Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Kansas State coach Bill Snyder: KU better than numbers suggest

Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder meets the press in this 2009 file photo.

Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder meets the press in this 2009 file photo.


Kansas State University football coach Bill Snyder isn’t interested in hearing about how bad the Kansas University defense is or how poorly the Jayhawks have played through the first six games of the season.

He’s not buying it.

“I think they’re a far better defensive football team than anyone would care to give them credit for,” said Snyder, whose 12th-ranked and undefeated Wildcats will take on KU at 11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium. “You sit down and watch them play, and you see that.”

Snyder, whose team improved to 6-0 overall and 3-0 in the Big 12 with a 41-34 victory at Texas Tech last week, said the lopsided statistics that place the KU defense dead last in the country can be a little misleading.

“A lot of people would suggest that they have had some trouble defensively,” Snyder said of the Jayhawks (2-4, 0-3). “And the numbers would tend to reflect that. But you go back and look at who they’ve played against, four of the teams on their schedule are in the top 10 nationally as far as total offense.”

Oklahoma State (second, 551 yards per game and 38 touchdowns), Oklahoma (fourth, 547, 33), Texas Tech (sixth, 534, 34) and Georgia Tech (ninth, 517, 41) are those four teams, with Northern Illinois, which KU beat, not far behind in 17th.

“It’s not unique for them to have yardage on them when you consider those teams,” Snyder said.

While the offensive strength of KU’s opponents serves as a good excuse for its defensive struggles thus far, that reason won’t work this week against Kansas State. The Wildcats, though unbeaten, rank 94th in total offense and average just 336 yards per game. KSU ranks 114th (of 120) in passing offense and 25th in rushing offense.

Although those numbers indicate the KU defense may be in for a better performance, Snyder was quick to point out that his team has won its last three games despite being outgained on offense.

“I’m not sure that statistics win ballgames for you,” Snyder said. “I don’t think many coaches really believe in that.”

The Kansas offense, which ranks 41st nationally, gains on average 89 yards per game more than the Wildcats. Snyder said the Jayhawks could create problems for the Wildcats’ defense, which ranks 37th nationally.

“Offensively, they’re a very balanced football team,” Snyder said. “That makes them even harder to defend.”

Although KU has scored seven more touchdowns (26) than Kansas State during the first six weeks of the season, the Jayhawks have managed just six TDs in the past two weeks. Still, Snyder said his club would take the Jayhawks seriously this week. And not just because it’s a rivalry game.

“If you watched them play Oklahoma, you’d see that this is a continually improving football team,” Snyder said.

Tim Biere on watch list

Senior tight end Tim Biere has been named to the John Mackey Award’s midseason watch list, the Nassau County Sports Commission announced Monday.

Biere, who leads the Jayhawks with 21 receptions, has recorded a career-best 246 yards and one touchdown in six games.

The Mackey Award, given annually to the nation’s top tight end, will be presented on Dec. 8. The list of 25 midseason finalists will be narrowed to semifinalists on Nov. 14 and again to finalists Nov. 21.


John Randall 6 years, 7 months ago

We can always hope that Will Rogers had it right —

There's Liars, There's Damned Liars, and then There's Statisticians.

hawk316 6 years, 7 months ago

“If you watched them [KU] play Oklahoma, you’d see that this is a continually improving football team,” Snyder said.

One more reason to be encouraged about this team and this coaching staff. Same thing occurred last year. The team just kept getting better as the season progressed.

I'm still thinking we can grab 4 wins, and this game with KSU might be one of those. But, without question, we will have to play well.

gardenjay 6 years, 7 months ago

Snyder is someone all Kansans can be proud of. A straight-talker, KU fans who vilify their own team could learn a lot from him.

That said, with all due respect sir, I'm taking my Jayhawks to win this one:

KU 38 KSU 35

scraptown 6 years, 7 months ago

Is that why memorial stadium is always empty? Because alums and students are the only fans? And why wal mart sells so many ku shirts? Because that's the main retailer and employer of ku alums? Everyone knows the best way to illustrate how classless a fan base is is by exceeding them in classlessness.

ku_foaf 6 years, 7 months ago

What is EMAW? Started seeing this recently.

NebraskaJayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

You sound like an elitist pig..just saying.

squawkhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm just so glad that KU doesn't have any fans who fit your description above. What a scary thought to think that someone who didn't actually attend KU might be a fan. It might ruin the Jody and Buffy image we have.

Micky Baker 6 years, 7 months ago

It isn't that I think you're being dishonest gardenjay. For you to assert that people that are on this coaching staff do not support this team is absurd. I will tell you this. You don't speak for me, you speak for yourself and you're not looking all that bright right now.

The coaching staff is why KU's most athletic team ever has paid worse than any other KU team in history. They have a chance to redeem on Saturday. Gill has until the end of this season.

We can beat K-State, Texas, Missouri, and Iowa State, and even Baylor but only if this coaching staff shows improvement from a year ago in a big way. The only game they've showed improvement in this year was against Oklahoma. That isn't good enough.

They have to understand that they have to make half time adjustments, and even adjustments on the fly. Saturday will be Gill's first chance to redeem himself as Head Coach. If Kansas loses big on Saturday, Gill should not be Head Coach on Monday.

gardenjay 6 years, 7 months ago

Huh? I am a huge Turner Gill supporter. Perhaps you thought I was being sarcastic. Nope. I'm a big KU F-ball fan, and I am taking KU to win this one KU 38 KSU 35.

Rock Chalk!!!!

Micky Baker 6 years, 7 months ago

I know you're a KU fan gardenjay, but it is TG that is responsible for having the recruits he has and those he inherited and lose by as big margins as this team has. This team, if TG was doing the job that we should expect at this level, would have this team at worst 3-3, and we wouldn't have lost to Georgia Tech by 45 and to OSU by 42. We probably would have lost those games, but it would have been Georgia Tech 49 Kansas 42 or something like that and OSU 56, Kansas 38, something like that. We would have lost to Oklahoma last week but it would have been more like 33 to 24 or something like that. We wouldn't have lost to Texas Tech. We were up 20-0 and TG didn't make adjustments when Texas Tech did. There was no way we should have lost that game, but with this coaching staff, I wasn't surprised. We could have beat Texas Tech by 40. We shouldn't lose to K-State on Saturday either. We shouldn't lose to Missouri, Iowa State, or Texas this year either. We could even beat Baylor this year. Our kids are good enough to win these games, but the coaching staff isn't good enough, or hasn't shown me they are yet. Turner Gill is head coach. I know you weren't be sarcastic. You're asserting that because people think Gill isn't doing a good job with these kids is not being supportive of the team. The truth hurts sometimes. Turner Gill isn't doing a good job with these kids. He's holding them back.

gardenjay 6 years, 7 months ago

Oh, and don't forget your KSU traditions, would love to see that in Memorial Stadium:

Jeff Soisson 6 years, 7 months ago

Hey, I love KU but you have to admire the way this KSU team of average guys can compete every year, it's called coaching. No way they should be undefeated and they are. They are like a Boa that squeezes opponents, they don't do anything fancy, just wear down teams. So someday I wish we had a team that could play 4 quarters and a coaching staff that could do something at halftime to surprise the other team. One first down last week for what you are being paid? I just want to see KU to play 4 full quarters. Win or lose ok, but fight 4 quarters. Another KU loss unfortunately.

Alex Berger 6 years, 7 months ago

There is no doubt that Bill Snyder is one of the most underrated coaches ever. If he can do that with KSU, imagine him at a Missouri or Texas A&M? Teams that have a lot more talent but just can't get over the hump. Too bad we'll never know. Well not TOO bad.

gchawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Coach Snyder is quite a humble individual, which begs the question: How in the world did KSU ever get him? The way he took a program which resembles our current one, only worse, and turned it around the way he did is the thing that movies are made of. Let's kick some purple tail on Saturday, you can do it.

NebraskaJayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Good did they get him? Well, for starters, KU turned him down when he interviewed. Unfortunate to say the least.

Dyrk Dugan 6 years, 7 months ago

i never heard that. you have a source? and don't tell me it's well known, because again, it's never been published. i'm curious to know.

David Robinett 6 years, 7 months ago

wow I never heard that either.

I guess it evened out karmically, since MU picked the not-so-mighty Quinn over Bill Self...

KGphoto 6 years, 7 months ago

I think he's going to have to win something before anybody makes a movie. Zero national titles. Zero Big 12 titles. Zero BCS games played.

He's taken them from worst to firs... aaahh... middle of the pack.

KGphoto 6 years, 7 months ago

Oh yeah. Forgot that. Well if it was that forgettable, no movie.

scraptown 6 years, 7 months ago

And they played Ohio state that year in a bcs bowl, I think it was fiesta, and lost amid a Elle Roberson rape scandal that went away the day after the game.

bayareajhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, and Bill Snyder later pulled Roberson's scholarship (once he had used up his eligibility, of course) because it was the "Christian" thing to do. I have a lot of respect for Bill Snyder's football coaching ability, but I have always thought it was reprehensible to play Roberson in that Fiesta Bowl and then cut him loose afterword at the end of his senior year. If he really wanted to take a moral stand he should have kicked him off before the game. Instead, he milked him for all he was worth and then denied him the chance to get a degree.

Like I said, I think Snyder is one of the best football coaches in history but it's amazing to me that nobody ever talks about that situation.

scraptown 6 years, 7 months ago

I think that is his biggest regret, and it's not a mistake I imagine he'll make again.

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

They took him because he was an unknown assistant coach at Iowa whom they could afford.

They got LUCKY.

NebraskaJayhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

“I think they’re a far better defensive football team than anyone would care to give them credit for,” said Snyder, whose 12th-ranked and undefeated Wildcats will take on KU at 11 a.m. Saturday at Memorial Stadium. “You sit down and watch them play, and you see that.”

As much as I admire Coach Snyder....can't agree with his statement. He must have had old video of Coach Miller's defense.

Marcia Parsons 6 years, 7 months ago

I guess you should have read farther into the article where he explained this statement by pointing out how many highly-ranked teams we played during that period. It's true that our schedule was really front loaded this year.

Sam Constance 6 years, 7 months ago

And to expand on that--before people start saying that the reason those offenses rank so high is because they had KU on the schedule....

If you remove the games against KU from those team's statistics, they STILL rank among the tops in the country.

In fact, if you compute the scoring averages of KU's opponents this year, omitting the KU game from the calculation, their aggregate per-game scoring average is:


If that scoring average were ranked amongst all the individual teams--and keep in mind that said scoring average only includes KU's opponents' games against everyone but KU--it would rank at:

13th scoring average, nationally

Don't get me wrong, I'm not trying to say KU's defense is good by any stretch of the imagination, but part of the reason for the historically bad numbers is situational and unlucky, not because KU is the worst defense in the history of NCAA football, as some would like you to believe.

middleoftheroader 6 years, 7 months ago

All I know is The KSUck-KU rivalry just got twice as big...forever.

bigtex 6 years, 7 months ago

Bill Snyder will never put himself at a disadvantage. When he talks about other coaches he is always professional and complementary in the public. When in coaches meetings he will pick apart the other coaches weakness and exploit it. In recruiting he will never tell the press how good of class he has until proven, even when they are proven he plays it down. He made a tremendous transition with Prince's players and his recriuts never dividing the team .He always unified them as a team by not saying I have to get my players. KSU players are less talented and are 6-0 .The word(Team) thats what gives you 6-0 and when I say team thats coaches and players. Snyder biggest assets are preparation, game day play calling and half time adjustments . If Snyders players can keep it close in the first half, Snyder will lead them in 3rd and 4th quarters with his adjustments and usually get a win. That being said I hope KU kicks KSU a$$ and starts a trend to more wins this season. This game could be KU's spring board to a better season !!!

741hawk 6 years, 7 months ago

I'm pretty sure Coach Snyder is diplomatically saying that KU is not well coached.

I can assure you this: KSU will show that they ARE better coached. Specifically, they will manage the clock better and win the second half (if necessary) by making better adjustments.

I will predict that KSU will beat KU by a wider margin than OU did. (Don't be surprised. KSU beat us last year by more than OU did this year.)

And, I won't be surprised if Snyder tries a pooch kick-off (just to see if we're prepared, which we won't be). He did it twice in the same game against Terry Allen, and came away with a fumble recovery TWICE.

Bob Morse III 6 years, 7 months ago

you might go back and do the math again. they won by 22 last year.

2005grad 6 years, 7 months ago

Umm... The score was 59-7. 59 minus 7 is 52... Maybe YOU need to do the math again...

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

honestly 741 - it wasn't really a pooch kick. That was as hard as he could kick it.

Sam Constance 6 years, 7 months ago

I predict that you're fing crazy. Yeah, KSU beat us last year by more than OU did this year*, but to compare last year's KU team to this year's is asinine.

For starters, KSU had an NFL running back on the roster last year, and was a much better offense for it. Not sure if you read the part where KSU's offense is 94th in the country. That's the bottom 4th of all of FBS.

But more to the point, KU's offense is also light years ahead of last year's Jayhawks.

KSU has a better coach--he's going into the HOF, fer chrissakes--and very well may win this game. But to "predict" (see: complete guess) that KSU will win by more than 30 is just pessimistic garbage.

Mangino_Maniac 6 years, 7 months ago

It's gonna be fun after Snyder retires down the line and KSU hires Mangino as his replacement...

LSHawk 6 years, 7 months ago

And KU kicks thier ass every year.....yep that will be great. Tool.

danmoore 6 years, 7 months ago

Patterson and Venables have to be potential candidates. They could do much worse than Mangino.

danmoore 6 years, 7 months ago

I respect Sndyer. Don’t think he has received enough credit for turning the Wildcats program around which was far worse than what Gill inherited. But he is just being diplomatic. He believes and he has his players believing there is no way they will lose Saturday.

ku_foaf 6 years, 7 months ago

They were arguably one of the worst programs in Div I, did not have an overall winning record, hadn't been to a bowl game since the 60s, I believe.

If they can have a great football program there, we can have one too. It isn't impossible!

nuleafjhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

So - you're saying that BELIEVE is not such a bad motto after all ?

ahpersecoachingexperience 6 years, 7 months ago

The only reason we are better than our numbers suggest is because we can't be any worse!

Dyrk Dugan 6 years, 7 months ago

Bill Snyder is getting his team ready. This is what good coaches do. Public respect...and then in practice and in meetings he talks about all the things that get you going....."you want to get off the bus back in Manhattan after you lose on Saturday? what will those proud Catbackers think of you?"

there's a reason why he's 15-4 against us (we should have at least four more wins against him.....Mason screwed us three times in the 90s...terrible play calls and 4th qtr decisions and personnel decisions...and we should have won easily two years ago in Manhattan...but we went conservative when they were very vulnerable vs. the pass.)...he knows how to motivate.

think about it. when they've been good...and i mean league title contender good...they smoke us. every time. even when they weren't that good....2005 e.g., they still beat us. the only game, that we've won with the two schools even close to each other in record, was 2004. and we had to pull it out late to win that one, Mangino's lone win against him.

this is an important game for Coach Gill. not a must win, but close. he must have a competitive game. this game cannot follow the old 'em close within a score or two at half...and then get hammered in the 2nd half. i think a lead in the 2nd half is in order.

Kirk 6 years, 7 months ago

Other oldsters like me may recall Tom Osborne's typical comments before our games with NU. He would manage to make KU sound like some worrisome and dangerous football team. He'd pick out the one or two things we were capable of doing sort of well, maybe we'd have a smallish good LB like Wilie Pless, and he'd mention how concerning this may be prove to be for his Cornhuskers this week. We used to laugh about Dr. Tom's coachspeak. If NU didn't play their absolute best game, they could end up in serious trouble this Saturday in Lawrence. But of course they'd invariably win by 50 points or so.

I would have agreed with your other comments before last week. If Gill doesn't make it close against KSU, he's toast! But this is just untrue. Notice how doggone happy KU fans and media were after the 30 point loss to OU. We have such low expectations that we're positively giddy.

A severe loss would hurt Gill a little, maybe, but nobody's going to let him go before the end of next year (at the earliest) no matter what happens.

I've come to the same place. I'm okay with it. It's just entertainment anyway.

And I'm still at a loss what prediction to make for this game, because KU is better at home, KSU isn't that dang good, and our team is showing improvement here and there. Who knows.

Al Martin 6 years, 7 months ago

Jeez, check your stats. KU won in 2006, 2007, and 2008.

Al Martin 6 years, 7 months ago

Oops, sorry. You were talking about Snyder. My bad.

Al Martin 6 years, 7 months ago

Which would have been, like, the point of the article. When I screw up, I go all in.

Micky Baker 6 years, 7 months ago

Snyder wasn't K-State's coach in 2006, 2007, or 2008.

David Robinett 6 years, 7 months ago

Agree. Hate to say it, but when we're close in talent, they smoke us.

Nevertheless, I hope our boys rise to the occasion.

yates33333 6 years, 7 months ago

I think Snyder is somehow setting up KU for the kill with his comments. Snyder is without doubt the hardest working coach in America. I have heard several coaches at other schools say this. Apparently he spends most of his time with watching game videos and reworking game plans. I know it has cost him some personal relationships. He is a first rate football coach and leader. Better than his mentor Hayden Fry, and Fry was a football genius.

Kirk 6 years, 7 months ago

That is correct. I get the feeling that Bob Stoops, in the week before the KU game, vaguely told his staff, who was not particularly listening, to focus on stopping Kansas from running the ball, or maybe force Wedd -- or is it Webb? -- to throw the ball. This is a scrimmage before OU's next real game.

In contrast, you know Snyder is spending every waking minute ensuring that his team is laser focused on preparing to execute what they do best, and attacking as efficiently as possible what KU does best (those few things) this Saturday.

Our guys are wandering around the practice field saying, "Gotta get your mind in the right mindset. Keep getting better, keep working."

Bion Ostrander 6 years, 7 months ago

I predict 2 things this weekend: 1) Gill will let players wear names on their uniforms for this one game; and 2) KU will beat K-State.

Gill is a mastermind, he has a secret contract with Ron Prince who has been providing him scouting reports and analysis about K-State for this game. Gill has purposely not coached so far this season so KU could get pounded in every game, only to get K-State over-confident, because he knows that KU fans have very low expectations and all he needs to do is win this one game and 90% of KU fans will be happy and ready to re-new his contract at an amount equal to Bill Self. Gill will win it in the last minute with a triple-reverse flea flicker pass. Lew Perkins will be re-hired because all will realize his genius in hiring Gill.

Oh sorry, I dozed off and had some crazy dream, never mind!!!

huskerzfan4life 6 years, 7 months ago

Only reason KSU is undefeated this far into the season is because the Huskers are not here to kick their kitty Cat as sses

gchawk 6 years, 7 months ago

On Wisconsin, On Wisconsin...........

yates33333 6 years, 7 months ago

Defending K-State to a Nebraska fan is like arguing that the white stuff in chicken manure is better than the black stuff or vice-versa.

squawkhawk 6 years, 7 months ago

Ugh, last time I looked it looked as if KSU was ahead of NU in the polls. Sorry to ruin your day.

Micky Baker 6 years, 7 months ago

Coach Speak or not, if TG truly has our kids ready with a solid game plan, and learn that you can't be predictable in this league, that you have to mix things up a bit(not complicate it), just open the play book past page 2 and use all of it on the offense, and let the players on Defense be aggressive, they can win, especially against this kind of offensive attack. If Kansas doesn't use the Bubble Screen 20 times a game.

KU had some advantages if they would show a play, and then audible based on the what the defense shows, they could be dangerous. Albeit, that will lead to mistakes for the younger players, but you have to let them make the mistakes to get better.

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