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October 26, 2009

'I was a little angrier than I should've been'

In the immediate aftermath of Kansas State's 20-6 victory over Colorado on Saturday, Bill Snyder fumed over the Wildcats' offensive performance in the second half. Upon reviewing tape, Snyder during the Big 12 coaches' teleconference on Monday said, "I was probably a little angrier than I should've been, but nevertheless, it's apparent we have improvement to make there." Snyder discussed various roots of his displeasure as the North division-leading Wildcats prepare to visit No. 22 Oklahoma.

Upon further review was the second half of the Colorado game as poor as you first thought?

SNYDER: "It wasn't good for a lot of different reasons. Some I mentioned, some I didn't. I was probably a little angrier than I should've been, but nevertheless, it's apparent we have improvement to make there."

Bill, you've coached with and against Bob Stoops for a long time. Does that make it any harder or any easier to prepare for this game?

SNYDER: "Well, I think it might probably make it more difficult because they probably have a better understanding of me than I do of them over a period of time. Having been out of the game for three years, I didn't study what other teams were doing and how consistent Oklahoma was in doing things that I was more attuned to at that particular point in time. What makes it most difficult is that I know the quality of coaching that exists there. Bobby and his staff have obviously done extremely well, but you're always going to play an excellent football team, a well-coached football team, a very aggressive football team and one that is going to be difficult for anybody to beat. I know they've lost some ball games, but those are ball games they're not going to lose very often. They're probably the best two-loss team in the nation, would be my speculation right now. I don’t know that it makes it any easier, no."

Here's your off-the-wall question for the day. A major airline has direct service from Manhattan to Dallas-Fort Worth now. What kind of impact can that have on recruiting for you guys, not only bringing in prospective players but also just for your coaches being able to get out and recruit particularly in Texas?

SNYDER: "It's very beneficial to our program. In the past, it's been difficult to get youngsters in here without a great deal of travel time. It makes it far more commutable and obviously with coaches it's a lot easier thing to do, particularly during the season. It's very beneficial. It's a major plus for us. I hope we hang onto it."

I wanted to talk to you a little bit about Grant Gregory and just what he's given you as the quarterback in this offense?

SNYDER: "Well, Grant has good leadership abilities, he has the capacity for being a tough, young guy. He has a little movement to him. He's still learning a new system for him. He's been in the same system for five years and now has a new system that it takes a little bit to get acclimated to. But he's a good-effort guy. I think all of the intrinsic values are in place and now it's just a matter of growing into the system."

How have his experiences during his career helped him -- the schools he's been to and at South Florida? He's obviously a mature guy.

SNYDER: "He does have a very good maturity to him and that's what allows him to provide some leadership to this football team. Coming to a new program in the capacity he did without any opportunity to be here during the course of spring and not getting here until late summer, it's not an easy thing to step in and all of the sudden provide the type of leadership you would like for a quarterback to be able to do until you have an opportunity to A) put yourself on the field and B) become acclimated to the young people that are already in your program. The more that he's been on the field and the more opportunity he has in practice, it's a matter of time and he's been able to progress in that fashion.

"The experiences he's had, his father being a college football coach and him playing in Jim Leavitt's program, I have a great respect for Jim and all that he's done down there. So I know some of the values from that program are the same values we share here, so that's been beneficial, I think."

Talking about some of the problems against Colorado, looking back over them, are they some things you can fix in the short term or are they going to take a little bit longer to correct?

SNYDER: "Well, we'd better or we'll be in even greater difficulty than we're in right now with Oklahoma and anybody else that we play after that. The answer to the question is, yes, they are correctable and things that can vary from week to week. In fact, some of the things that presented themselves were things that we had thought we had gotten worked through and we had been able to execute correctly on the game field in previous games, some early mistakes we got smoothed over that came back to haunt us this week. The answer is that it tells you A) that we're a very inconsistent football team and B) yes, they are correctable mistakes because we had them corrected, we just fell backward."

How about third downs? On Saturday, K-State was 2-for-11 on third downs. What's going to need to happen in order to convert more of those?

SNYDER: "Well, I'm going to start punting on third downs so we don't have to deal with that anymore. We need to be better on first down, be better on second down and not put ourselves in as many long-yardage situations as we have. Part of that comes from pre-snap stuff -- illegal procedures. We got penalized in the second half of this ball game. The first half we were fine, one penalty, and the second half we couldn't wait to get penalized. It's just some of the focus things and discipline things that would probably help us to be a little bit better on third down or at least avoid those third-and-long situations that we have. It's quite obvious we have to be much better at that to be any kind of competitive football team."

Coach, I was wondering from the time you left to the time you retook the job, did you see recruiting change, just some of the ways kids were recruited or some of the tactics that you had to do?

SNYDER: "Well, I don't know so much about in reference to tactics other than just about the time I was getting ready to go see my grandchildren, all of the cyberspace stuff started to come into play and the capacity to reach out and touch everybody in a heartbeat. For that along with all of the recruiting services just became more and more prevalent and therefore everybody is out there. There's nobody that's hidden. There really are no secrets in regard to who's a viable, recruitable, young individual. On this Blackberry, I get about 300 of those a day. It identifies on a rotating basis virtually any high school youngster or anybody from the age 7-and-up that has got a chance. So you know basically who is out there and who potentially is someone you might be interested in. The capacity to not sit around and wait for two weeks to get videotape of someone -- it comes over the Internet instantaneously -- speeds up the process.

"Schools have made the offers, because the process has sped up, thousands of scholarships to these young guys and at very, very early ages and before they've even gotten to their senior year of high school or junior year of high school, and consequently youngsters are making decisions a lot quicker. I don't know what the numbers would be, but there are probably 50 percent of the schools across the country that are already full with their 25 commitments or are awfully close, and we are to. I've never been in that position in my life. How we're going to respond to it, I'm not altogether certain right now, but from that standpoint, it has changed. Now, as far as interaction between coaches and potential recruits and families, that's of a very personal nature and I'm pretty certain that hasn't changed."


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