Snyder not settled on starting QB

Oct 28, 2017; Lawrence, Kansas, USA; during the Sunflower Showdown between KU and K-State at Memorial Stadium ©Kelly Ross KWCH12

MANHATTAN, Kan. (K-State sports release) K-State Football Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Head Coach Bill Snyder

On new kickoff rule...

“It’s going to be interesting. We’ve thought about it for a long time since it’s been in place for a while now. (Special Teams Coordinator) Sean (Snyder) and I have talked about it numerous times, and we have had a plan this way and a plan that way, and maybe we don’t have quite the talent to make some of those things happen. Our approach is not going to be any different than it has been; nothing will really change for us. What we don’t know is the uncertainty of how other people are going to approach it. Will they fair catch that ball that comes down at the two-yard line or not? Will teams not kick to us and force us to make the fair catch and get the ball at the 25? We have been fortunate in the years past that our coverage units have been very good, and that has worked in our favor. We’re not going to change anything and see how other people do it – kind of a read and react.”

On if he has an idea of who will start at quarterback...

“I thought I did earlier in the week, I truly did, but you know it’s really interesting – these are two guys who compete like you would want everyone in your program to compete, with the best interest of the team at heart. It’s unimaginably tight in regards to who is doing the best. Several days ago, I thought I had the answer, and I started to move in that direction. It’s like that old adage, ‘You think you got it, but just wait a day.’ And I did and that’s what happened. I’m not sure yet, but we have to start somebody. We’re not going try to fool anybody. Both of them are going to play, I’m committed to that. Both of them will be on the field for a substantial amount of time, barring injury. But it’s something that I still have to wrestle with. If the decision goes much longer, it will be based on both of them stepping onto the field and then kind of depending on what the situation is.”

On the rhythm of offense with two quarterbacks...

“Well, we have had however many practices we’ve had, and they have taken repetitions with the number one group and they have alternated back and forth between the number ones and the number twos. There hasn’t been any disruption. There is no lack of continuity between one and the other. Our offensive line and everybody else is comfortable with either one of them. They both have had the same amount of repetitions and it doesn’t get any different from one to the other. Everyone wants to say, ‘Well he does this, and he does that.’ But they both do the same things exactly the same.”

On sophomore running back Mike McCoy’s status for Saturday...

“We are uncertain about Mike, and I won’t have an answer. Right now, I don’t know, and it is doubtful that he’ll participate this week. But there is some more stuff that has to take place and I can’t give you an answer yet.”

On senior Dalvin Warmack earning the No. 2 position at running back...

“There isn’t much difference between him and Justin Silmon, in terms of productivity. There are some things that Dalvin does that Justin can’t do, and vice versa. Both of them are No. 2 right now. Dalvin is a quick young guy, who’s got good eyes, good vision, good decisions on where to put the ball. He can accelerate well.”

On how Blake Lynch, standing at 5-foot-5, win the kicking…

“He’s a neat little guy, who won the job up to this point. He’s just out-performed the other kickers. He’s fun to watch because he’s developed the ability to hit them from the distance. We initially kept them at close to range just to see if they could get in between the poles. He became very effective that way and very consistent. Sean (Snyder) started to back him up and he kept getting them through. He’s back there quite a ways for a little guy. He’s fun to watch because the players love seeing him hit it through. He’ll jump up in the air and they’ll catch him. But that was practice sessions, now he has to get out on the field and in the game and see how that plays out.”

On the returning experience on the offensive line…

“Just because you have five starters back does not make you any better or any worse. It is what you do with it and how are they responding. I think they have been very business-like in their approach. They understand that they have experience. Having the ability through their experience to communicate well and have a great understanding of the overall picture allows us to process information so much more rapidly. To this point in time, they have not taking anything for granted.”

On facing South Dakota…

“(South Dakota head coach) Bob Nielson has 198 victories, so he knows how to coach the game. I read the other day that he became a head coach the same time I did in 1989. They have been a very productive offensive team. Last year they averaged right around 523 yards of total offense. They threw the ball for 333 yards a ballgame. They appear to be a certainly well-disciplined team that will execute their assignment correct and they are a team that plays hard, which normally is a sign that their coach coaches well. Defensively, they play hard and are a physical football team. They have a lot of experience coming back. They have nine returning starters on offense and defense, which is basically their whole team.”

On junior linebacker Da’Quan Patton earning a starting spot…

“He still has things to learn, but he has earned the right to be in his position. He has made great strides. He is very committed to what he is doing. He is into it and pays attention. He has learned and is a good film watcher. He is upstairs quite frequently watching film and video tapes on his own. He is a good young guy.”

On the tight end position…

“I do not know if there is any more versatility. Nick (Lenners) is probably quicker than Dayton (Valentine) was. He runs a little bit better. Outside of that I do not know if there is any difference.”

Senior Linebacker Sam Sizelove

On preparation for South Dakota...

“We’re trying to prepare the best we can, and the scout team is getting a good look. So, I think we’ll be ready.”

On how the defense has come together as a collective unit...

“Kendall (Adams) is huge. When we lost him last year, it was a big blow to our defense. He’s a great leader and enforcer, and as a linebacker it makes you feel a lot safer knowing he’s right behind you to clean up anything you might miss. So, it’s so huge. He’s so knowledgeable. He’s going on his fourth year starting, I think. It’s been great to have him back.”

On overlooking games last year and looking a few weeks ahead…

“The key is something coach mentions all the time, which is a 1-0 mentality. Just take every game 1-0, everyday 1-0, try to win every day and not get too far in advance. I definitely think we were looking too far in the future last year and lost some games we should have won. And this year we’re really just going game by game, practice by practice getting better each day.”

Senior Wide Receiver Zach Reuter

On how the receivers have improved their consistency...

“We’ve really tried to put everything together and start dialing in, especially as we approach games we can limit the playbook to opponents. Just being able to take down that play book a tad really helps us as an offense to dial in and be more consistent.”

On having two quarterbacks...

“Both quarterbacks, we’ve had so much time with. I’ve had them for years. We have chemistry with both of them. I think we’re in great shape with whoever is playing. I really believe whoever is on the field, I kind of have a feel for how they play, and I think we can get it rolling with either guy.”

On being listed as a starting wide receiver on the depth chart…

“It’s definitely been a goal of mine throughout my career here to really take a leadership role and kind of take over this wide receiver group. It’s been pretty awesome to really define myself as a guy we can rely on and come to when we need a big play.”

On his play during the final drive of last year’s Iowa State game...

“No matter what everyone else thinks, I know what I can do. I might not have shown it on the field on game days as many times as some other guys. In practice, I know the coaches believe in me and I believe in myself. It was a nice reward to the end of the season, but I know what I can do and I’m going to go out and do my best.”

Junior Wide Receiver Dalton Schoen

On the depth of the wide receiver position...

“I think that it is something that we have to do by committee, to pick up guys that we lost from last year, but I definitely think that it is something that we are capable of, spreading the ball around and getting a lot of guys involved.”

On the quarterback position...

“We (receivers) definitely like both of them. I think it’s a tough spot for them to be in a position battle like that, but they’re both handling it so well. They’ve both done a great job. It really hasn’t thrown too much off with us because we’ve been working with them both all last season and all this offseason, so it doesn’t affect us too much.”

On keeping the focus on the upcoming game…

“Everyone’s talking about the Mississippi State game and all the hype there, but we can’t overlook South Dakota and we have to focus on that right now. I remember as a fan a few years back when we lost to North Dakota State, that can really hurt the entire season. We can’t look ahead. We have to just go one week at a time and focus on South Dakota and worry about Mississippi State after this one.”

Senior Offensive Lineman Dalton Risner

On focusing on one game at a time…

“I think coach has done a really good job of harnessing this team and letting us know that he’s not going to let us do what we did last year, regardless of how well we do in camp and how excited we get. I think that the leaders on the team have also done a pretty good job of letting everyone know that we are excited for these games and excited to see what we can do this season, but let’s make sure we take it one game at a time.”

On the offensive line…

“I have been a part of some good offensive lines since my redshirt freshman year. I was with Cody Whitehair, Boston Stiverson, Matt Kleinsorge, Luke Hayes, Terrell Johnson who all left a couple of years ago. After the work that we have done in fall camp and the work that we had last year, going into the season, we have the capabilities to be one of the best offensive lines I have ever been a part of. We click on all levels, we have been working together for two to three years and we have a big class below me with Adam Holtorf and Scott Frantz and Tyler Mitchell, (Abdul) Beecham, all guys that we have been working together for so long. If we cannot get complacent this year, we can have one of the best offensive lines in the country. But we have to go out there and prove that.”

On the running backs…

“Alex Barnes is a tremendous running back, but I can’t just sit here and talk about just Alex Barnes because you guys know the stable that we have behind Alex. You’ve got Dalvin Warmack, Justin Silmon, so many guys back there that can do so many great things, and Alex Barnes is one of those guys that he turned a switch from last year. He was a great running back last year, but I think Alex grew up a little bit over the offseason and you’ve seen a whole new Alex Barnes this season, whether that be showing up every single day to practice, sprinting to the end zone regardless of if he gets tackled behind the line, he’s going to get up and sprint to the endzone. He’s brought a whole new mentality and he’s done a tremendous job. I think that guy is just itching to get out there on the field.”

On the quarterbacks...

“They both bring new elements to the table. I am going to be honest with you, do I know which one is going to make the start on Saturday? I have no idea. Do I think they will both be on the field? Guaranteed. I think both those guys will be on the field the whole season. I don’t think that two guys can compete like that and not be on the field all season. That’s how good each of them are. Talking about camp and leading up to the first game, I think one thing that Alex Delton did really good was his leadership. Alex stepped up and was named one of the captains of the team. I think he really took charge of the offense and did a great job of leading the team.

“I think Skylar Thompson also grew up a lot from last year. When things got shaky, Skylar kind of struggled to put things on himself and take that ownership as a quarterback, and I think he did a really good job of that this fall. They both showed up everyday and competed, regardless of knowing who is going to play at the end of the day.”

Junior Running Back Alex Barnes

On the mood heading into Saturday…

“It’s just exciting. We have been waiting so long for this. Fall camp went extremely well for us on both sides of the ball, and we’re just ready to hit somebody else in front of us.”

On the offensive line…

“It’s amazing to have five or six guys just know exactly what they are doing each and every play. I have full trust in those guys. They’re making calls that they weren’t making last year and they’re a lot more mobile this year. I know that is something that they took an emphasis on. They’re going to do some exciting things for us.”

On the running back depth…

“We’re going to mix it up quite a bit. We’ve been doing some new stuff in practice and it has all been working. So that is something that we are really excited about and is looking promising for us.”

On the effect of Offensive Coordinator Andre Coleman…

“We’re doing a lot of stuff differently. Just the fire and intensity that he has each and every day, he’s really a fireball and that’s something that we feed off of and something that the rest of the coaching staff feed off of as well. It has really benefited us here.”

Senior Defensive Back Kendall Adams

On the road to recovery…

“It was pretty tough at first, especially fresh out of surgery. It’s kind of hard to picture yourself back to this point. You hit milestones – walking again, jogging again, slowly starting to get back into drills. Those milestones kind of helped me. It took me a little while (to knock the rust off), most of the summer and into camp, but I feel like I’m back in the game form now, well hopefully.”

On being a leader in the secondary…

“Luckily for me, I have some other guys who have experience. The fact that I have Duke (Shelley) back there with me – we’ve been playing together since we were freshmen – and Denzel (Goolsby) had a great year last year too. Just having a couple other guys with experience takes a lot of pressure off of me having to make sure everyone knows where to line up, because those guys know where they need to be, they can help some of the front guys if they happen to mess up.”

On using some poor performances from last year as motivation…

“I kind of take it as locker room material. I just feel like it's kind of embarrassing, some of those performances last year. I think it was due to some blown coverages and not attacking the thrown ball. This year during camp, we’ve made it a real focus to attack the thrown ball. We have a ball disruption chart where every week, somebody gets a t-shirt from (Al Cerbe) if they have the most ball-disruption – interceptions, pass break-ups, strips, strip attempts, fumble recoveries, stuff like that. I feel like just having a different mindset about attacking the ball is going to make a huge difference this year.”

On playing his first game since the Oklahoma State game last year…

“I’m extremely excited. My first ever game playing was against South Dakota. It’s kind of crazy my first game of my senior year is against them again. I just excited for it.”

On facing a South Dakota team that threw for more than 300 yards per game…

“They’re really talented offensively. We’re going to respect them like we’re playing any other Big 12 team. They have some talented receivers that are capable of playing at the Big 12 level, I feel like. They have a couple guys returning. We watched their spring game, they had a couple guys that made some acrobatic catches, so we know they’re not going to be a slouch. We’re preparing like this is a conference game and it’s going to be a really good test for us.”