore Kicker Jack Cantele
On what his brother, former K-State kicker Anthony Cantele, had to say after his game-winning kick...
"I think he was just as relieved as anyone. He was happy for me, and I know that he was really nervous. My mom said that he was chewing his gum right through his jaw. He was very happy for me, and I am glad that he was there to support me."

O
n being more nervous watching his brother kick during a game than kicking himself...
"Yes, I was always more nervous when he would go out there, and it is the same when I watch the younger kickers kick in practice. I would rather be out there doing it. I would never want to see them fail, but they are good also. They rarely ever miss. We have strong backups, but certainly I would rather be out there. I think that I was the only one in the stadium who was not nervous."

On what he does to keep himself from being nervous...
"There really is no routine. It is just kind of a thought process that I have always had. I have never really had to go through any routine to get the nerves to go away. I just do not really have them."