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November 21, 2015

David Beaty

Lawrence, Kansas

West Virginia - 49, Kansas - 0

Q. Coach, we may never know if you guys were able to pounce on that fr ist loose ball from West Virginia and maybe not have that early turnover where this would have went, but can you describe the momentum of that first quarter and how it got away so quick?
COACH BEATY: Got away quick! I thought we started off pretty good defensively there, got a quick 3 and out, had an opportunity at a turnover. First play from the scrimmage, we complete a nice little seam pass down the middle, and we fumble it. And from that point forward, the wheels kinda fell off offensively. Defensively I think they scored four touchdowns there, consecutively, one of which was a pick six. A lot of self-inflicted wounds there. That's coaching; we all gotta get better as coaches. That's on us.

Q. You've been doing your best to motivate and keep guys in it. What did you tell them after that first quarter and how did you try to keep you kids in it?
COACH BEATY: I mean, the big thing is talking to each side about all the plans are good; that's not the problem. The problem is just trusting, executing and not letting the previous play turn into creating a bad play on the next play, or down the line there. That was really kind of the same message as we went into halftime, talking about playing a completely different half.

I did think that we played a different half in the second half, but they still played much better than we did, but we did play a little bit better than we did in the first half, which was not hard to do.

Q. Offensively kinda hard to move the football. Looked like they were bringing a lot of guys at Ryan Willis, and then doing a nice job kinda covering the outside.
COACH BEATY: Yeah, you know, what they do schematically is sound. Tony does a tremendous job; I said that coming into this game. He's been pretty good in this conference, and they did a good job of stopping the run. I didn't think we were physical up front again. I didn't think that Ryan played one of his better games today and, you know, we had lots of drops today that -- you know, those are things that are self-inflicted, and we've got to eliminate those things to have a chance to play good offensive football, and we haven't been able to do that, yet.

Q. Big match-up next week. It's the last opportunity to get some momentum against a rival. We know what this game kinda means to your fan base. How big of a week is this week coming up?
COACH BEATY: It's a huge week. "K-State week," rival game, storied tradition. It's going to be a great atmosphere here; I know it will be. We're excited, obviously about playing that game, but, you know, we've got a lot to learn from this game before we can move forward to the next one so we've gotta a lot of work to do before now and then.

Q. Thanks, Coach.
COACH BEATY: All right. Dana and those guys played really well today. They did a good job. They should be commended. I thought they outplayed us on both sides of the ball, and the kicking game. They outcoached us. There is no other way to say it. At the end of the day, I'm responsible for that, our coaches are all responsible for that, and our players are responsible for their performance as well, so, you know, that was a disappointing performance by us, and it's one that we can't afford to have happen again. We've got a great opportunity next week, big rivalry game coming in but, man, that doesn't make this week any less, you know, easier to deal with. That was disappointing.

Q. What if they ran the ball right off the bat? Is there any thought to immediately loading up against the run?
COACH BEATY: Well, the thing that these guys do well is they scheme you pretty good now. There was some -- we knew going into the game that some of the things that they do will give you -- they'll leave you a gap short from time to time with what they do with the quarterback.

They did some good things, and I've said that before. Dana has done a really nice job. They have run the ball an average of 50 times a game, coming into the game, so the majority of our game plan was based on trying to stop the run. I thought they were a very physical unit up front. They lived up to that today. They definitely played very well up front, moved us around. I thought the backs got loose and ran well and. I thought the quarterback did a good job of running the ball.

It was one of those deals where there was opportunities, and there were times where we did pack the box, and they were able to schematically beat it. You know, we've gotta get off blocks, when you're a gap short sometimes, and you've got to make a play that you're not supposed to.

Q. What's the hardest thing to digest about the discrepancies in first downs?
COACH BEATY: I think just that, period. That's about as bad offensive football as I've been a part of. That's on me. We've gotta figure out a way to manufacturer an offense around here because right now it hasn't been getting done. For us -- we really did not have a first down until midway through the third quarter. We had one I think in the first half, on that first drive, but we fumbled the ball, I think. It is what it is. We didn't get a first down until midway through the third quarter, and that's very disappointing, and that's down to me; it always comes back to me, and I've got to find a way to get that fixed, because right now we're not very productive on the offensive side of the ball.

Q. Your first possession was fumbled, second possession Willis gets picked and they take it the other way for a touchdown is it just impossible to get out of a hole when it's 14-0 five minutes in?
COACH BEATY: Absolutely not. I called the offense over there right away, and I said, "Look up at the clock," I think said 11:50-something, maybe 11:51, I know it said 11:50-something. I said, "There is an entire game left to play. We made a couple of mistakes. They're gone. They're erased. We have to focus now on moving forward. We've got a lot of football left to play. We'll be fine. We'll cut it to one. Let's cut it down by one, and then we will go from there, but just one play at a time."

So there was plenty of time left. There is no excuse there. We didn't do a good enough job of stopping the bleeding ourself there, and, you know, that's our fault.

Q. Derrick Neal saved two touchdowns and two pass break-ups, he also had a pick later in the game. How much has he grown, and how much has his game evolved?
COACH BEATY: I will say this, there was a couple of bright spots, I thought, today, guys that stuck out to me: Joe Dineen, I thought, made a lot of open-field tackles. I think he was in the double digit tackles; I think a lot of them were solo. He had some mistakes, but he was playing his tail off through the entire game. He stuck out to me.

And then Derrick Neal. You know, Derrick let the guy get on top of him a little bit early in the game, and he was able to break up that pass down there in the end zone. I thought he, by far, played better than the corners that we had playing in this game. I thought he had a really good game today. That was a nice instinctual play by him. He slid inside, did a good job of doing what he was coached to do and protected the inside, and he got the pick, so he's continuing to develop. That's been a good thing for us to see and him move from receiver over there, pretty athletic guy.

Q. Is Fish still pretty banged up?
COACH BEATY: Fish was a question mark coming into the game. We felt like he might be able to recover and get there. We just didn't get to practice him a whole lot because of the ankle, and when we tried to put him on the field today to warm up, you could tell he was going to be a liability because he couldn't move.

He's injured, so hopefully we can get him back next week. We certainly need him.

Q. How much did you miss him out there today?
COACH BEATY: We missed him. He's the quarterback of the defense out there. He's the guy that leads the country in tackles and leads the Big 12 in tackles, so you gotta feel like his presence would have helped a little, but I don't know if it would have helped prevent what happened to us today.

Q. (No microphone.)
COACH BEATY: You know, we were just to a point there where we needed to give it a change. We needed to go ahead and give it a change, and he practices his tail off. He's a senior. He deserves that opportunity, and, you know, we had not been moving the ball to that point, so it was a point in time where we need to do try to get some momentum going with another guy.

Q. Did you think as well as you all played last week, and it was a competitive game, did you think there would be more momentum from that coming into this game?
COACH BEATY: You know, you would like for it to be that way but honestly as a coach, each individual game is itself. It's what you did when you get there. There's a lot of things that go into it, obviously within the media and things that continue to bring it back up, and you talk about it and things like that, but at the end of the day it's going to be what you do in that moment, in those moments, and we started the game off really well, really well.

You know, for some reason, things went south really quick, and it took us a while to stick our foot in the ground, if we ever did, you know. I think -- we played much better in the second half, but that's compared to what that first half looked like.

Q. Fourth quarter, Booker almost touchdown, is that just a matter of going to meet the ball? Positioning? What was the difference in that play?
COACH BEATY: We had a couple of 'em that I didn't think the ball was quite out there far enough. We had a guy beat down the left sideline, as you're looking from right to left on the home side, to our right side, excuse me, and it was on the far side of the field, and the ball was underthrown and it got picked off. We were behind him, and the ball was underthrown, and it got picked off. When we got picked off with T.J. down there in the end zone, same thing. The ball was underthrown, and it got picked off.

So, the accuracy is very important, the trajectory and the distance is so important when you're trying to complete passes, and that's how those turnovers happened.

Q. Do you think the nagging groin injuries are affecting his passing?
COACH BEATY: I don't think so. I'm not going to use that as an excuse. I don't think he was any worse today than he was in the last few weeks. For whatever reason today, he didn't have it, the whole time. He had a couple of flashes of some good things, but he didn't play his best game. But he'll come back. He'll come back, all those guys will. They will be ready to go this week.

Q. Would you think the fan base would have it in them to forget the record and result from today and show up in force for next weekend against K-State, or are you worried about that?
COACH BEATY: I certainly hope they will. I think we have the greatest fans on the planet, bar none, we do. The J-Hawk Nation, they deserve better than what we're giving them right now. I would ask them to value the rivalry, next week, show up, be there for us. You are literally the magic, and we need you there next week. It's going to be a great environment; it always is, so we need 'em.

We need 'em there, but, hey, at the same time I said it when I first got hired, man, you earn it one fan at a time, and we gotta earn it. We just haven't played to the point where we're proud of it yet, but we're working to get there.

Q. There are so in subplot story lines going into next week. It's the last game of the season, last chance to get that first win, it's going to be Senior Day, it's rival K-State. How do you simplify it and just focus on just playing your best?
COACH BEATY: You know, we really don't have any choice; that's how you prepare. Is a rivalry game, and they're going to be up for it naturally because of the rivalry that is, KU/K-State, and that's exciting, and it's something that -- I mean, I'm excited about being a part of it, because it's one of the greatest rivalries in all of college football. So we're all excited about it, but the way we can do something about it is by focussing on our preparation. Proper preparation, aligning our accuracy with, you know, our ability to execute. That's going to be so important, and we gotta go back to the drawing board this week because we obviously had some breakdowns this week with the team that runs the ball pretty well, with the quarterback, just like K-State does.

So we've got some things we've gotta go get shored up as we head into this game. And then offensively, we've got to find a way to create more offense than what we've got to be able to pull that thing out next week in a big game, a great competition next week against those guys.

THE MODERATOR: Thank you, Coach.

COACH BEATY: Thank y'all. Appreciate you.

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