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VALERO ALAMO BOWL: KANSAS STATE v UCLA

January 2, 2015

Tyler Lockett Ryan Mueller Bill Snyder Jonathan Truman Jake Waters

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

UCLA – 40
Kansas State - 35


Q.  Bill, are you going to remember the 10 points that you left on the field and the 14 points off of turnovers in the first half more, or are you going to remember a pretty courageous second‑half comeback that comes up a little shy?
BILL SNYDER:  Well, I'll remember both.  I'm proud of our young guys, what I shared with them just a little bit ago.  They didn't give in, fought back.  Not quite enough.  But I'll also remember the first half, as well, and all those things that you mentioned.  My count we left 28 points on the field in the first half, and that's our fault.  It wasn't anything other than that.  UCLA is a very fine football team, played extremely well.  They were just so much better than we were in the first half.  The execution wasn't there.

Q.  What was your message to the team at halftime to get them to come out and start playing a little bit better?
BILL SNYDER:  Well, some of it is probably personal.  I alluded to a couple things.  Houston was down today 27 points going into the fourth quarter and scored 29 and won the ballgame, so it's doable, it's manageable.  Also some thoughts about whether‑‑ we had heard a TV announcer indicate in another ballgame that a football team had quit, and that's the last thing in the world anybody wants to hear on national TV, I assure you that, and I reminded our youngsters of that, that we weren't about to let somebody say that about us.  And they didn't.  They didn't.  They made the best effort.
We made some mistakes.  Still, we played our way back into the ballgame, and then we played our way out of it.  We're still mistake prone, and at the end of the day, that was a problem.

Q.  Coach, can you talk about the difficulty that Hundley and Perkins caused for your defense today with their rushing attack?
BILL SNYDER:  Well, they're both very, very talented young guys, and I think they use them extremely well.  I don't know what the statistics were, but there were major issues, particularly in the first half.  In the second half we played well defensively until we broke down, and that was not‑‑ not that he couldn't run well, but we just broke down and didn't fit‑‑ we left a gap unfit and they put it in the end zone and that ended the ballgame, so to speak.
THE MODERATOR:  We're also joined by Jonathan Truman and Ryan Mueller.
BILL SNYDER:  These are both defensive guys, and there's nobody that cares more, there's nobody that plays harder, there's nobody that's more of a family member, there's nobody that's a better teammate than these two guys right here.  These two, tremendously so.  When you've invested as much as they've invested, it is going to be painful, but they've been dynamic for our football program.

Q.  What was the injury at the end?  It looked fairly serious.
BILL SNYDER:  Without having any X‑rays yet, we believe there was a fracture, lower‑leg fracture.

Q.  Who was the player?
BILL SNYDER:  Boston Stiverson.

Q.  Bill, I believe Jake was sacked seven times.  Can you talk about the pressure they put on him, and also moving B.J. over to right tackle in the game?
BILL SNYDER:  Well, we kind of got out of sorts.  We're thin in our offensive line, and guys have to play multiple positions, which they do, but we had some difficulty with our protection.  I mean, it was that simple.  That's what I was sharing a little bit ago.  It was not that they weren't making the effort, it's just UCLA is a good pass rush team, they've got good guys coming off the edge, and they did, and they did so successfully, and consequently we took ourselves out of opportunities to get 1st downs and got into those extra long‑yardage situations.  Those are pretty hard to overcome.

Q.  (Inaudible.)
BILL SNYDER:  Well, as I said, virtually all of our guys work at all positions up front, so it's not that it's just something out of the blue.  Obviously he has had far less practice time there than he has at the center position, but we have to make do with what we have.  But B.J. is like these guys right here; B.J., I mean, you don't find a better person.  You don't find somebody that cares more about his football team.  You don't find anybody that works as hard, gives as much of himself.  He'd play wherever you put him.

Q.  The young man that just sat down to your right, he went out on top for K‑State, and him connecting with Jake on a couple more touchdowns in his last game, just remark a little bit on his career and what he was able to do tonight.
BILL SNYDER:  Well, you know, it's not what he's been able to do tonight, it's what he's been able to do through his entire career at Kansas State University.  Just what I said about these other two young guys, the two offensive players that have joined us have done exactly the same thing, and they're the same kind of people.  And you specifically asked about Tyler.  Tyler is all the things I've said so many times.  You've heard it.  He works as hard as anybody can possibly work.  He stays after practice.  He does everything he can to try to get himself better.  He's a wonderful person.  He cares about his teammates.  He's a great family man, a great individual, high character.  All of these guys are.  I could echo all those thoughts with each and every one of these young guys.  They're really special.

Q.  Jonathan, talk about how you guys changed defensively because Hundley and Perkins just kind of seemed to not run wild but were more successful in the first half than they were in the second half.
JONATHAN TRUMAN:  Yeah, I have to give a lot of credit to the UCLA coaching staff as well as their players.  They prepared really well and they executed really well.  In the first half, I can say that we didn't run our fits very well defensively.  Our coaches defensively did a great job game planning things.  I think it was more the players.  We just didn't execute.  We didn't get the job done, and going into halftime we understand that we're behind a lot, but this is a group of guys that doesn't quit, and I'm just really proud of my team for pulling it together and trying to be the best that we can be.

Q.  Tyler, what do you think the team's mental reaction was when they got on you that early and you look up and see 31‑6?
TYLER LOCKETT:  I mean, honestly, we've been there before.  Maybe not by that much, but we played TCU and was down 14‑0 and came back, played Baylor down 14‑0 and came back.  Honestly, when it was 17‑0, I knew we still had a chance.  We've been watching a lot of crazy bowl games.  We watched Baylor go up 20 against Michigan State and all of a sudden Michigan State came back.  We just heard about Houston, down by 30 points in the fourth quarter, coming back and beating Pittsburgh.  We understood at halftime we still had a chance.  We're a team who never gives up, we're a team who will always keep fighting until it says 0:00 on the clock, and that's exactly what we did.  We had a chance to come back.  We made a great rally.  Everybody saw it.  Unfortunately we just came up a little short.

Q.  Jake, on that final touchdown to Tyler late in the game, can you describe that play and just the emotions that were going through as you guys headed off the field together after the touchdown?
JAKE WATERS:  Yeah, that last play we just kind of‑‑ we ran the same play the whole time down the field and just kind of hit different things.  I ran for one, hit Curry for one, hit Lockett for one, 10 and in.  I just told him ‑‑ we kind of looked at each other and knew, hey, just do a 10 in and go and just get a little variation off it and Tyler did the rest, got wide open.  Walking off the field together, it was pretty emotional.  You put so many hours in that people don't see that kind of goes unnoticed, and for that to be the last time was hard to hold back.

Q.  Jake, how much was the fact that there have been so many late comebacks, Baylor, Houston came back to beat Pitt, how much of that was on your mind in the second half?
JAKE WATERS:  Yeah, that's just a great example of what can happen, and we knew that we're not going to give up, like Tyler said, until it says 0:00.  I'm never going to count out my guys.  We go into halftime and we've just got to correct the mistakes.  We made a few plays here and there and we were right back in it, and we had a chance to win it at the end.  That's all you can ask for.

Q.  Jake, was UCLA doing something with the pass rush that you hadn't seen before or were they using their speed and getting in for the sacks?
JAKE WATERS:  They changed it up.  Every bowl game they provide stuff you haven't seen on film or stuff you haven't prepared for.  And they're great players, too, so they caused some problems for us.  My O‑line did a great job, except a couple plays.

Q.  Ryan, can you talk about the gut check at halftime, put it into words what you guys were feeling, anger, disappointment?  What was the motivation, and can you describe how you reacted to it, please?
RYAN MUELLER:  At the end of the‑‑

Q.  At halftime getting ready for the second.
RYAN MUELLER:  Well, before I answer that, first and foremost, I just want to thank Coach Snyder for the opportunity to play for this university.  Coach is over here right now, but thank you, Coach, for the chance.  You know, it's been an honor play with Tyler Lockett, phenomenal athlete, phenomenal person, just a total workhorse for this university.  I want to thank all the Kansas State fans that made the bowl trip down here.  I know these bowl trips are expensive, but it was great seeing the whole stadium filled up with purple.  I know we didn't execute according to plan.
To answer your question, sir, we tried to come out the second half relentless, tried to be fearless, respect everybody, fear no one, and we just‑‑ we tried, and everybody looked to their guy to the left, looked to their guy to the right, looked in their eyes and said I'm going to give you my absolute best for the next 30 minutes.  We fought, we certainly didn't quit, and UCLA was the better team.  Hats off to Brett Hundley, tremendous quarterback, made some good plays, when he would throw the ball or run the ball, made a lot of plays on his feet, tremendous player.  I've got a lot of respect for UCLA.  They're a first‑class program.

Q.  Ryan, when you look up and you see the 17‑0 deficit and the way Hundley was able to get you guys defensively early on, what's going through your head at that moment, just being down like that?
RYAN MUELLER:  You know, 17‑0, that's nothing.  I'm fully confident in my offense, fully confident in Jake Waters, fully confident in Tyler Lockett.  When we see 17‑0, that's nothing.  Plenty of ball to play.  When the clock is 0:00, that's when it's over.  And that's football.

Q.  I was curious with both Jonathan and Tyler, you guys have played in a bowl game every year you've been here, just what kind of momentum or base do you think that could build for this program after you guys are gone?
JONATHAN TRUMAN:  Yeah, just coming into this program five years ago, 2010, that was the first bowl game, that Pinstripe Bowl was the first bowl game that this program has been to since the Texas Bowl in like 2006, I believe, and I know there's a lot of pride in this group coming in, just being able to get to that bowl game and then getting to four consecutive bowl games after that.  There's a lot of pride.  Obviously winning the bowl game is the most important, but I hope that this group of young guys that we have, I know that they have the same attitude that this great class of seniors has, and they're going to keep working hard and just keep working towards another bowl game and a win.
TYLER LOCKETT:  Yeah, I mean, every since I was in high school, Coach Snyder came back, he really turned this program around.  He's done a great job.  I watched Truman and everybody play whenever they were in the Pinstripe Bowl, and being able to come to Kansas State, it was just a great opportunity.  I was playing under guys like Collin Klein and Chris Harper and Emmanuel Lamur, just some great athletes, great leaders who have the desire and motivation to win.  So just being able to look at everybody who we had the chance to play with throughout the four years and seeing the bowl games that we went to, we went from a Pinstripe a Cottom bowl, we went from the Cotton Bowl to the Fiesta Bowl.  Then all of a sudden, we acquired new people.  New people, new transition, new players, that means we had the same style, just different types of players that we've got to be able to use.  We went to the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl, finally won.  The odds were in Michigan's favor, and we came out there and we won.  We proved to everybody that we could be able to win.  Even being able to have the opportunity to be in the Alamo Bowl, we played a lot of great teams throughout this year.  I'm not sure where people saw us ending in the Big 12, but we finished third.  We played against TCU.  We had a chance to win the Big 12, playing against Baylor, not too many people get the chance to win two Big 12 Championships at that, and we had a great opportunity for that.
And then also just ending our bowl game here in the Alamo.  I would have rather finished it here than anywhere else.  Of course you want to make it to the playoffs and stuff like that, but since we didn't make it, I'm glad we came to the Alamo.  They did nothing but show us love.  They did a lot of great things, great events, we met a lot of great people out here, and unfortunately we lost, but I'm going to just miss these guys, and that's really all I have.  I think it'll motivate our team next year, as well, because we ended with a loss so it's going to motivate them to keep going.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports




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