Aug. 31, 2002
Manhattan, Kan. -
KANSAS STATE HEAD COACH BILL SNYDER
Good and bad points of the game...
"I like the fact that we got started out well with out a rash of mistakes. We didn't make the kind of mistakes that you would in a first game in regards to turnovers. I thought the penalties in the first quarter were at a minimum if there were any. Just playing sound football in the first half was the best thing we did. On the other side of the coin, there were some things in the kicking game that I was displeased with. There were some things coming out of the lockerroom in the second half. And our defense gave up a drive that led to there field goal. You can give up three points from time to time and feel good about it, but it was when it happened. What,s important to me is how well you come out of the lockerroom in the second half."
On the quarterbacks...
"We took some sacks but I think a good portion of that was protection. But you still have to look back and see if there were opportunities for them to get the ball off before the sack took place. I,m not all together certain we ran a little bit of option in the first half and the second half. We ran a little bit better and I don,t know if that,s Ell vs. Marc or whether we just protected a little better. Those are things we will have to see. I know we did protect it better in the second half. I will just have to go back and look. It's hard to make an assessment."
On Darren Sproles...
"I think Darren played well and of course his game was all in the first half. We really didn't do much with him in the second half, but I told him when he came off at the end of the first half that they said you couldn't carry 20 and your going to get that in the first half, but we didn't we got 15. But you go back and look at the first couple of drives and you see he carried the ball every time. That,s what I wanted to establish in everybody,s minds that he can be a durable back and he can carry it as many times as you ask him to."
On the receivers...
"I have to see some things. I know we made a couple of catches and put the ball on the ground a couple of times when they were very, very difficult catches as I recall. Outside of that, I know James Terry did a nice job of blocking on a couple of occasions I recall that got us some addition yardage. You have got to go back and grade the plays before I can access them or any other individual."
On Walker's interception and plays that energized the team...
"That and the field goal blocking return were big plus the punt return. We had a couple of returns. I think the one Darren had initially kind of set the tone a little bit."
On the team's passion...
"It was short-lived, it was there initially, but what the heck, you,re playing your first ballgame. That's not the test, I know you're going to come out of the locker room ready to play, but what's going to happen in the second quarter, and what's going to happen when you come out of the lockerroom with a 31-0 lead, that's where you need the passion. You need to finish the game, we didn't finish the game. It doesn't make a difference if your two's or three's or four's are in there, but they have to be in those situations and there's lessons to be learned. You still have to have that passion at any time during the course of the game."
KANSAS STATE PLAYER QUOTES
Junior Defensive End Andrew Shull
On tonight's game...
"I think we can tell where we,re at now. We played with a lot of passion and we had a lot of guys showing emotion out there. Overall, we did some really great things and I think this really helped determine where we're at."
"We did have a lot of newcomers playing the game tonight. A lot of receivers made some great catches, guys in the back made some great plays. I think they did a really great job."
On stopping the run...
"I think they had a little over 100 yards rushing. There are some things we'll have to correct, the quarterback got loose a couple times. We didn't cover all of our responsibilities, for the most part we did a good job."
"As you know, we are really deep on the defensive line. We can rotate as many guys as we can because we've got a lot of talent. Everyone for the most part, did a good job. Everyone was hustling around and finding the ball. When you have that many guys who can play, you are pretty fresh."
Senior defensive tackle Tank Reese
On tonight's efforts...
"We knew what the schemes were, and what to look for. As a defense, we played pretty great tonight. We still have a few glitches to work out, but on a whole we played pretty good. We have some improvements to make. It was a first game and we have to play more to get more comfortable with schemes and playing in front of people.
On Western Kentucky's offense...
"I knew I needed to fire off the ball, reek havoc and stop all of that. It was good to get on the field. There were some first-game jitters out there that we had to get knocked out of the way.
Junior linebacker Terry Pierce
On tonight's defensive efforts...
"I think we did everything correct, except they got 100 yards rushing on us. That made us kind of mad. We came out in the third quarter and wanted to keep them under 100. I think they only got 108, so we did everything we wanted to in the first game. We have a minimal amount of things to improve on. Going into conference play we can feel like we,re good enough to compete."
On W. Kentucky's offense...
"They played down to the wire and they ran some pretty good stuff. We
prepared so well for what they were doing, I don,t think we've ever prepared as much as we did for them. Especially against an opponent like Western Kentucky. The new coaches said it was one of those things we had to be ready for anything coming off a 6-6 season. We had to be able to make a statement no matter what they ran.
Senior quarterback Marc Dunn
On finding his rhythm...
"It is the first game trying to feel comfortable with guys around you in game time situations. Scrimmages only mean so much. I wanted to come out and today and play flawless. I didn't want to make any mistakes and just keep the chains moving."
On scoring 48 points...
"When you look at the scoreboard 48 points isn't bad. I thought Western
Kentucky hustled and made a lot of good plays in the backfield for losses. They were a good ball club tonight. We moved the ball pretty well but no matter how you play it you can always build on what we did and that,s what we will do, go back to the drawing board and get ready for week two. We just want to go 1-0 every week."
On not playing in the second half...
"It is a coaching decision. Whatever he says goes. If you like it or not you just go with it and I was fine with it. We wanted to get more people on the field. We were successful, we scored more points and we won and some I'm happy."
Sophomore kicker Joe Rheem
On making the field goals...
"That always helps. It's getting last year out of everyone's mind. It was a good way to start the year. But we could hit the ball better and we will just work on that for next week.
On being nervous on the first game...
"I didn't get too nervous out there today; I had that happen to me last year. I was ready to go out there and just kick."
Junior quarterback Ell Roberson
On Darren Sproles performance...
"We have been seeing this all two-a-days and all winter. It is nothing new to us. We know what he is capable of. He can just run the ball. If you think there is just nothing there he will make something out of it. That is what he showcased today. I just handed the ball off to him and he did his job. I get in trouble sometimes because I just watch him go around because he is so swift. If our running backs keep getting themselves better every week we will have a great duo back there in the back."
Sophomore running back Darren Sproles
On the offensive line...
"They played very well. There were lots of holes."
On his performance...
"I think I proved that I can run the ball. I can carry the ball 25 times a game."
WESTERN KENTUCKY HEAD COACH JACK HARBAUGH
On the positives that they are taking away...
"I was please with the second half. In the first half we had a three and out,
a two and out, and things didn't go very well for us. They controlled the line
of scrimmage. We weren't able to move the ball an inch."
On Western Kentucky defense...
"We hung in there in the first quarter. They only had three points. That is
tremendous against a team of this caliber."
On what happened during halftime...
"At halftime there really wasn't much to say. The defense that we had seen
was the one we expected to see. It was the one they used last year. We told
our players that they had to take control of the line and challenge their
offensive lineman. We told them to move some people. It thought we did a good
On K-State's style of play...
"They had us moving laterally. They were quick. They had us stretched.
Instead of everyone packing the line of scrimmage, they spread out and gave
away some holes. We had to move, we were stretched. When we moved laterally,
we were off guard, off tackle, and off holds."
"I know they are good. I know their quarterback is quick, and so is (Darren)
Sproles. They are going to be a very fine Big 12 football team."
WESTERN KENTUCKY PLAYER QUOTES
Junior Safety Brian Lowder
On playing a 1-AA team...
"We got a little taste of it last year when we went up to Madison and played
Wisconsin. To be honest, you guys have a lot better team than they did. Off
the bat, you all played a lot harder. They had 80,000, or whatever they hold
there, but you guys were a lot louder here. It's a positive, we played hard.
We had some mistakes early, we missed tackles, some of the little things."
On K-State,s strongest aspect...
"Offensively, their running back is quick. We studied film before the game,
he's a quick little scat back, and you've got to wrap up and we didn't do it,
and he broke a lot of tackles. In the passing game, we did a lot of good
things there, but they've got a lot of athletes."
Sophomore Running Back Maurice Bradley
On the K-State defense...
"They have an aggressive defense. They are Big 12 defense, I've never played
against Big 12, but I experienced it first hand tonight. It was a good
On the experience of playing K-State...
"It was a good experience overall. It's always a good experience to play
football. Us being 1AA, this was Big 12 1-A, so it was definitely a good
experience playing in front of this many fans."
Senior Quarterback Jason Michael
On playing a 1-A opponent...
It was tough. We had an opportunity to play Wisconsin last year , and that's
one thing about this team, the crowd wasn't really a factor. It was a great
experience, a great opportunity to come play in a Big 12 stadium, to be able
to play Big 12 football. I wish things would have been a little different."
On K-State's defense...
"They can move, they're quick. Back in the second area up front, Tank Reese
is just a load. He's strong, he's quick coming after the quarterback. (Terry)
Pierce and the linebackers read the ball so well, and they're so fast."
On sticking to the game plan...
"We did, we wanted to come in and we wanted to be able throw the ball around
a little bit and we did early. We got a few first downs once we got into it a
little bit. We did some of the things we wanted to do, and the last two drives
we showed stuff we wanted to do and then we pound the ball and ran the ball in
the middle. If we would have got that established a little earlier, things
would have run a little different."