The Kansas State football team has spent most of the week resting. Bill Snyder and Tyler Lockett have been in New York for college football meetings and award ceremonies, while the majority of the Wildcats’ players were off Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
On Thursday, Snyder will fly to San Antonio for an Alamo Bowl event and take part in a news conference with UCLA coach Jim Mora. Then it’s back to Manhattan for the start of bowl preparations. But the real fun begins Friday with the start of bowl practices.
Snyder adores those.
It’s the only part of the season when he has time to work with both K-State’s starters and young reserves.
“It’s always been my feeling,” Snyder said, “that it’s a great opportunity to have those extra periods of practice that your young people can benefit from without it drawing back from the preparation of the young people playing in the game. Everybody gets the opportunity to improve themselves.”
Indeed, this is often the time for unheralded players to shine. The way Snyder organizes early bowl practices, starters always arrive at the bowl game ready to tell stories about the best up-and-coming talent on the roster.
But it also a time for K-State’s main contributors to work. Players sounded eager to get back on the practice field following Saturday’s loss to Baylor.
“We are not just going to overlook this game,” tight end Zach Trujillo said. “We have to get better from this game. We know if we go out and play like this in the bowl game we will struggle, too, and we probably won’t win. We have to fix our mistakes.”
“We will try to finish,” added cornerback Morgan Burns. “We will go back and learn from our mistakes.”
The NCAA permits bowl-bound teams to practice 15 times between the end of the regular season and the start of their postseason games.
For Snyder and his team, it’s a time to improve in all areas.
“We get 15 opportunities to do that,” Snyder said, “and a lot of teams do, so it’s kind of staying up with the Jones’s, but there are a number of teams who don’t have those opportunities.”