Nov. 15, 2011
S Kenny Vaccaro
On being physical against Kansas State: Coach [defensive coordinator Manny Diaz] has already talked about how the key to this game will be out-toughing K-State and being the more physical team. He said that since he’s been here for 12 months all he’s been hearing is how we always lose to K-State and how physical they are. He wants to be more physical than they are on Saturday.
On comparing Kansas State QB Collin Klein to Tim Tebow: He’s a big guy and you see his numbers. He is three away from [former Longhorn and current NFL Baltimore Ravens RB] Ricky Williams’ [single-season TD] record. I guess he is third in the country as far as carries. Obviously, they want to give him the ball and he is responsible for like 85% of their offense. So he is a Tebow type guy.
On focusing on the run and relaxing on the pass: We can’t relax. Their game plan is going to be pound it, pound it, pound it and then throw it over the top. We still have to bring our mental edge to the game and keep our eyes right and we will be okay.
On safety Blake Gideon: He has been through a lot here. Obviously, as far as the mental side of the game goes it’s hard to come in and learn these systems. He helps the defense glue together and puts us all in the right positions. I give him credit for getting me where I am today.
DE Jackson Jeffcoat
On playing against a running quarterback: He likes to run the ball. It’s going to be an exciting challenge and a little change from the last couple of teams we played.
On how Kansas State disguises their offense: They have a lot of formations. That’s something that helps when you have a lot of formations and can run different plays out of those different formations. You have to study for them and that really helps them.
On DE Kheeston Randall’s last home game: We definitely want to send the seniors out on top. Kheeston is a great guy, and he is like a big brother to me. It’s always fun having him around. He was with us last year as a junior and unfortunately we didn’t get to send our seniors off the way we wanted to. [We] underclassmen are going to try and send our seniors off well.
On how the defense will help the offense: We definitely have the potential to make big plays. That’s one thing that we have been trying to do is make turnovers. We are going to do our best to make plays and set our offense up.
LB Jordan Hicks
On senior LBs Keenan Robinson and Emmanuel Acho: They’re both great leaders. I’ve learned almost everything I know here about this defense from them and [defensive coordinator] Coach [Manny] Diaz. So they’ve taught me a lot. I have the greatest respect for them.
On the challenge against Kansas State’s offense: Going out there and stopping the run is definitely number one. We’ve got to take that away and take their shots away.
On Kansas State QB Collin Klein: He’s a good runner. He’s proved himself to this league and to his team. We’ve just got to go out there and stop him.
On how to defend a QB that can both pass the ball and run: We’ve got to go hammer him. That gives us an opportunity to hit him, which is what we always want to do. We always want to hit the quarterback.
On LB Emmanuel Acho’s performance at Missouri: He had a great game. Throughout the whole game he kept saying, “Come on, let’s go. Let’s get this.” You could look at the look in his eyes and see he was doing everything he could to win. He had a great game.
WR Mike Davis
On the offense: We’re not as good as we could be right now. But we’re still practicing. We’re getting better every day at practice. Hopefully throughout the season, the last three games and the bowl game, we can get better and better.
On the offense’s identity without their starting RBs: [Co-offensive coordinator] Coach [Bryan] Harsin always talks about if we’re a man down, someone has got to carry the flag. So a man down means someone’s got to pick up the flag, carry it and lead. They have to do what the other person did. We’ve got good backs. All of them are good enough to step into that role.
On if the team got down when senior RB Foswhitt “Fozzy” Whittaker got hurt last Saturday: Yes. Fozzy means a lot to this team. He’s a good leader. He’s a good player. He did a lot of great things during the season when he was playing. He means a lot. Everybody was kind of down when he went down. But some other running back had to go in and step up.
On if it was tough that the offense couldn’t get a rhythm going against Missouri: Some days will just be like that. Everything isn’t going to be right all the time. We just have to keep playing through it. Make it better during practice. Get it right in the next game. [The game] just didn’t go the way we wanted it.
On what Coach Brown said to the team after the loss: He said that we fought hard. We didn’t start fast like we normally do. That’s something that we emphasized this week during practice. Starting fast. Getting out there. Starting fast and executing plays.
On the Kansas State defense: They’re a really good team. From their d-line to their secondary. Everybody’s good. So we’ll have to bring our “A-game” and come out here and be ready to play. Especially for the seniors because it’s senior night.
On freshman QB David Ash during the Missouri game: He was doing a good job trying to keep us focused. Good leadership. He just tried to do the best he could.
On the team’s confidence right now: We have the 24-hour rule. We’re just looking forward to this game. We’re still confident as a team. We just feel like we have to do better in this game. Come out and start fast.