BOULDER—University of Colorado interim head football coach Brian Cabral spoke at CU’s weekly press luncheon Tuesday, discussing last weekend’s game against Iowa State and looking ahead to Kansas State. The Buffs host the Wildcats for Senior Day Saturday, kickoff is scheduled for noon MT.
GENERAL—“The first thing that I have to say is that Iowa State didn’t know what to expect. We snuck up on them and took advantage of the situation. I say that because we’re not going to sneak up on Kansas State. We’re going to have Kansas State and Bill Snyder full force, and I don’t know if there’s any other Big 12 coach that has seen Coach Snyder develop that program the way I have. I’ve seen it, I’ve experienced it, so I know full well that we’re going to have our hands full. It’s going to be mostly full of Bill Snyder. I think he came to the conference maybe a year before I came back in ’89, and they were kind of the whooping boys. That isn’t true anymore, and I saw how Coach Snyder brought that program along.
“I saw the changes he’s made in that environment and in that whole program and the stadium as well. I know all too well the handy work of Bill Snyder. We’ve got a tall task ahead of us here and it’s going to take more than just our best effort. I have a lot of respect for Coach Snyder, and the way he’s developed and what he’s done in that program. I don’t believe that there’s any other coach in the Big 12 that knows that and has seen that. I knew last year when we went to Kansas State although it was a new staff. I knew all too well that you cannot under estimate Coach Snyder and how he prepares his team, and how well he prepares his attack for his opponents.
“We weren’t prepared for that a year ago. Whether or not that makes a difference knowing what to expect, we will find out, but I have an awful lot of respect for Kansas State, and I have an awful lot of respect for the master, in all reality, behind Kansas State.”
ON KANSAS STATE HEAD COACH BILL SNYDER—“He’s very fundamentally sound. He is a very smart football coach, a very strategic football coach, and I think that he exploits the strengths of his team. They have been ramming that football down everybody’s throats. He ran it down our throat last year. This is going to be a tall order.”
ON IF HE HAS MET BILL SNYDER—“I haven’t. I’m kind of excited to a certain degree. He’s what Bill McCartney is to Colorado. I’ve seen him through the years and what he’s done, how they’ve won a Big 12 Championship, and the kind of players he’s had. They’re just old fashion smash-mouth football. I kind of like that; I kind of respect that. I have an awful lot of respect for him, but I don’t know if we’ve ever met. To a certain degree it will be an honor.”
ON COACHING IN THE LAST BIG 12 CONFERENCE HOME GAME—“The only nostalgia is that this is the last home game for our seniors. I’m more stuck on this team, our team, and I’m stuck more on these seniors. The fact is that this is the last time those seniors will compete out there on Folsom Field. I know how that feels; I know what that means. That’s a feeling that you’ll never forget. That’s why I’m really asking for our fan support to come out and support our seniors. I’m very proud of these seniors, and you should be too. It’s a class act of seniors. I think it’s important that we show full support of them in this last outing.”
ON HIS COMFORT AFTER EARNING HIS FIRST WIN—“I’ll be a lot more comfortable, to a certain degree knowing my role during a game and being in those shoes before. I’ll tell you what that’s probably the most draining and emotional game that I think I’ve ever been a part of. When you’re a defensive coach you’re in it when the defense is on the field, but they come off and you go over some adjustments and corrections. It’s an opportunity to laugh and kid with the players, and take a little bit of a break, but this game, I found myself being in every single play. Everything that happened out there, so I’ve experienced a game like I’ve never experience one before. I will say that I did enjoy it, but that was intense.”
ON HIS SENIOR DAY AS A PLAYER—“I just remember how awesome it was to be a Buffalo. That’s [Folsom Field] my home. That has been my home. I guess it still is. When you grow up in a program, you fight battles out there, and you win some and lose some, you cry and you laugh, you get hurt and there are just so many emotions and feelings that happen on that field. To know that is going to be the last time on your home field, on your battle field, I don’t think you understand how much work and effort and thought and so many things go into four to five years on that field. So, when it’s over you say to yourself, ‘Oh my goodness. That went fast.’ It just seems like a long time. I just remember feeling like I can’t believe it’s over. What I’ve learned to love was over. I think it’s important that our fans and our community show their appreciation for our seniors.”
ON TAKING A STEP FORWARD AGAINST KANSAS STATE—“Our whole goal going in to this last three-game schedule was to build on each week. I was very pleased with the foundation that this team had laid for this three-game schedule. We’ve taken all the right steps; they’ve taken all the right steps towards that, and that’s our base, our foundation. The competition gets greater. We’ve got to build on our successes, and we’ve got to build on what we’ve accomplished. I cannot believe that what we did last week alone can beat Kansas State. For this victory there’s going to be a bigger price that has to be paid to get a win.”
ON COLORADO’S ROTATION OF THE RUNNINGBACKS—“I don’t know. I guess I’ll have to ask [Darian] Hagan. I just kind of sat back to a certain degree last week and just kind of saw how everybody operates and what goes on. I actually kind of enjoyed the dialogue on the offensive side. I had no idea what they do. There’s a lot of really positive things and a lot of forethought on certain situations. I was really pleased with a lot of things I was hearing. In terms of whether or not how much Will [Jefferson] played or how much he didn’t play. I wasn’t really concerned with that. Now that you asked I will go find out.”
ON KANSAS STATE RUNNING BACK DANIEL THOMAS—“He’s good. He’s awfully good. We’ve seen some good backs, but I can’t help remember what he did to us last year. We couldn’t stop him. What you have to respect about him is the fact that he’ll get the tough yards. If you give him something, he can be the game breaker. If we’re going to have any chance, we have got to be able to tackle that guy.”
ON THE CHALLENGE OF PREPARING FOR TWO QUARTERBACKS—“For whatever reason, Coach Snyder is using two, and he’s very effective using two. I think there are strengths, and I know he uses their strengths. The Coffman kid [Carson Coffman], he can run and he can throw. The Klein kid [Collin Klein], he can throw but his strength is running. They play to his strengths, and he’s a guy that you have to be concerned about when he’s in there because he can be a game breaker on any given play. They surround him with a good scheme. We’re going to have our hands full with Klein. He’s a Colorado kid. He’s from Loveland. We’re going to see his best. He’s going to be looking to make a statement. Colorado overlooked him. He’s at Kansas State looking to make a statement about Colorado. We’re going to see his best, no question. There’s no question, we’re going to see Kansas State’s best. We’re going to have to play our best and more in order to beat Kansas State.”
ON THE PHYSICAL NATURE OF KANSAS STATE—“I think Kansas State is twice as physical as Iowa State. That’s Snyder’s trademark. I have visions of that offense knocking our defensive linemen out of their gaps. I’ve got visions of our players, our linebackers and our safetys not fitting into the gaps and them gashing us. This game is going to be won up front. He’s going to run the ball. They’ve been winning running the ball and controlling the line of scrimmage. If Colorado is going to have a chance then we have to control the line of scrimmage.”
ON PREPARING FOR KANSAS STATE—“All you have to do is turn on last year’s film, and that’s the first thing you look at. I told our players that as soon as we get over the Iowa State game and as soon as you turn on last year’s game [against Kansas State], they’ll know. I think it’s important for us to get over Iowa State. We have a tall order and a tall task ahead of us.”
ON HIS COACHING ROLE AFTER THIS SEASON—“My whole vision right now is Kansas State. My full focus is this team, this group of seniors, and this game. What that does for my future I have no idea. I’m thinking about these guys right now, these seniors right now, and this game right now. My full attention is on the Buffaloes. My full attention is on my job at hand. My job at hand is to stand in the gap for the players, and for this program and university. My job at hand is now. It serves no purpose to look beyond this week for myself.”
ON KANSAS STATE SPECIAL TEAMS—“Coach Snyder is a very sound football coach. What he coaches, there’s not a whole lot of mistakes or errors. In everything now he’s got his hand on every phase of that football team. They are just very sound. They don’t make many mistakes. They’re very well coached. He gets his teams ready like good football coaches do. There’s a reason why they do what they do. There’s a reason why they do everything they do.”
ON SUPPORT FROM BILL MCCARTNEY AND GARY BARNETT—“I talk to Bill McCartney at length. He’s been very helpful. He’s been my mentor. He’s the first guy that I turn to when anything happens in my professional career. He was the first person that I turned to that was very helpful. Coach McCartney coached me through the first interim . I have a lot of respect. He’s a mentor to me in a lot of ways. He is probably the first person that I turn to. The next guy that I really wanted to hear from is Gary Barnett. Gary Barnett gave me some very sound advice, much like Bill McCartney. Men that have proven themselves here and men that have accomplished things here, men that I respect. Both Gary and I come from the same pattern, Bill McCartney’s pattern. Men that I respect, men that I admire, men that I trust, I want to hear from. They have my best at heart as well. To me those are the two most [supportive], and I had a lot of family, but those are the two men that had the most influence on me in my coaching debut.”
ON JON MAJOR’S INJURY—“He’s done for the season. He’s got an assistant linebackers’ coach title. He’s been great. Before I got to this role, Jon had been helping me out with the young linebackers, and spending a lot of time with him. Those young guys were probably more willing to ask a few more questions with him than they were with me. Jon has been great and supportive. Jon has been into this. I will not travel without him because I know that he is teaching, he’s encouraging our young linebackers. Anthony Perkins is in the same role. He’s been very positive and very good for our young safteys. He’s [Jon Major] been a very key part in bringing up those young linebackers.”
ON THE RETURN OF TRAVIS SANDERSFELD AND JOSH HARTIGAN—“Travis Sandersfeld did very well last week. We needed him at that time and we will need him for the rest of the season. We filled a hole there. It’s good to have Hartigan back because he’s just a warrior. You love his attitude, his spirit, and the way he makes plays. He’s playing through some pain. He’s playing with injury. That you want to see on your team.”
ON NOT RUGBY PUNTING AGAINST IOWA STATE—“All special team decisions were Coach Riddle’s, and like I said, I just wanted to see what we were going to do and how we were going to do it. I liked the plan that I was informed of going into the game. I was very much so willing to see how we were going to do things. I was very pleased in all phases of the game. Every phase of the game contributed to the win. That was team effort. That was a team win. In all realty that’s the only way you can win in any conference. What was impressive to me was when the head coach for Iowa State [Paul Rhoads] says that they got out-executed. That’s a big compliment to our coaches.”