Kansas State Coach Ron Prince
Kansas State Coach Ron Prince
Saturday, Nov. 10, 2007
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
"Well, that was about as thorough a defeat as we've had in our program, and personally. As a professional, you expect better of yourself and those around you. Clearly the game got away from us, and got legs through something that is normally a strength of ours, our kicking game. We really struggled in the first half in that area, despite going down and having something positive happen for us. For two weeks in a row, it really breathed life into an opposing stadium with a very devastating play. It didn't have to be devastating, but it was because we never responded after that. So the game got legs from us. They are absolutely a terrific offensive team, I was concerned about that. They had been showing improvement each week. I was very concerned about the ability of this quarterback. This team can run the football, they have a big, strong offensive line and they can run the football effectively enough to where they really tease you and keep you honest enough with it, and then they were really able to do, with this quarterback, whatever they wanted to do in the passing game. If we were in zone (coverage), he was clued into exactly what kind of zone it was and the routes he needed to throw. If it was man (coverage), he was clued in exactly. If we tried to pressure him, the offensive line helped pick it up, and he was absolutely spectacular. From a defensive standpoint, we weren't able to mount any kind of threat to Nebraska today, and offensively, once we got into a little bit of a funk there in the second quarter, or even early on after a couple of special teams plays that went against us, we really didn't do much at all. From a yardage standpoint, we had some yards here and there, but this was about as thorough a defeat as I've experienced, and they're a good team so I give them credit, but clearly we've got to improve in some areas, and there was really none of the phases today that contributed to helping us win as a complete team effort, and as a coach, I'm responsible for that and I accept that, and we understand that we have another challenge in seven days."
On if it was a coincidence that the team didn't handle adversity well in each of the last two weeks
"I don't think you can say it's coincidence. This is what happens to you in life. This is what happens to you in this game, you do face adversity. When you go on the road, there's a lot of things that influence espirit de corps, momentum and those sort of things. When you go on the road, you have to be able to find some plays, to be able to control your environment. We had a number of false-start penalties and other things because the environment got away from us. It was either too loud, or we couldn't communicate properly, so some things didn't happen well for us. And that's all experience, being able to go into these kind of places and compete. This is a great environment for football. We've got to learn how to handle this environment better. But clearly, the adversity that did come to us, we've had a couple weeks here where we've started so slow as a team, that really we put ourselves up against it, and we were unable to respond at all today to what they were able to do, so it was very challenging."
On the defense's meltdown
"I think it's pretty clear that the quarterback is the key to this thing. This player, he threw for 400 yards and four TDs against what I think is a very good defense, one of the best defenses we've played this year, and he was able to do even better against us. I was concerned about that all week, I knew that was a possibility, and we wanted to do everything we could. You can't change up the coverages any more than we did today. We did a variety of things, but we were unable to do any of them well enough, and he was absolutely spectacular. We weren't able to mount any kind of pass rush at all, their offensive line was terrific. Like I said before, they were able to run the ball and get the ball to #5 (Marlon Lucky) enough effectively to control the underneath game. So they were absolutely in control of the game from an offensive standpoint, and that was about as flawless a performance from a quarterback that I've seen in some time. Last time I saw a quarterback that good was (current San Diego Chargers quarterback) Philip Rivers, so that's pretty good."