While watching film, Texas defensive coordinator Vance Bedford and head coach Charlie Strong couldn’t help but marvel over the look of Bill Snyder Family Stadium.
Although it pales in comparison to Darrell K. Royal – Texas Memorial Stadium in Austin, Texas and its 100,119 capacity, the 50,000 purple-clad fans stuck out.
“Coach Strong and I were just in there looking at video and I said, ‘Coach, look at the stands. The fans are there,'” Bedford said to local media in Austin. “It is a college environment. It’s a tough place to go in and play. The fans make it tough there.”
Senior linebacker Jordan Hicks echoed the sentiments of his defensive coordinator.
“I love it, especially K-State,” Hicks said. “It’s been a while since I’ve been there. The atmosphere there is awesome. They’re right behind you. They’re talking crazy to you. Those are memory games. You’re always going to remember that. It’s you against the world. You go in there to somebody else’s house, and that’s just the way it is. You’ll remember that.”
Of course, greater concerns will fill the minds of Texas as the program makes its way to Manhattan this weekend. Whether it’s senior wide receiver Tyler Lockett or senior quarterback Jake Waters, the attention and focus is apparent in weekly preparation.
Bedford offered a noteworthy comparison for the K-State senior signal-caller.
“I tell you what, this quarterback – and you’re going to laugh – he reminds me of Russell Wilson,” Bedford said. “(He’s) patient; runs it when he has to run it. He knows where all his receivers are. (The) guy is a winner, competitor. The things he does, no one is really able to defend you.”
Whether it’s facing Lockett in the secondary, the specific unit that Bedford manages, or kicking to him in the return game, the first-year defensive coordinator doesn’t want any part of No. 16.
“I wish we could go back to the old days – but you can’t,” Bedford said. “Where I could go walk to up Coach Snyder and the officials and say instead of kicking off, let’s put the ball on the 25-yard line and not worry about it. But you can’t do that anymore, so you have to find a way to kick it to him. Hopefully we can kick it out of the end zone. Our kickers have done a tremendous job. (Lockett) is just dangerous.”
K-State, who’s tied with Navy for the least amount of total penalties this season, carries a certain knack on the gridiron that Texas envisions its program carrying as the Strong era progresses.
“This is probably the most disciplined team that we’ve faced this season,” Bedford said. “You talk about a disciplined team, accountable players, dependable players, they are the things we are trying to bring here to The University of Texas. Coach Snyder has gotten that done at Kansas State. We are trying to get to where he is. I respect everything he has done and he’s done it year after year after year.”
The Wildcats traditionally sit in the middle of the road of the national recruiting rankings and often sit near the bottom of the Big 12 rankings. However, head coach Bill Snyder has crafted a mold that has caught the eye of the Texas football offices.
“He doesn’t worry about what the media says or when rivals say, ‘Well, your class is ranked 65th in the country,'” Bedford said. “He really doesn’t care. He has football players. They’re going to do exactly what he asks them to do or they aren’t going to play. So you go into his program and you are going to do exactly what he tells you to do or you’re going to be on the sideline. That’s the type of kids that he has, guys that are hungry.”