In the wake of a 48-24 win over Missouri State, which brought the Wildcats to 2-0 this season, head coach Bill Snyder spoke at his weekly press conference about the upcoming game at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo., as well as last week’s game and several players.
First, Snyder explained his feelings on playing home games at neutral sites versus in Manhattan. On Saturday, the Wildcats are the home team at the newly-renovated home of the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs.
“I do not mind playing in Kansas City,” Snyder said. “I think Arrowhead Stadium is a wonderful venue. I have a great appreciation for the Hunt family. I always have. They are some great friends, and I genuinely care about the Chiefs organization. I appreciate being able to play a little closer to home to the 23,000-plus that we have in Kansas City.”
That said, the coach remarked that his preference is to play in Manhattan. He said his reasoning is that not only is it a home game and a place that means an awful lot to him, but the business community of Manhattan has been good to K-State. On game days, the business community flourishes. He likes playing in Manhattan in part because of the positive contribution to the Manhattan economy the games attract.
In addition to talking some about Iowa State, the coach addressed the game against Missouri State, in which the Wildcats gained nearly 500 yards but also gave up almost that many.
While Snyder always wants consistency from his players, he said there were many positive aspects of the game against Missouri State. Among those he listed receiver play, defense during most of the first half — which he said gave up only 80 yards until the last two snaps — and downing punts near the endzone.
One question mark after the Missouri State contest was the Wildcats’ kicking game. After sophomore kicker Anthony Cantele missed a relatively short field goal and a point after touchdown attempt on the touchdown Cantele himself scored, senior kicker Josh Cherry, who handled kicking duties last season, came in for the remainder of those scoring opportunities, while Cantele continued booting kickoffs. Snyder was evasive about who would be the starter in the Iowa State game.
“That’ll probably be a 10:28 decision,” Snyder said, referring to this Saturday’s kickoff time of 11 a.m.
Another personnel tidbit is junior defensive back Emmanuel Lamur is good to go for Saturday, Snyder said. Lamur had battled injury and consequently did not see much field time against Missouri State.
Snyder also had affirmation for senior running back Daniel Thomas.
“I think he has grown a great deal,” Snyder said. “He understands the position more, and he has the experience of doing it, which is monumental. I think he gains a little more knowledge with every game. His vision becomes better. His reaction time becomes a little better. We know that he has the physical skills; it is just being able to find the right creases, and the more games he plays in, the better he does that.”
When asked if the defense is focused as it begins preparation for the start of Big 12 Conference play, Snyder said it had better be.
“They want to be [focused],” Snyder said. “I do not have any doubt about that. But ‘want to’ and ‘doing’ is two different things. I think they are probably still in the learning stage of learning how to do exactly that, and that is going to take some time.”