Kansas State linebacker Will Davis is the Wildcats' second-leading tackler with 50 stops in 2015.
K-State can finish the regular season with six wins if Bill Snyder's team defeats West Virginia on Saturday. Davis took some time this week to talk about the Wildcats' 0-6 start in Big 12 play, the importance of six wins and playing for Snyder.
How have you guys been able to rebound after such a rough start in conference play?
Davis: Coach tells us all the time to just keep rowing the boat and you can get to the other side of the lake. That’s kind of the mindset this team has taken on, you’re just trying to be as consistent as possible in practice and preparation for games, and eventually we were going to win a game. That happened, we have a two-game win streak, and we’re trying to send the seniors out strong with a victory here at home.
How important is it to finish with a victory and get six wins?
Davis: It’s huge. We want to earn a bowl game and send the seniors out the right way and end the season with a winning record. That would mean a lot to the entire team and fan base at Kansas State.
What’s been the most difficult stretch to go through? Having so many games like Oklahoma State, Baylor, TCU where you played with them and it wasn’t like they dominated you?
Davis: That’s definitely been the hardest part, to be so close and come up short, it can be hard on guys who’ve never experienced it before. I was one of those guys who has never been in a situation where I lost so many close games. We really had to lean on each other as a team, and I think we’ve done a good job of that.
Was there anyone who stands out, teammate-wise, as helping the team through it?
Davis: Our captain Travis Britz. He’s a senior, a guy everyone leans on. He really stepped up in his vocal leadership this year. He’s a guy who has played for a long time. He kind of got everyone going every day in practice, acting goofy, dancing around, yelling and screaming, stuff like that. He’s really a guy people leaned on this year.
How are you feeling you played individually?
Davis: I’ve grown a lot this year. My game has grown, I understand how to work, how to watch film. A full year of experience has been really beneficial, your game grows so much from the first game to this week, Week 14. The experience has helped me grow as a player.
You have been a team dealing with a lot of injuries, what’s been the toughest part?
Davis: It’s tough whenever you have a guy go down. They’re not only a teammate, it’s a friend. You never want to see someone get hurt then you have to put a guy who may be inexperienced in there. If you’re second string, you’ve got to prepare like you’re a starter, because you’re one play away. For the most part guys have done really well with that this year. For some of the young guys, who maybe haven’t played any games of college football, to have stepped up and made plays the way they’ve done thus far has been a key factor in our success these last few weeks.
What’s been your favorite part of playing for Coach Snyder?
Davis: It’s a great experience for me. He’s such a well-respected man, such a role model. Not only for our team but for the entire state of Kansas. When I go back home, to Dallas, people ask me, what’s it like playing for Coach Snyder. Everyone in the world has so much respect for Coach Snyder, to get the opportunity to play for a coach like that is a once-in-a-lifetime thing for me, it’s been a great run. I have one more year and I’m excited about it and it’s something I will cherish for the rest of my life.