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    K-State previews their match up with Texas

    Bill Snyder and his K-State Wildcats reviewed their big win over the Oklahoma Sooners on Saturday and addressed their match up coming up on October 25th against Texas. Here is the transcript from the press conference:

    Head Coach Bill Snyder
    On quarterback Jake Waters…
    “As I have said often in here, I see a young guy that is committed to becoming a better player and works diligently at it. He studies the game, has made that improvement, has gained more and more confidence about his abilities in all the facets of the game. Over a period of time, it goes with the experience aspect of it. He has started 18 or 19 games for us, and if you are committed to that continued improvement, then that experience is very beneficial to you. He is a good player.”

    On the goal-line stand at Oklahoma…
    “It was impressive. Our players did a great job because Oklahoma did not have any trouble getting the ball down there. I thought we did awfully well. We played hard and our guys gave up no ground up front. I was proud of our defensive front. I thought they did extremely well. We probably had a little bit of an advantage as Oklahoma had two of their players that are normally on their goal-line package that were out at that particular time. That may have helped a little bit too. Our guys stood in there against some pretty big and pretty good offensive linemen as well.”

    On the importance of having multiple explosive running plays…
    “Well it was. We had a couple of substantial gains in the passing game as well. But we had a 50-plus yarder with Jake (Waters) and a 30-plus yarder with D-Mac (DeMarcus Robinson), and that is something that has been instrumental. My dialogue with our team is that we need to create big plays offensively and certainly defensively as well. From an offensive standpoint, you just do not like to put yourself in that position where you have to drive 80 yards at four and five yards a clip. You need some of those breakaway runs or throws, and fortunately we got some.”  

    On the Texas defense…
    “They are probably as good of a front four as you will find in the game today – big, physical and run well. You take a guy like Malcom Brown and he is 320 pounds or something like that and runs a 4.7 40 (yard dash). He is athletic and he can do all of it. He can knock you around and run you down when you try to run away from him. They have a very physical, mobile and athletic front, and that makes it hard to run on them.”

    On K-State’s offensive line…
    “We have improvements still to make. We gave up three sacks, but that was not all on our offensive line. What I was pleased with is that we only had one penalty. In reality, they were not penalized and being in that environment down there with so much noise, it is easy to get discombobulated with the cadence and snap counts and communication. They handled that part very well. They are becoming a little bit more seasoned.”

    On the Texas offense…
    “They have two very fine running backs that have been in the system for a long time. (Jaxon) Shipley, I have always admired him. He is a young guy that just makes plays, he always does and always has. He can do so many things. He can catch it, he can run great routes, he can throw it, he can run the ball on reverses, he can do all of it. (John) Harris has really come into play at wide receiver and has made some tremendous plays. The other receiver, (Marcus) Johnson, is a 4.4 guy, so he can run awfully well. The guy that has really come front and center has been the quarterback. You can just see the progress that he has made. He is a talented, talented young guy who is extremely capable. The numbers just show what experience will do in a particular system. He is growing rapidly. The last two games he has accumulated 800 yards of total offense. They utilize him in a lot of different ways. He has invested in the quarterback run game and does that well. He is as big as most linemen, so he is not an easy guy to bring down by any stretch of the imagination. He really gives it that added dimension.”

    Linebacker Jonathan Truman
    On his feeling after the Oklahoma game…
    “A Big 12 win on the road is always hard to come by. With it being such a hard-fought win against a great Oklahoma team, we just felt really good after it.”

    On memories from the game…
    “I do not know what I think of first, but I will remember being with my teammates in the locker room afterward. Everyone congratulating each other and being so proud of one another it was just awesome.”

    On his motivation…
    “I am pretty self-motivated. I think a huge motivator for me is my teammates. Those guys, they work so hard and I cannot let any of those guys down. So I try to do whatever I can to do my best for this team.”

    Defensive Lineman Travis Britz
    On if Texas’ running backs are similar or different in any way…
    “They are both pretty similar; they are both one of the best running backs in the league. We faced them last year, and we know what they can do. They are great athletic guys.”

    On his kick-blocking abilities…
    “It was an attitude. You cannot give up; most guys give up on that play. It is something that you have to be trying for and take it as a chance to help the team out.”

    Defensive Back Morgan Burns
    On the grind of the Big 12 season…
    “With the Big 12, that’s how it is with West Virginia beating Baylor. It seems like everyone is playing well. The Big 12 is even across the board. Right now, anyone can beat anybody. You have to look at each team the same each week.”

    On staying focused while at the top of the Big 12 standings…
    “It is about not letting our record, or what the media is talking about, or thoughts of winning the Big 12, or the playoffs at the end of the year, get to our head. Texas is still a good football team, they will be hungry. We have a target on our back right now. We got to stay focused.”

    On the toughness of Jake Waters…
    “Jake Waters is one of the toughest guys I know. I saw him the last game. As a quarterback, it is hard to run the ball, taking the hits that he took. He persevered and kept on playing with the team really well.”

    Offensive Lineman Luke Hayes
    On running game…
    “All together we are getting a little bit more consistent with our plays, which helps a lot. If our offensive line is consistent, then our running backs will know where to hit the hole a little bit better. As an offensive line, we need to work on finishing our blocks; that way we aren’t letting three defenders go and put a lick on our running backs.”

    On making big plays…
    “It’s good to know that we can get those big run plays. Then on film, a lot of the times you see that we would have a lot more big run plays. But a lot of the times it is just one of the offensive linemen not getting their hat in the right place or being too slow or a little too fast on a double team that puts it at a four-yard gain or three-yard gain.”

    On his confidence in run game…
    “I’m really confident in our running backs. At practice, they show us what they can do. During games, they both have showed us what they can do, so I have all the confidence in the world in those guys.”

    Linebacker Will Davis
    On his thoughts about playing with Jonathan Truman…
    “Truman is well known as one of the toughest guys on the team. His mindset is that he is going to compete and outwork everyone, no matter if he is a little banged up or 100 percent healthy. He is going to be on the practice field and the weight room doing everything he can.”

    On how impressive Jonathan Truman’s performance was…
    “Any time you put up statistics like that, it is very impressive, especially coming from a guy like Jonathan, who you know puts in the work every day in practice. It is a testament to his work ethic and everything he does.”

    On if he is fired up to play Texas…
    “It is not that I am from Texas, it is more that my dad went to Texas. So it definitely gets me more excited for the game. It should be fun.”

    Defensive Back Dylan Schellenberg
    On his takeaway of the individual play of Sterling Shepard…
    “He is a great player. We could not really stop him, and he gained a lot of yards on us. We had some breakdowns and we could have done some things differently. Looking back, we did not play as well as we wanted to.”

    On his stance of coming in and out of the game…
    “It has been up and down. I just have to stay focused and just wait for my turn. It has been a ride so far. I just have to prepare like I am a starter and give my all.”

    On the biggest challenge defending the Texas offense…
    “They have a lot of good players at Texas. They have a lot of threats. We just all have to do our jobs and stay fundamentally sound. We just have to prepare hard this week for them.”

    Kicker Matt McCrane
    On getting more playing time…
    “It has been pretty surreal. Luckily, they have been all short field goals not testing my range. I am glad to get some playing time and get some experience.”

    On watching fellow kickers miss field goals…
    “I really feel for (Michael) Hunnicutt. There was a lot of pressure and a lot on the line. It takes a lot to go through missing that. It is really your whole experience with kicking and you just have to think that every kick is the same every time. I was with Jack (Cantele) through the whole process. It is good to get over it and get to that next game and that is what I am trying to do.”

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  • Tigers end 2 game losing skid at Emporia State

    Fort Hays State continued its solid play on the road this year, holding off Emporia State for a 24-21 win on Saturday (Oct. 18) in Emporia. It was the first win for the Tigers in Emporia since 2000 as the Hornets had won the last six meetings on their home field. FHSU moved to 4-3 overall, 4-3 in the MIAA, while ESU dropped to 3-4 overall, 3-4 in the MIAA.

    The Tigers used a pair of quick-strike touchdown passes early in the first quarter to take a 14-0 lead. Treveon Albert connected with Zack Gaughan for 52 yards to make it 7-0 at the 10:28 mark, and then he found Ed Williams on a 42-yard connection to make it a 14-point spread at the 9:16 mark. Both happened on the first play of each drive, the first after an ESU punt and the second after Ed Brown recorded an interception and returned it 24 yards.

    Late in the first quarter, the Tigers widened their lead to 21-0 on a 5-yard Edward Smith touchdown run with 55 seconds on the clock. That capped a 7-play, 44-yard drive. The Tiger offense finished with 195 yards of total offense in the first quarter, carving up the Hornet defense, but it would not continue the remainder of the game.

    The Tiger defense stood tall over and over again in the first half, especially the second quarter. After stopping the Hornets on 4th-and-2 at the FHSU 20-yardline in the first quarter, the Tigers stopped the Hornets four more times inside the FHSU 30-yardline in the second quarter to keep them off the board before halftime. On the first ESU drive of the quarter, Daniel Lindsey forced a fumble at the FHSU 10-yardline and Micheal Jordan recovered it. On the second Hornet drive, Johnny Hubbard III dropped Antonio Brown for no gain on 4th-and-1 at the Tiger 22-yardline. On the third drive, Joita Te'i hurried the ESU quarterback into an incomplete pass on 4th-and-9 from the FHSU 24-yardline. On the final ESU drive of the quarter, Nathan Lindsey intercepted a pass in the endzone and returned it 22 yards to preserve the 21-0 lead for FHSU at halftime. That would be the first of two big interceptions for Lindsey on the day.

    The Hornets finally scored with a 20-yard field goal on their first drive of the third quarter. The Tigers moved the ball fairly well on their first drive of the second half, but a penalty led to the Tigers having to attempt a 47 yard field goal, which was just short off the leg of Drew O'Brien.

    Emporia State capitalized on the missed opportunity by FHSU and drove the ball down the field once again, reaching the endzone with a 17-yard Kai Callins run to make it 21-10 with 2:36 to go in the third quarter. The Hornets looked to really seize momentum when they recovered a fumble on the ensuing kickoff, but the Tiger defense made the stop when it needed to once again, blocking a 39-yard field goal attempt with 55 seconds to go in the third quarter.

    The Hornets continued to apply pressure when Seth Culp intercepted Albert at the FHSU 34-yardline and returned it to the 19. However, the defense was up to the challenge once again in the short-field situation. ESU could only put a field goal on the board from 32 yards with 11:40 to go in the game, making it 21-13.

    The Tigers finally ended their scoring drought since the first quarter by countering with a Drew O'Brien field goal from 40 yards with 8:18 remaining, pushing the lead back to 11 at 24-13.

    After a good kickoff return, the Hornets marched the ball down the field again and Braxton Marstall found Justin Brown for a 10-yard touchdown pass. The pair also connected on a 2-point conversion, trimming the Tiger lead to three at 24-21 with 5:27 to play.

    Fort Hays State had to punt the ball away to the Hornets with 2:28 remaining, but Nathan Lindsey immediately crushed the comeback hopes of the Hornets by intercepting a Marstall pass at the ESU 28-yardline and returned it to the 22. A nine-yard run by Kenneth Iheme on 2nd-and-8 gave the Tigers a first down and the ability to run out the clock.

    Albert finished with 235 passing yards, completing 14-of-29 attempts with two touchdown and two interceptions. Gaughan led the receiving effort with four catches for 96 yards and a touchdown. Williams also had four catches for 68 yards and a touchdown. Edward Smith led the Tiger ground game with 70 yards on 16 attempts with one touchdown.

    Nathan Lindsey added three tackles to his two interceptions in the game. Justin McPhail had a team-best 15 tackles, followed by Brock Long with 12. Ed Brown added six tackles with his interception.

    Callins led ESU in rushing with 101 yards on 24 attempts. Starting quarterback Ty Reasnor had 128 passing yards prior to going out of the game with an injury, then Marstall threw for 115. Kavaski Ervin had a team-high 93 receiving yards on eight catches. Lyndell Johnson led the defensive effort with nine tackles, while Seth Culp had five tackles with two interceptions.

    The Tigers take on the defending national champion Northwest Missouri State next week in Hays on Saturday (Oct. 25) at 2 pm. The Bearcats have held the No. 1 ranking in the nation all season, but will likely drop from that spot after a loss at home to No. 17 Pittsburg State on Saturday.

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