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K-State Holds Weekly Football Press Conference


Dec. 5, 2013

K-State Athletics

Head Coach Bill Snyder
On going to four straight bowl games...
"I'm pleased certainly for the youngsters in our program and the people that work so hard and commit so much of their time, effort and emotions into this team. Certainly for the fan base, it is important to them, and they like that. For so many, it is the vacation time. I think it is meaningful in that respect. As it relates to the rest of college football itself, it is better than not having any other opportunity, for sure. I think it is a positive accomplishment for the young people in the program that have been here for however many years that we have been back."

On K-State's recent struggles in bowl games...
"If I had a genuinely accurate answer, you would not have to ask the question. So it is obvious that one of my many failings is that I do not have the answer to that. It could be a multitude of things, and perhaps it is, or maybe it something simple that I am overlooking. Number one, I think we have played tremendously talented football teams. Sometimes, I think, just the depth segment of it catches up with you, but that should be an accurate assessment for most teams, not just ourselves. The bottom line is I really do not know."

On if it would be positive to end the bowl losing streak...
"Well of course, but I do not think about it along those lines. I think our players do. This is really important for them because they, in their tenure here, have not been successful in the last game of the season or the bowl games that they have participated in. I think it really is significant to them, that is my guess. I am committed to trying to be successful in the ballgame just as I would be in any other game that we participate in. This one is no different than that."

On refocusing on team goals following the 2-4 start...
"I think the hardest part, as it relates to this present season, was to get them to maybe get away from that and get focused on the things that allow them to get where they want to go. You have heard me say that so many times that I really am a strong believer that to get the pie in the sky, whatever that goal may be, then all the things that allow me to climb the stairs to get there are not on my mind. That was the hardest part, getting them to reinvest in what those goals and intrinsic values were that would allow us to get there. It was not about readjusting what their ultimate goals were. It was more on getting them invested in what our goals were and the stair-step process - what needed to take place in order to have a chance to obtain what they wanted to obtain."

On playing three of the conference's top teams so early in the season...
"I guess if I could go back and redo it - but that is hindsight and strictly hindsight - I might want to alter it a little bit. But, everybody has scheduling issues and nobody knows when they make out those schedules who is going to be what. As I have said, in this conference anybody can get anybody on any given day, and that is true. It pops up on somewhat regular basis in our conference and in other conferences as well. Simple answer is, in hindsight, I would tweak it a little bit."

On the week following the end of the regular season and prior to bowl announcements...
"I have my feelings about it, and I think other coaches have their feelings about it, as well as support staff and the players. I think everybody views it probably a little bit differently. Coaches are gone to get out on the road immediately to recruit and give the players the opportunity to not practice the first four days of the week, get a little rest and focus a little more diligently on academics and the other things that are important to them. My guess is, and I am thinking on my own feelings, that there is an empty feeling there. When you are doing it, you would say you would pay dearly for an hour to just do nothing, but now I can go home at a reasonable hour right now and yet there is a feeling of emptiness. I think everybody is different in how they view it."

On this upcoming weekend's schedule...
"Well this weekend, because we really do not know who the opponent will be in the bowl game, we will practice Friday and Saturday. We will have a recruiting weekend, so we will have eight or 10 young people here with their families on the campus over the weekend. We will juggle both our practice time and our opportunities to spend time with those other families. The practices will be centered around just getting back fundamentally in terms of the things that we do because we do not really have a firm grasp on who that opponent will be. Since we have been on for five days or so, we do want to get back to stress the fundamentals and the techniques of the game. That is where the focus will be."

On the progression of Daniel Sams and Jake Waters offensively during the season...
"I think it has been rather steady. Like anything else, there was a little bit of up and downs over the course of the year. We had some issues with turnovers probably more than anything else, but I think they have progressed throughout the course of the season. I think they have gotten better in terms of understanding what the offense is about, understanding the cooperative aspect - what the other 10 guys are doing on the field both in the practice environment and on the game field. I think they both developed in terms of leadership and have become vastly more involved in that. So yes, they have made significant improvement. Both of them have."

On if they have ever practiced the Auburn-Alabama finish...
"I only saw the replay of it and not the actual thing. We practice it every day. We practice a lot of things that never happen and players just look at me like, `Are you absolutely out of your mind?' As soon as we do our stretching and start the practice, the very first thing we get into are field goals and defending field goals. We have our one's hit from the left hash. The first is against a block and the second is against a cover and in the cover we have a return man down at the other end and he reacts. They take two reps there and then we go to the middle of the field and our number two's hit and cover. We then move to the right hash and the one's go again and kick against the rush and then they kick against the return and cover. We do that every day, but like I said, we do a lot of things that they scratch their heads about."

Junior Defensive End Ryan Mueller
On not having practice for four or five days...
"Coach gave us a little time off, which has been nice, but we still have been working out with Coach (Chris) Dawson. He has been keeping us maintained while we have not been practicing since we do not know who we will play yet. It has been nice to be able to focus and to be able to take care of some studies and get ready for this bowl prep."

On finding out on Sunday who the team will face in a bowl game...
"It is certainly exciting not knowing. There is not a clear cut favorite - things could happen. I know that we will all be watching a lot of games this weekend because that can have an impact on where we go and who we could potentially play. So it is very exciting, and I am looking forward to hearing the results."

On where the improvement came from defensively after being 2-4...
"To choose a particular game would probably be a little bit difficult, but it was just a collective effort by the team and something that we were striving for. We were not happy starting out 2-4 and all of the guys on this team have, well for the most part, most of the guys on this team have been to a bowl game before, and we don't know what it is like to sit at home during this time and realize that the season is over. That is just something that we did not want to happen, and I am glad that we pulled it together and finished the season on a good note and are bowl eligible."

Junior Linebacker Jonathan Truman
On having time off of practice...
"We are always on the go. When you have a few days to relax and focus on your studies, it is nice."

On what the team is doing this week to prepare for the bowl game...
"We have some practices this weekend. We have had time off this week. We don't know who we are playing, we don't know where we are playing. We are still going to take advantage of this time to look at ourselves and improve ourselves."

On if there is any anticipation on finding out who K-State is playing...
"Yes, I would love to know as soon as I can. It is odd with this period of time when you know you are playing a bowl game, but not who you are playing against. We know who we are playing next year already, but we do not who we are playing in the bowl game."

On what the year was like starting 2-4 and going 5-1 in the second half...
"It was frustrating at first for everybody. It was a time of adversity that really tested us. I am proud of my team for turning it around, going 5-1 after we went 2-4. It was just important to us to get things corrected and to turn the season around in a positive way."

On the level of desperation to win a bowl game...
"It is very high. Nobody on our team has won a bowl game, with the exception of the coaches. We need it. We want it really bad."