Kansas State’s Bill Snyder Talks Texas Tech Matchup


If you love football and consider yourself a student of the game, there’s no better teacher than Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder, who’s career we highlighted earlier this week.

He’s a football wizard who knows how to get the most out of the least, and his insight on Texas Tech’s team is very interesting and, for lack of a better word, pleasant. He recently talked with reporters about this matchup and here are some of the highlights.

When asked why his offense has been so successful against Tech the last three years (16 touchdowns and no turnovers) with three different quarterbacks:

"“Dunno. Played well I guess. Prepared well and played well, that’s the way it works.”"

Snyder is a modest man and what he’s basically saying here is that his last three teams were better coached than Tech’s, plain and simple. Better preparation is a product of coaching and it leads to better play.

On teams running on Tech:

"“Kliff knows more about it than I do. I am sure that (tackling) is a part of it, and it is a part of it for any football team. When you go back and look to their game against Arkansas, Arkansas got whatever it is, 450 yards. In the other ballgames, I think there was one over 200 with one of them being under 200 yards. They are capable of defending against the run. They have moved to the utilization of bigger people on the inside.”"

He’s not making the mistake of overlooking Tech’s games with Central Arkansas and Oklahoma State, where the run defense was actually pretty solid. But I think just makes his rushing attack all the more dangerous, because they know exactly what they can and can’t do against a hot and cold Tech front seven.

On K-State’s defense against Tech’s pass-happy offense:

"“The emphasis is a little more broad-based, but I think anyone would tell you that you have to still be able to defend against the run. You cannot put all your eggs in one basket. Texas Tech runs the ball more than people tend to believe − 38-percent of their snaps have been run plays. Some of those passes are really run plays when they put a guy in motion and pitch the ball forward; that is a completed pass even though they run most of the play. You are looking at somewhere in the vicinity of 60-40 pass-to-run, and that is a pretty decent balance when you look at it that way.”"

Again, Snyder is no fool. He has two eyes and he can see that Tech’s rushing attack is a much bigger part of the game this year compared to last year. In fact, the Red Raider offense is at it’s best when they’re able to set up the run with the pass and then gash a defense for 10-yard scampers.

His philosophy on defending a face-paced team like Tech:

"“It is still a snap at a time. They come faster, and we try to prepare that way. We see a lot of teams that do exactly that. Texas Tech is in the process of becoming maybe the quickest-tempo team in our conference. You know it is pretty close between them, Baylor and probably Oklahoma now. So many teams do it, and we have had experience with it. The new guys that have not been in the program before experienced a little bit of it early in the season with Iowa State. It is getting back to the line of scrimmage and getting the call and processing the information, lining up and playing.”"

On defensive strategy against a spread offense:

"“It has its disadvantages and it has its advantages as well. I think it all works out as a wash as much as anything. From a defensive standpoint, the thing is that you do not have time to really sit and process things as well as you would like to. They are going through the same thing. From the offensive standpoint, they have to process things as well. They are going fast, but they still have to know what their assignment is, and what does that mean to who I need to block and who I do not block. Both sides have to do that.”"

His zen-like approach to defense puts responsibility on the players to read and react rather than the system to confound the quarterback. When you can plug in disciplined players like he does, you have a defense that’s very hard to move the ball against. Just ask Auburn.

On Davis Webb:

"“What I admire about Webb is his competitive spirit. He started the ballgame against us last year and we played against him, and I think he’s made a great deal of improvement in that period of time. That comes with being in the system over that period of time. The other thing I appreciate is, what I saw on television, was his competitive nature and how disturbed he was by not being able to go back into the ballgame when he was injured.”"

More from Texas Tech Football

This is the same coach who wrote Jace Amaro a personal card after the game last year trying to encourage him and lift his spirits. You can’t be in coaching as long as he has without gaining some insight into how young men think and behave and his assessment of Webb is pretty spot on.

It’ll be interesting to see what the old wizard has planned for Texas Tech Saturday night in the Little Apple. Whatever it may be, you can be sure it won’t be as pleasant as he is.