"I would first like to congratulate Coach (Bill) Snyder and Kansas State on their tremendous season. It is
fun to put the video on when we are studying and watch a real well coached football team and a team that
competes extremely hard and finds ways to win games.
"I would like to thank everyone involved with the Cotton Bowl and all the sponsors. It has been a
tremendous experience for our football team and our families. It is a really first class organization.
Everything that we have done and all the hospitality has been amazing.
"I am proud of our football team. We worked extremely hard to get here. We are really looking forward to
the matchup on Friday night. I think it is going to be great game. Anytime you can play the sixth place team
in the country against the eighth place team in the country, I think it is really exciting. And I know our
coaches and players are excited for the game to get here."
On confidence in K Zach Hocker if game comes down to a field goal
"I am very confident in Zach. He has been a great player for us. He had one of the best true freshmen
years you can have a year ago. He certainly has shown this year that he is a clutch kicker. It is all the
operation. It isn't just the kicker. It is the snap, the hold, the protection like everything else in football all has
to work together. He is very capable of winning us a game at the end. He is a young man that is a great
competitor and has a tremendous amount of confidence."
On whether AT&T Cotton Bowl should be in the BCS
"You know when I came here five years (ago) to observe when I took the job, at that time I was kind of
surprised that it wasn't in the BCS. Certainly we will see what happens here in the near future. Something
always changes. That is one thing about college football, there is always going to be something that
changes. The way we have been treated here and the move to Cowboys Stadium, I certainly think it will be.
On importance of game against Texas A&M at Cowboys Stadium earlier this season and on being
back at Cowboys Stadium
"We have been fortunate to play here the last three years. It is really amazing when you walk into that
stadium and see the Jumbotron and just the unbelievable facility. It was fun the other night (Welcome
Party), we had the dinner in there and to see the people that were in our traveling party that had not been
in there before and how they reacted and looked at it.
"I thought the game we played here this year really helped us throughout our season. We came into
halftime and we were down 18 points, but our team rallied together. Our leadership really showed up.
There have been times in my career when you come in at halftime and you are down like that and people
won't to point fingers and put blame on somebody else. But it was all positive. You had Jarius Wright telling
the offense we needed to find a way to rally and get the ball in the end zone. We had our defensive
coaches doing a great job of making adjustments. To be able to really bring out the competitive spirit that
our team showed from that point on, I think carried us throughout the season."
On importance of bowl win for momentum for next season
"I have always felt that bowl games were about finishing the season for our seniors and starting the season
off for your underclassmen in your preparation leading up to them and then in playing in the game. Certainly
I would love to see our seniors go out with a win. They have meant a lot to this football program. They have
set the standards for how we are going to work and how we are going to operate, not only on the field, but
off the field and in the weight room. We really want to send the seniors out with a win. That is probably the
most important thing to me."
On importance of special teams play in bowl games
"Special teams have been a big part of our season. In our wins we have done a really nice job. We have
had five returns for touchdowns and have done a nice job in kicking the ball and covering well except in our
two losses we gave up two touchdowns in punt returns. So with the change and losing John L. Smith our
(special teams) coordinator, we have worked hard at it. Our players have gotten extra work and coaching
on it. Every game you play, it plays a big part."
On thoughts about senior class
"I think the thing that I so much appreciate is their hard work and dedication. That first year I was here they
came in and we played 16 true freshmen and a number of redshirt freshmen that played are now seniors.
We took our lumps. We got beat up particularly early in the year. They kept practicing hard. They kept
practicing with a good attitude. They kept working at it. As the year went on we got better and better each
week. They came back in the offseason and really learned how to get better on a daily basis.
"That first year I was here I felt like every time we worked out in the weight room, every time we
conditioned, the players were about how we are going to survive, how we are going to survive this
workout. And it changed to we are going to work today to get better and improve. I think they really helped
our young players that have come in now to understand that is really what it is all about a great attitude and
great work ethic."
On process of program becoming one of college football's elite programs
"What we are doing is working hard. We are working hard each day to try and find a way to win our
conference and try to find a way to get to Atlanta and get to the championship game. Our players have
been very confident. And again I think it comes down to attitude and work ethic and belief.
"We did believe every time we lined up this year that we had an opportunity to win the game and that we
were going to find a way to win the game. It didn't always happen, but it happened more often than it didn't.
We are going to continue to work hard in the recruiting process and continue to work hard in our
development of young men when they get on our campus."
On how QB Tyler Wilson has added to your "imaginative" offense
"Tyler has kind of expanded that imaginative part of it because he even does stuff that isn't drawn up in the
playbook. He is a young man that has tremendous vision. He has very, very good instincts. He creates
some plays on his own. I have tremendous respect for how hard he played this year, really how hard he
has worked in his preparation.
"Even this week when we are down here and there are a lot of events going on and a lot of people using
your time up that you are not normally used to, Tyler has been in the meeting room about every time I go
down to the offensive meeting room. He is in the quarterback meeting room watching extra video, studying
practice, studying third downs. So it is something that I really respect him for his hard work and his
dedication. It took him three years to get the (starting) job and he has really made the most of it. He has
been a really good player for us."
On how atmosphere of Cotton Bowl compares to atmosphere of BCS game last year: "It seems
exactly the same. The preparation for practice when we are playing an opponent like Kansas State is
exactly the same as a year ago. It has been great down here in Dallas. It is a place we have a number of
recruits. We have 22 players on our team from the state of Texas. So it certainly has been a great place
for us to come for a bowl game. Like I said earlier, the Cotton Bowl staff has been tremendous. It has
been a great experience. It is something that all the players and all the families will remember as we go on.
Now we need to get ready for the game, and we know that is going to be fun. All the fans will start coming
in today and start filling up the hotel."