Kansas State opened the season with a resounding 49-14 victory over Nicholls at Bill Snyder Family Stadium on Saturday. This contest also doubled as the first for the Wildcats' new coaching staff.

How did some of the team's position coaches, who met with media members Wednesday, feel about their respective group's performance in Game 1?

The Mercury collected a sampling of their comments.

Brian Anderson, running backs coach

On the performance of his unit Saturday ... 

"I was very happy. We did some good things. The good thing about it is, there's still room for improvement. I'm excited to get back on the practice field and correct the mistakes they made and see what they do this week."

On whether he scripted the rotations ...

"My plan was to start each one a series. So then as we got into the flow of the game, I had a good feel for when I saw guys getting a letting fatigued. I would get a fresh body in there."

On the most impressive aspect of the running backs' play against Nicholls ...

"The biggest thing is there were no mental errors at all. They knew their assignments, they knew what to do. Now it's just continuing to clean up technique and those things."

On whether the unit lived up to his expectations ...

"The unknown is the unknown. (I) just went in and tried not to put too much on their plate and let them have fun. The biggest thing for me was not having the mental errors. We wanted to see them play fast, and they did that."


Conor Riley, offensive line coach 

On how the offensive line graded out ...

"Obviously, I was very pleased with the results. The thing that I still believe we need to continue to work on is just detailing our work, whether it's our first step, maintaining our base. One of the things I wrote down as a note is just something as simple is, 'We've got to bend our knees a little bit better.' At times, I felt like we got decent push up front. At times, I still felt like we were a little too lateral with some of our run fits. We need to continue to work on that. And sometimes it's hand placement. Sometimes it's pad level. Sometimes it's knee bend. Sometimes it's base. It's all those things that you need to continue to incorporate into it."

On whether the unit lived up to his expectations ...

"I'll be honest: I didn't know exactly what to expect in Game 1. I thought our communication was really good. I was really pleased with that. We still had some mistakes, which maybe you anticipate with Week 1. We've got to continue to minimize those mistakes, and what I mean by that is we had the one false start penalty. It was actually a late snap, and our center was trying to communicate on a run check, so I knew some of those things were going to happen. We need to minimize those and we need to minimize what I'd call 'complete busts.' There were a little more of those than I would have liked to have had with the amount of preparation. So I'm looking to continue to get those minimized this week."

On the play of the second-team offensive linemen ...

"(There are) a lot of things that we need to work on from a technical standpoint, but they played hard and they finished and they played physical regardless of where we were at in the game. I was just really pleased with how hard they played. They didn't go in and say, 'Well gosh, we've got this comfortable lead, I can kind of do this.' They went in and competed. That's the thing I was most excited about."


Van Malone, cornerbacks coach

On the group's performance Saturday ...

"I'm pretty hard on them in terms of grading, but I thought those guys, overall, were productive. We didn't give up any big plays. As you play in this league, that's something you have to be able to prevent. So to be able to say — we always talk about practice, 'OK, did we leave practice and (not) give up any big plays?' Well, we want to leave the game that way as well. It's very tough to do. But to be able to do that and to be able to create a turnover was big time."

On areas that need improvement ...

"I know that we had one missed tackle, and tackling on the perimeter will be something that corners here at K-State will always have to do, especially in this defense. I know that'll be something that we'll continue to have to practice and continue to have to get better at, because as we keep rolling, we'll be facing some of the top offensive skill guys who play college football. We'll have to be at the top of our game each week. So that's always a point of emphasis for me."

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