Snyder on Oklahoma

Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder gives direction to quarterback Ell Roberson, left, during the second half of their game against Southern Cal, Saturday, Sept. 9, 2001, in Los Angeles. Kansas State won the game 10-6 for Snyder's 100th college coaching win.

On what went wrong in the two losses to Oklahoma last year
I think in the first one it was a commanding lead, initially. Also, it was a facet of the kicking game, remember they got a real nice kickoff return against us, brought it back. I think in the second ballgame, the kicking game was a factor as well, in regards to the punting game. I think that might be the two things. The kicking game and the fact that we gave up a very quick and substantial lead in the first ballgame.

On Oklahoma running back Quentin Griffin
He's a fine running back. In our first ballgame we missed an awful lot of tackles against him. It's easy to criticize your own players for it, but he had a lot to do with that. He is a guy that is very elusive, very quick. His height makes it difficult for you to find him sometimes. If you go back to the first ballgame, he caught seven passes against North Carolina. He's averaging about six catches per ballgame.

That's the way that offense works. Part of it is attempting to get the ball to the backs. The fact that they can lay the ball off to their backs and they do so quite well. When you can get him out on the edge with the football, whether you get him out there by handing it off to him or throwing to him, he is a dangerous young man.

On what will happen if Oklahoma stops K-State's quarterback running game
I've always felt that defensively you could probably line up and take away any facet of the ballgame you really want to. If that's the case, then that particular offense is going to have to move in a different direction. That would certainly be the case for us. We'd have to be able to find something else to go to. I would hope that we would be able to.

On whether Oklahoma's defense might try to exploit Ell Roberson
I think it's commonplace that you assess the quarterback and determine what his strengths are and what his weaknesses are and to approach your game plan in that direction. I don't think it's any different whether it happens to be a young quarterback or an experienced quarterback. Number one, you base it on what you do. Secondly, you're looking at what his strengths and weaknesses are. I would imagine that would certainly be the case with them. You still have to play the game. You can't, or at least I hope you can't, allow a variety of different things to drive you away from what your offense is all about. You just have to be good enough to handle it.

On whether K-State will attempt to exploit Oklahoma quarterback Nate Hybl
I don't know whether we will be able to or not. I think that's the thing you always tend to find out. He has the advantage of having three full games underneath his belt and he's played a considerable amount of time in each one. We've seen him get better during that period of time. How much improvement he's made from the last game to this one remains to be seen. I would guess he is on a continual incline in regards to progress. How he responds to what we do remains to be seen.

On Oklahoma linebacker Rocky Calmus and strong safety Roy Williams
They are really unique, quality players. Rocky is a lot of things. He is a leader in that program in a number of different ways, or at least it appears to me that he is. Obviously he is a very aggressive player. He plays fast. He plays with great confidence. I think he does a nice job of tying the front end to the back end of their defense. He fits into it well and, I think, is ideal for that style of defense.

I think Williams just seems to get better and better all the time. He's probably as aggressive as a secondary player as you'll find anywhere. He's a guy that is going to be around the football. You've got to make sure you account for him and understand that, if you run the ball, he is going to be on the line of scrimmage pretty quick.

On playing as many tough teams as there are in the Big 12 I think it's as difficult a situation as there is. People always talk about scheduling and my response is always the same, 'If you play in this conference, a tough schedule is already made up for you.' You have no options. Some years might be a little lighter than the others, but I don't think you can play in either division, north or south, without having to play some of the finest football teams in the country. Therefore, to get through eight games plus a championship game, is a pretty complex task.

On whether Oklahoma is doing anything differently offensively without Josh Heupel I really couldn't tell you. If you watch tape, what you see up to this point in time, the offense has the same similarities that we were aware of from last year. You still don't see all of it because its so early in the season. What hasn't been on the field yet, I'm not sure. Some are things that we have seen in the past and there may be some stuff that's different.

On Oklahoma's special teams
A very fine place kicker, an excellent punter. They have skilled, dangerous return people. They are very capable of all of it and they're good at defending the kicking game as well. They've got good quickness and good speed. They are good with their front people against the punt. They've got some excellent quickness there and they can rush the punt quite well and they've got good return people back in behind it. They are good special teams people.

On if K-State knows Oklahoma better than any other team in the conference
There are some teams in our conference that we have played against that have maintained the same staffs and the same concepts for a long time, seven or eight years. I think the fact that it is three games in such a compact period of time, that allows you to gain maybe more familiarity with a team than you would once a year.

I don't know if we know them better than anybody in our conference. I think we have an ongoing and better understanding. And that again, you know the coaches that were here primarily are in a similar-type defense that we were in here at that time. That certainly would allow you to think that we know a little bit more about that.

We're not all that familiar with the offense, other than the fact that this will be the third time that we've seen them. The idea that there are some similarities with other offenses across the country and we played a few of them that are into the same type of concepts, so that gives us another opportunity as well, which we've had in the last two years."

On playing the University of Oklahoma
I think everyone has always believed that the University of Oklahoma is just one of those tradition schools. You can name half a dozen to a dozen across the country with the great tradition that sometimes goes to rest for a while and just gets back on track. That doesn't mean that it's easy to get back on track. That takes some of the same things it takes to get any program going. I think it is one of those programs that everybody looks at and says, 'This a program that should be at the top.' Those things don't come easy. There is a lot that went into that to make it happen. Good players, good coaching and all of the things that it takes to be successful and win. It didn't happen because it's Oklahoma. That enters into it, but players have to play and coaches have to coach.

On Oklahoma's wide receivers
It is an excellent group of wide receivers. They are experienced. All of them can run. They are good athletes. They advance the ball once they get their hands on it. They catch well and they have some size to them. There are so many of them. I think what they like doing, and it's a great way to be able to do it, is the distribution is good. You have got to defend all of them. It's not like having a Quincy Morgan and that's it. They've got some other players.


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