Kansas State football coach Bill Snyder prefers motivating his team with bulletin-board material rather than supplying it.
Whether the Wildcats are preparing to play Eastern Kentucky or Oklahoma, he goes out of his way to praise opposing teams. That’s just the way he is.
And if his news conference today at all resembles the type of comments he will say about Arkansas when the Wildcats arrive in Arlington, Texas later this month for the Cotton Bowl, that won’t change anytime soon.
When asked to describe what makes Arkansas such a strong defensive team, he decided to speak highly of the Razorbacks in every area.
“I don’t know so much that it’s just their offense or just their defense,” Snyder said. “I just see them as a well-balanced football team. They have strengths in all segments of the game.
“I think they are a very physical defensive football team, they’re a very fast football team, they’re a sound defensive football team. But I could say very, very positive things, which I have, about their offense and their kicking game. I just think they are a well-balanced football team.”
Fair enough. The Razorbacks, like the Wildcats, are 10-2 and ranked in the top 10. They are a very good football team.
Though I could see some other coaches going out on a limb and saying something about how their team will test Arkansas in ways they haven’t been tested this season, or maybe throwing in a “Big 12 is better than SEC” jab, there is no reason to speak negatively about the Razorbacks.
On offense, Snyder compared them to Texas A&M, a team that is comfortable both throwing and passing the ball.
On defense, Snyder said Arkansas reminded him of Miami, a team that has a lot of speed and uses it to play aggressively.
Snyder praised them from start to finish. Not just when answering the above the question.
Here is another response he had on the topic of what Arkansas does well as a team:
“Anything and everything you can think of,” Snyder said. “They have a good kicking game and the best punt returner in the country. They are sound in the things that they do. They run well. They are a fast and physical football team.
“Offensively, they can throw it around with the best of them. I think they average 308 yards per game throwing the ball. They have a very good quarterback who handles and manages the game well in addition to throwing the ball as well as he does. As much as they throw it, they are not at all afraid to run it. They seemingly want to be able to run the ball well.
“Defensively, they have been a good football team. They play in a variety of fronts with a lot of movement up front.”
Editor’s Note: On Jan. 6, the Kansas State football team will face Arkansas in the Cotton Bowl. With that in mind, I began counting down to the big game in Cowboys Stadium on Dec. 6 by attempting to write 31 blog posts in 31 days. I use the word “attempting” because I can only think of so many blog ideas at the moment. I’m confident that I can go 31 for 31, but your help is appreciated. Feel free to send a blog idea (or two) my way at firstname.lastname@example.org.