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Kansas State Defensive News Conference

Transcript of the Kansas State Wildcat's defensive news conference.
ASSISTANT HEAD COACH-DEFENSIVE COORDINATOR CHRIS COSH

Philosophy for team

“Our goal in the beginning is to be the best team we can be. I think teams win championships, not individuals and that’s what we’ve bought into. We don’t care who gets the credit as long as we win. It’s hard to find nowadays. It’s all about us and how we define it. No one else is going to define who we are. We define who we are.”

Arkansas’s receiving corps

“They all have 30 or 40 catches, so it’s not just one guy. They have four or five weapons. The other thing, their running backs catch a lot of balls out of the backfield. If you combine all the running backs together, they’re probably the third or fourth-leading receivers with the tight ends. They can horizontally challenge you, vertically challenge you, and dump the ball down in screens and things like that to hurt you.”

Preparing for the new Arkansas’s offensive coordinator

“You have extra time to prepare, you can always have a play or two or a scheme or two you can add. You’ve got to prepare for what they’ve done and what they’ve had success doing. They’ve had a lot of success on offense this year so I’m sure they’re going to stay with the same kind of concepts and maybe add a wrinkle or two with the time off we had.”

Impressions of Arkansas QB Tyler Wilson

“Tough. Very Tough. Physical. Accurate, a 63 percent completion percentage. Protects the football, I noticed 22 touchdowns only six interceptions, that’s very impressive.”

Who do you feel like is the most important guy you need to stop on the Arkansas offense?

“The Arkansas team. They have a running game and a passing game and quarterback that can do both for them.”

What has led to CB Nigel Malone’s success at getting interceptions?

“Nigel’s a detail guy. He’s detailed in practice and you see it carry over to the game. He studies the game, he’s very prideful, he doesn’t like losing in practice and therefore he doesn’t like losing in the game. He has that it. He has a feel for the game, he’s got a great awareness of what’s happening, he recognizes formations and splits, things he looks at and studies. He’s also got a short memory. In the secondary, guys are out on an island so he’s got to have a short memory at times.”

Malone coming in spring semester as a transfer

“I think being there in spring helped him tremendously—just getting acclimated to school and getting a familiarity with the system and what we call things. Nigel likes the game. He likes ball. I wouldn’t say he’s a gym rat, but he likes being at practice and he enjoys getting better.”

MLB Arthur Brown

“Arthur came in, and you heard all about what kind of player he was, and he didn’t disappoint you. The thing I didn’t know was how good of a person he was and how great of a leader he is. He’s been more instrumental that way. I know what you guys see is what he does on the field but what he does off the field, how he works, how he presents himself, how he cares about others, he’s such a giver. When your leaders are givers you’re going to have a great team. He’s got the ability and the speed to get to places some other people can’t. If you match that and combine that with the ability to anticipate and find the football with his speed—some guys have speed but don’t have ball-finding ability—he has ball-finding ability and that’s a gift you have.”

Value of the Texas A&M game film against Arkansas

“That’s a common opponent we’ve played and you can evaluate off of that. We looked a lot of them, you try to look for similar things you do that other people do and evaluate that. A&M was a film that we definitely look at.”

MLB ARTHUR BROWN

Preparing for Friday’s game and expectations.

“Our coaches have done a great job up to this point and will continue to do so to prepare us for the upcoming game. I feel like we just have to prepare for what we do know and continue to focus on that. With the SEC, I just expect a great ballgame.”

Could the lapse in time since Arkansas’s last game help the Kansas State defense?

“In the same way we’re preparing our best, they’re doing the same to prepare their best. I’m sure they have a great coaching staff over there to make sure things get done.”

Does Arkansas remind you of any Big XII teams?

“We recognize they have a lot of speed on the offensive side of the ball. I’ve heard from others they could be a mix between Miami and Texas A&M, but that remains to be seen.”

Making a big impact with Kansas State at middle linebacker

“I definitely came in with intentions to do my best and to do my part to prepare with the team and to fill my role Coach Snyder assigned to me. Where that has led me and the team right now I feel is a tribute to our coaches and Coach Snyder himself. It’s more about the team than it is any individual and I feel like we’ve all stepped up and filled gaps that were necessary to be filled. It’s not an individual effort, it’s a team effort week in and week out and I feel our team stepped up and provided that for our team and for our fans.”

His leadership on the defense and on the team

“Being able to have the opportunity to play and watch Coach Snyder himself has been encouraging to me and is motivated me and develop me in a way that has helped out team. I feel he’s instilling his values in us to better the team. I feel it’s a great tribute to him and all he’s done for us.”

QB Collin Klein

“Collin is a great guy and is perceived across the nation as a tough player and that’s exactly what he is. Someone who’s tough and very unselfish. I’m very confident in him and the offense and what they’re capable of doing come game time.”

How as the AT&T Cotton Bowl experience been?

“It has been a first-class experience. The AT&T Cotton Bowl has done a great job of serving us and we hope to do a great job serving them as well and give them a great game to watch.”

What was it like at Cowboys Stadium?

“It was unbelievable. That was my first time being in a stadium of that magnitude. Just surreal.”

FS TYSYN HARTMAN

Can you compare Arkansas to another team you have faced this season?

“When you look at our offense and their offense it’s almost like they belong in each other’s conferences. SEC is known for pretty solid running games and Big XII for their aerial assaults. In looking back on some of our opponents, Texas A&M has a similar quarterback and any of the teams you can compare their receivers. We have such great receivers in our conference across the board: Justin Blackmon, Biletnikoff Award winner, Ryan Broyles, Kendall Wright. I feel like Baylor matches their speed as well as Miami which we played.”

What has to get better in the pass defense against Arkansas?

“We have found ways to get turnovers when we needed them. That let us win against Baylor and Miami. Getting those turnovers, getting off the field and putting our offense on the field.”

With both teams in the AT&T Cotton Bowl Classic in the Top 10, does this feel like a BCS game?

“I’d say it does. The Cotton Bowl Classic has always been a very prestigious bowl traditionally. There are BCS bowls that don’t have that Top 10 matchup, it definitely has that feel.”

How is it being in a bowl of this stature?

“It is very rewarding. Being here five years and seeing where the program was and where Coach Snyder has taken it means a lot to me, especially my last year here, my last go-around. To finish on a note like this with hopefully getting 11 wins and having an opportunity to finish Top 5, I couldn’t ask for more.”

Is the defense unique with giving up yards while keeping people out of the end zone?

“This day and age with high-powered offenses it’s hard to have those statistics that defenses had in the past. Like Coach Cosh said, it doesn’t matter how many yards you gave up or how many touchdowns the other team scored, if your team has more points than them that’s really all that matters.”

SLB EMMANUAL LAMUR

Playing for Coach Chris Cosh

“He’s a competitive guy. He’s going to push us to our full potential. He expects the best out of us at practice and he expects us to play the way we practice, giving all you’ve got on the field. The way he coaches us, it’s all about preparation. We’ve got the assignments down and he wants you to carry over for game time with no errors. He’s a very disciplined coach he focuses on that a lot, too.”

What’s been the main difference from this year to last year?

“Basically coming together and playing for each other as brothers. We don’t want to let each other down. We want to play for the person next to us, we bump, grind, bleed and sweat for each other, so that’s pulled us together as a unit, that’s defense. We’re basically having fun out there and competing.”

How has your confidence compared to a year ago?

“As we continue to win we realize how we really work we took advantage of that and tried to become the greatest defense we could. We try to improve every week.”

Do you feel like you are a better defense than you were last year?

“Definitely. Because of our togetherness. Coming together and playing for one another and just having fun out there.”

What is it like preparing for Arkansas’s passing game?

“We all know Big XII is heavy on passing so that’s an advantage for us. Arkansas spreads the ball out, runs a lot of drag underneath routes. It’s all about great communication out there and awareness. They do a great job with their receivers, they have great speed, and you have to give them credit for that. This is going to be a great game and I’m looking forward to it.”

Does it feel like a BCS bowl game with both teams ranked in the Top 10?

“You could say that. There’s hype of the Big XII against SEC and how it’s one of the greatest matchups. They said the SEC is better than the Big XII and they said the Big XII is better than the SEC, so we’ll see come Friday.”

CB NIGEL MALONE

How would you describe this defense in one word?

“Heart. We’re not the speediest guys, we might not be the best athletes but at the end of the day we have heart and that’s something you can’t coach. That’s just something you have to have. As a whole we have a lot of heart. I think that shows in some of those games we’ve played.”

Memorable moment when the defense started to click and come together

“During fall camp I think we became close as a group and the communication was there. As far as on the field and in the games, I think Miami. Playing a historic program like Miami--they’ve got a lot of great athletes--going out there and finishing the way we did put us in the mindset that we can go out and play with a lot of these teams if we just finish.”

Coach Bill Snyder’s words to the defense after the Miami performance

“It was a great stand and practice what we preach. Make sure we finish. He was definitely grateful for the way we did finish that game.”

What do you say to people who criticize the K-State secondary against Arkansas?

“College football is a game of whoever comes out on Saturday. You see it plenty of times--Iowa State, Oklahoma State--it’s a blowout on paper, but at the end of the day, the team that comes ready to play and wants to win is going to come out and prevail. Paper is just paper, can’t help you win on the football field.”

How would you describe Arkansas’s offense after watching the tape?

“Fast. They have a very fast team and great athletes. I think we face-up well with them.”

What must you do to win Friday?

“Play four quarters of football and make sure we wrap-up and tackle.”

MLB Arthur Brown

“He’s a real humble guy. For somebody who is blessed with so much ability and in the spotlight he really stays humble. That’s just the kind of person he is, a high character guy. He’s one of my favorites on the team as far as personality. He’s real quiet. On the field, his speed--the way he can cover sideline to sideline—when they run the ball, I’m confident and I’m glad I got my guy in there in the trenches because I know he’s going to come out with the tackle.”

DE JORDAN VOELKER

What are you expecting the atmosphere of the game to be like with the Kansas State fans at The Classic?

“I expect it to be a neutral site, as it is. It’s the same distance [to DFW] between the two teams and both fans travel well. I think it will be a pretty balanced atmosphere and there will be a lot of red but there will also be a lot of purple. It will be a great atmosphere and we’re playing the nicest stadium in the world. It will be a great running out of that tunnel on Friday.”

What is it like playing for a Top 10 team in the Classic after Division IA schools passed you over for scholarships?

“That’s why Coach Bill Snyder is great. Each player has their weaknesses and he utilizes our strengths the best and moves us to the position we fit. Tysyn came in as a quarterback and he moved to safety and we’ve had a couple other switches like that. He just knows what’s really going to be best for us in the end.”

Is there a sense of satisfaction playing this season?

“Last year I didn’t really play, I was struggling with the position and making the transition to defense. It’s nice to come in and be able to play and be able to help my team. Maybe show some other teams that I did have what he takes and that I have the tools in hand.”

Cotton Bowl Classic experience off the field since he’s been here

“We went out to Main Event last night and we got on some laser tag and some bowling. It was really fun just to be around the guys and get to do stuff we don’t get to do every day. Usually we’re out practicing and then we go home and study. It’s nice to spend that extra times with the guys and get that last hoorah.”
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