After a costly win against Kansas where we saw Patrick Mahomes go down with a shoulder injury and backup QB Nic Shimonek step in and perform admirably, we hear from Coach Kingsbury (video, transcript), Johnathan Giles, and Justis Nelson (video).
Expectedly, Kingsbury is first asked if he has an update on Mahomes and he has only one word for his response: no. It’s still early to maybe expect an update, although we haven’t officially heard anything from the athletic department, only from Pat Mahomes, Sr. He does say that they are rehabbing every day and will evaluate on Saturday if he can go, although I would not expect this to be the case (if what we have heard so far about it being a grade 2 AC joint sprain).
Kingsbury was then asked about what stood out to him on field after reviewing the Kansas game
The defense as an overall unit I felt was much improved. I felt like they handled adversity a lot better than we had. We had some tough things in that third quarter, but they stood up, made some stands and kept us in the ball game and kept getting us the ball back which was good to see.
Offensively, you know, Nick jumps out to me just being ready, being prepared, going through his reads, really graded out high on where he was going with the football. So he would be the one that stood out.
He’s asked a follow up question about Shimonek and he said what I said in the comments section of one of the posts on Monday, while not the pure athlete that Mahomes is but basically that Shimonek goes through his reads quickly and gets the ball out of his hands.
He can move. Yeah, he was a really good basketball player. He’s not as fast as Pat, but he can escape he made a nice play rolling to his right. But that’s not really his game. He’s good at recognizing stuff and getting the ball out of his hands, quick.
Turning towards Kansas State, Coach is asked about if their defense is the best Tech has seen yet.
It appears that way. They are a good defense. There is no question. They’ve gone a great job thus far watching those games they’ve played. They make you earn every inch of it. They play around to the football. They’re sound in their assignments and technique and they play really hard. Any yards we get we’ll earn ’em.
He’s also asked about the special teams play from Thursday night and how it was probably the worst it’s been in a couple of years.
Our kickers have to be better. We had a conversation with them, they know that. They work hard, they’re talented and they just didn’t play very well and put us in tough situations. So Kansas State and somebody who prides themselves on special teams and we’ll have to be much better moving forward.
Finally, Kingsbury obviously has a ton of respect for Coach Bill Snyder, the Wizard, and what he’s always seemed to be able to do. He does say that they haven’t faced an offense like Tech’s yet (even after Kansas State played West Virginia this weekend).
This year, first off, they really haven’t seen probably a spread type like we have seen with some of the these other teams may have been facing, putting up these numbers. But that being said I think watching them on film they’re consistent in their play. They have a plan and each guy does his job to the fullest every snap. There is no best, there is no guys running wide open. You’re going to have to make an accurate throw or block the perfect technique to get your yards.
Nelson mentions this point twice in almost back to back questions, but he pointed out that the defense really showed a lot better effort against Kansas as a reason they did much better in this game than in previous games.
We had a couple of busted assignments, but for the most part guys were giving a lot of effort which is what we harped on during the week and just guys responding adversity. You know there was a lot of third downs, a lot of bad special teams things that went on but we responded so that’s what we could ask for.
With an offense like Kansas State’s, the only offense you will see like it in the conference, Nelson is asked how that changes preparations and what they are to be looking for against the Wildcats.
They’re not going to spread it out as much. They’re going to run it down your throat. They’re going to put a lot of guys in the box. Their quarterback is an athlete, too. He’s going to run the ball, too. They’re very unpredictable. They do a bunch of different stuff, so they’re well-coached, and that’s the biggest difference. They don’t have much tendency.
The point he makes about Kansas State not really having a tendency and not being able to key in on those is something I hadn’t considered, that part of the struggle defending the Wildcats is that you really don’t know what to expect from them (although you could probably say they’re going to run it, but you don’t know where, or who’s going to carry the ball).
Giles is asked whether or not the offense changes depending on who is the quarterback, and Giles says that there isn’t Both Mahomes and Shimonek operate the same offense, just make plays a little differently. He’s also asked about double teaming, which I guess I didn’t notice from Kansas how Giles really seemed to open up in the second half, but that the defense double teaming him is good for the offense because it opens up the other deadly threats throughout the receiving corps.
We noticed in the Kansas game in the second half they started to double team me more, but it helps out because we have so much great talent throughout the other receivers. Willies is doing great. Cam, and even Ian and Devin Lauderdale, so I feel like even though they double team me we have other players that can make plays.
The offense seemed to definitely respond to Shimonek coming in and Giles was asked what about that situation helped the offense get energized.
It was something he said, let’s keep it rolling, that’s the kind of person that Nick is. He’s that kind of person that likes to bring energy to the team, and so when he came out on the field he said, “Let’s keep it going.” So we all stood behind that.
We know the trip to Manhattan this weekend is going to be a big test for this team, that we are going to see how they go on the road in an unfamiliar situation with a new quarterback (probably). But there are some things to feel confident in, with how this offense is performing even with the backup quarterback, with the Kansas State offense being fairly mediocre despite their competition, and the Tech defense actually showing some improvement.