Prince Talks About Colorado
Posted Oct 16, 2008

Kansas State coach Ron Prince and four players talked about their season and this week's game at Colorado at the Wildcats' weekly press conference.

Head Coach Ron Prince

Opening statement...

“We had a very good win on the road and in conference play. It is something that we are looking forward to build on. It has been since 2003 when we were able to string together a couple of road wins. One of the things that happened for us offensively was we scored the most points on the road in Big 12 play in a long time. The fact is that we were to take the win, take all the positives from it, go back watch the tape and be real honest with ourselves with what we saw. I thought the opening drive really established how the game was going to go. It was important to come in here and score first to build some confidence. I felt that following the drive, we were able to hold Texas A&M to a field goal. On the road, that is something that hasn’t always happened for us.

“I think the blocked punt for a touchdown was a big play because on their next punt, their punter had so much leg and hang time that we were not able to return it – and it was off the same drive that we had an offensive turnover. So we could have had one of those openings to the game where we go down and score and the next thing you know we could have been down 14-7 on the road, instead it went the other way. I thought it was a real big moment in the game for us. It brought us some nice momentum. I thought the defensive turnover caused by (Alex) Hrebec and covered by (Ulla) Pomele allowed us after the blocked punt to really go on.

“Communication on the road is really one of the biggest hurdles that you have. As an offensive unit, we were able to have at least a workable environment because of having the lead in the game and kind of the way the momentum that allowed us to extend the game to 27-3. Then at the start of the third quarter, we got a defensive stop. I thought that was really big for our defensive unit and we were able to do the same thing at the start of the fourth quarter. We did some nice things in the game. What we learned is that we can win on the road and that is a very positive. The turnover, offensively, in the red zone was a negative. We won’t be able to continue to do that because that is something that usually sparks momentum. That did not come back to hurt us in this particular game, but we think it will in the future. Offensively, we were very stagnate in the third quarter. It was a very sub-standard third quarter. It will be very difficult to win on the road when you don’t perform in the third quarter. To win when you don’t perform offensively in the third quarter and get some defensive points in the fourth quarter is a positive.

“This is a team (Colorado) that is young. They have two offensive tackles that I am unbelievably impressed with and I know them both from recruiting. One of them might be a little banged up right now, but their left tackle, No. 78, we attempted to recruit that player. He is going to be a star in this league. He has played good against some good pass rushers so far this season. He is a terrific player and they have a number of terrific running backs. All of them are fast and they have the ability to make people miss. Even if someone were to come free in the hole, they can make them miss and this is what really stands out in their offense. Their offensive line has had some injuries, but they are big and strong and they have some good runners to run behind.

“Defensively, I’m very concerned because as a group they have seven interceptions and it’s not just one guy. They have a number of guys that contribute to this. They have three guys – No. 15, No. 45 and No. 47 – that are in the top 20 in our conference in tackling. They are very improved defensively. They have played some terrific teams. They are very sound and never out of position, which is a testament to their coaching. I have a lot of respect for this coaching staff that we are about to face. It is a tough environment to go on the road and win. That game last week is not going to do anything to help us win this week. The games in the past don’t affect the game the games this week, like the game before the Texas A&M game didn’t effect it. From an academic standpoint, what we did well and what we need to improve on are going to be a different set of challenges this week.”

Quarterback Josh Freeman

On what do you remember from the first Colorado game...

“We won. That is about it. We were able to score more points then them and win. It was a good game. We didn’t really need to rely on me to win the game for us. It was similar to the A&M game. We were able to run the ball and things of that manner, which allowed us to set up the passing game. They (Colorado) are definitely a team that is capable of playing very well. I know they have lost a few games now but they have had a tough schedule as well.”

On him running the ball...

“Coach calls the plays and I run them. I wouldn’t say that I am the biggest threat to run but when coach calls my number, I make the best of it. It is not really in the game plan. It just depends on what the situation calls for and what looks they are giving us. We just happened to call on my number quite a bit.”

On the mindset of the team...

“I think it is exactly the same. We understand that in this conference there are a lot of teams beating a lot of teams. You never know how it is going to shake out and we just have to take care of our business and be in the hunt for wins.”

Linebacker Reggie Walker

On the leadership by class on the field...

“It is still a senior team. It is just the schemes that were trying against Texas A&M that put a lot of juniors on the field at one time.”

On how he defines the improvement of the defense...

“It is improving and we are getting better. We just need to continue to get better everyday.”

On the competition to be on the punt return unit...

“Everyday me and Ernie Pierce compete against each other in practice to see who is going to block the punt. People are really trying to fight to get on that unit. We are one of the top units in the country and that makes people compete hard everyday. One of the first thing coach stressed when he got here was good special teams play.”

Defensive End Ian Campbell

On what the tempo will be this week in practice...

“We are always going to see spring in people steps when you have a win. Coach Prince says one win cures all. We will all take this win as some momentum and it always feels good to get the win.”

On the areas that still need improvement...

“There are some good things I saw and there are some things that have been a problem all season. At the end of the game we gave up two touchdowns in the last three minutes or so. Really, we played a pretty decent came for the most part until the end. As a defensive end, we got to step up and get some pass rush and the secondary has to have better coverage. I think that is on us. The offense played well enough and put enough points on the board. We are progressing but we are not where we need to be yet.”

Running Back Logan Dold

On running the ball at Texas A&M just a year out of high school...

“It was a little overwhelming. I was a little surprised but the offensive line did a great job and I got my chance to get in so I made the best of it. There were a few butterflies but once I got on the field and started playing they definitely went away.”

On his offensive line’s performance...

“The offensive line did a great job. All I had to do was follow their blocks. They were working hard all day so I give the credit to them.”

On the team mentality right now...

“We are definitely trying to build off of this win. I think things in the Big 12 are going to be a little shaky but we are right in the mix of everything.”

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