Bill Snyder was so angered by penalties during Kansas State’s 63-7 victory over Florida Atlantic that he told a sideline reporter Saturday he planned to discipline players with “up downs” at halftime.
He didn’t follow through with the threat, but K-State’s football coach had all kinds of penalty remedies in store for the Wildcats on Monday as they began practicing for their final nonconference game against Missouri State.
Thirteen penalties for 131 yards is something he never wants to see again.
“Those are things that have to take place in the course of a ballgame and the course of a practice,” Snyder said Tuesday at his weekly news conference. “It’s a discipline element that requires accountability and coaches are responsible. Myself, and the other coaches, are responsible for implementing the responsibility, and it doesn’t happen after the fact.
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“It’s during the course of the week. We have to do a better job of teaching and we have to do a better job of holding players accountable when those things take place over the course of a practice. We will take a diligent approach to scrutinizing that more closely.”
How do the Wildcats go about eliminating penalties?
It’s a question they haven’t faced in years. Typically, Snyder’s teams rank among the most disciplined teams in the nation.
When K-State won a Big 12 championship in 2012, the Wildcats didn’t commit their 13th penalty until their sixth game.
This season, K-State is one of the most penalized teams in all of college football, ranking 119th out of 128 teams in penalties per game (10) and 104th in penalty yardage (74.5).
“That’s not who we are,” K-State linebacker Elijah Lee said. “We need to start focusing on doing things the right way, because having little mistakes like those in league play will kill us.”
K-State easily overcame penalties against Florida Atlantic. The Wildcats committed three penalties on their opening drive and still scored a touchdown. A hold negated a rushing touchdown for Alex Delton, but he scored moments later on a similar run. A questionable late-hit penalty on Kendall Adams helped Florida Atlantic cross midfield on its first drive, but the Owls punted.
Winning big despite those penalties could be viewed as a positive. But Snyder refuses to think that way. The Wildcats worked fast to correct their penalties and even benched left guard Tyler Mitchell when he was flagged for a hold. Will Ash replaced him and may remain in the starting lineup this week.
K-State committed six holds, four false starts, an illegal block and a late hit. Ian Patterson also booted a kickoff out of bounds.
The Wildcats hope those are easy mistakes to fix, but they are leaving nothing to chance. Players ran more than usual on Monday. No one wants to see Snyder’s reaction after another 13-penalty game.
Discipline will be a main focus this week.
“That is something that needs to be addressed,” defensive back Donnie Starks said. “We can’t have all these penalties and expect to be the type of team we know we can be. As players, we all need to be more aware of what we are doing and not making clumsy or reckless mistakes.”
Kellis Robinett: @kellisrobinett