Bill Snyder hopes Kansas State builds off last year’s success

07/22/2014 12:38 PM

07/22/2014 12:46 PM

Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder says he is cautiously optimistic about the upcoming season, but that mood only applies to today. He may think differently tomorrow, next week or next month.

“I’m proud of so many of our youngsters,” Snyder said Tuesday at Big 12 Media Days. “I would share a fairly high degree of optimism for today, buttomorrow is a new day. We will see how that goes.”

Snyder likes the current status of Kansas State’s program because of the way it closed out 2013. After a slow start that included a loss to North Dakota State, the Wildcats finished the season by winning six of their final seven games and beating Michigan 31-14 in the Buffalo Wild Wings Bowl.

It was the first time K-State had won a bowl game during Snyder’s second stint as head coach.

He credited that strong finish to a daily emphasis on improvement, and the best bowl preparation he has ever been associated with.

“The hope would have been and was that we had learned lessons along the way that dated back to the outset of the season when we were not a very good football team and we started 2-4,” Snyder said. “… I thought the way that our young people finished the season allowed them to understand the value of not taking anything for granted and preparing yourself like that on a daily basis. We had a lot of dialogue about that.”

If K-State can carry those positive vibes into 2014, Snyder hopes the Wildcats can open the season against Stephen F. Austin with momentum.

He also hopes senior quarterback Jake Waters can take his game to the next level. Last season, he split time with Daniel Sams. This season, Waters is expected to be one of the top passers in the Big 12.

“He finished the season extremely well,” Snyder said. “His confidence has grown.”

To reach Kellis Robinett, send email to krobinett@kcstar.com. Follow him on Twitter: @KellisRobinett.

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