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Sat, Dec. 28 - 6:30 pm CST
Sat, Dec. 28 - 6:30 pm CST
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Kansas State Head Coach Bill Snyder at Team Arrival

On the bowl system
“Well I think it is important to a lot of universities and certainly to us. You can remember way back when Kansas State University had an opportunity to compete in bowl games and it did so much for our program. It bonded our following together. I always talk about having the three largest crowds in college football cross the state lines to see their team play and that wouldn’t have happened without the purpose of the bonding. That brought our Kansas State family together very, very much. But not only for us, but for other schools as well.”

The 1998 Alamo Bowl trip
“Well the things that come to mind real quickly is that it was a championship ball game that we played, had a substantial lead but end up losing that ball game and the disappointment that went along with it and then kind of dropping off the bowl picture and then we come to the Alamo Bowl and it is almost an exact replica of championship game.”

On bowl game preparation
“I like to think it has been time well used and if it isn’t then that falls back on me. I think it has gone about as well as it can. I think our youngsters are invested in it right now and I think we have had good practices. There can be a lot of distractions, obviously, but I think they’re prepared to deal with that.”

On UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley
“I think he is comparable to some of the young people we have in our conference, you know, the obvious two, Petty and Boykin, all are very fine and talented quarterbacks and I think Hundley fits in that category. I think he does so many things well. He throws the ball well. He can run the ball well. Makes good decisions. That is enough for us to be concerned about, for sure.”

Bowl Game Practices
“I think we have kind of been up and down. I don’t think we’ve been… I don’t think I could say the negative things about the preparation early like the things of past years bowl game but we still have room to improve. We are not where we need to be yet.”

On senior Offensive Lineman BJ Finney
“BJ (Finney) is a young guy who walked onto our program, earned a letter, became a starter right away, became a captain immediately. He is so invested in what we do and how we do it, has a value system set in place that allows him to do exactly that. He is a hard worker, disciplined, cares, great teammate, quality person, great leader. You could go on, and on, and on.”

 Kansas State Offensive Lineman BJ Finney

On playing in a bowl game

“Its huge for development, for the next years teams and for the seniors because you want to send them out the right way, send them out with a championship. You want to win that last game and then building off the preparation for next years team as well getting them reps and getting them in so you can coach them up.”
On player accountability

“The coaches are going to get on you when you mess up because that’s their job, but as a player when you want another player accountable, other players are going to hold you accountable so you want to get your job as well help the other player get his job done so its not holding anyone back. There’s right ways and there’s wrong ways to go about it, but holding each other from a peer-player standpoint is a huge and effective way to lead.”
On career coming to an end
“I’m not thinking about it, I’m not letting hit me until the end of the game. When that thought enters my mind, I immediately distract myself , because this place has been very special to me and we accomplished a lot of things and we still have a lot more to accomplish and there’s ways to make it more special.
Keys to the game
“The key is that everyone wants to get off to get a good start ,that’s the way to get momentum in your favor early in a game and it helps you keep it throughout the game. The key in bowl prep is keeping everyone focused, keeping them into practice, getting that game like speed because we are not going to get the looks that were going to get on gameday on practice. They’re fast and physical, they’re better athletes than the scout team, that’s just the way it is, but we have to give great effort.

Kansas State Defensive End Ryan Mueller

On Preparing for the bowl game
“Preparing, getting ready to prepare for 3-4 weeks of preparation, um, but, you know, we really took that full prep serious and, um, it was just instilled in our minds early on that we want to win, we want to know what it’s like to be champions at the end of the season, whether winning the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl or whatever, so uh, that’s what we got in our minds that we wanted to end as champions. We have the same mindset this year, we want to end as champions. There’s a huge difference between 9-4 and 10-3, and holding a trophy up at the end of the game and not holding a trophy up at the end of the game. Nobody likes to end their season on a loss in the losing lockerroom. You want to go out on top and as champions.”
Does this year remind him of what they did last year
“Yeah, you know, I think having guys on our team, the senior leadership that we have on our team, guys who have been in championship lockerrooms, they know how to carry the torch and to lead the guys who are younger. Football is a total team effort, you need seniors, juniors, sophomores, freshman, everyone banding together if you want to win.”

On career journey at K-State
“I certainly didn’t think I’d have the success I’ve had at Kansas State. But Kansas State has presented an opportunity for me to excel and take advantage of it. All I needed to do when graduating high school was to get my foot in the door. Give me an opportunity, I promise I’ll take advantage of it and you know I kept my word and fought like heck to earn a starting position and had great guys to look up to along the way. BJ (Finney) standing right here beside me, definitely paved the way for a lot of walk-on guys. BJ was kind of like the first freshman walk-on, in my class, to get an opportunity to play on the field. You know, once we saw that, it really inspired guys across the board in my class of walk-ons to get an opportunity.”

Putting his career in perspective
“Um, you know, I see what you’re trying to ask me, but I really thought when I first walked in the door that I just have to get my foot in the door, and then from that point on once I was accepted onto the team, when I had the opportunity to be a part of this team, I really took it from there. That’s kind of what I’ve done and that’s kind of been my approach. I’m very confident in my abilities, I’m very confident in my preparation, I feel like if you practice enough against quality challengers, you’re going to get better from it. Just working diligently day in and day out, and listening to what your coach is saying and absorbing information and then applying it out on the field. It’s a real simple philosophy. ‘I’m going to tell you what to do, go out there and execute it. And if you have any questions, you need to ask beforehand, so when you go out there on the field and execute it, you don’t look dumb.”

Thoughts on the bowl game and looking forward
“I want to end as a champion. I’ve been to five different bowl games and I’ve only won one. I’ve been in big bowl games where we’ve lost and it’s a total different feeling than being in a lockerroom, being proud as a champion. I think that’s something this team would take a lot of pride in, with the senior class I came in with, a lot of walk-ons, a lot of guys who play with a chip on their shoulders. If we can finish, if we win this bowl game and have a chance to finish top 10 in the country, that would be pretty cool considering our class is probably rated 60-70 in the country. We’re interested in the top 10. Just shows how great of a coach that Coach Snyder is, and we have to take advantage of the opportunity at the end of the week.”

On playing with a chip on your shoulder and why K-State is often overlooked
“Yeah they certainly don’t, and I don’t know why. Kansas State gets overlooked, that’s just the way it is. I’d say from a media standpoint, and analysts and all those guys get overlooked. But as far as teams that are lining up and playing against us, I certainly don’t think they look past us by any means. We’ve had very successful teams the last four or five years, I certainly think we’re a team that is scheduled on other team’s schedules and they look at it and are like ‘It’s going to be a dogfight. We’re going to need to play exceptionally well to beat Kansas State University.’
Thoughts on the season so far
“Yeah it’s been really impressive. A lot of credit goes to Coach Snyder, of course, but you know the coaches are facilitating everything but at the end of the day, players are the ones who have to make it happen on Saturdays. And that begins with leadership across the board. I think that’s really where we’ve excelled.”