What Kansas State players think of Alabama, if it has something to prove

We’re less than 24 hours from Alabama facing Kansas State in the Sugar Bowl.

It’s a rainy day here in New Orleans as the fans arrive. Just flipping through the notebook for a little more perspective on the matchup you’ll see at 11 am CT from the Superdome.

So let’s take a look at what Kansas State players had to say about facing Alabama, the players who stand out and more.

Cornerback Julius Brents

What does he see on film from Alabama? “Definitely one thing that pops up is speed. They’ve got a lot of good guys on offense. They’re pretty physical as well. Overall, they’ve got guys in a lot of different spots that could be a challenge for us, but we’re able to go out there and compete with them.”

On what opportunity is presented facing a program like Alabama’s? “It’s a big opportunity for us. This is the first time K-State has played Alabama, so it’s definitely a great challenge for us. We’re here for a reason, so we’re looking forward to be able to compete with them and see how we match up with them.”

Does Kansas State have something to prove playing a program like Alabama? “No, it’s just another game. We had the same mindset going into every game, next game mentality, so I wouldn’t say there’s anything to prove. Just going out there doing our best and eventually coming out of New Orleans with a win.”

DE Felix Anudike-Uzomah

Do you guys kind of feel like you’re the underdog and you’ve got something to prove? “Oh, yeah. I mean, this whole season we’ve been underdogs. I don’t think anybody – If you look at the preseason poll, nobody really thought we were going to win the Big 12 championship. Nobody really thought we were going to be one of the top people today. People thought we were going to fall sixth in the Big 12 conference or something like that.

So we’ve been underdogs this whole season, so this is nothing new to us. We’re still going to attack every day. We’re still going to prove people wrong. We’re still going to give everything we’ve got against Alabama.

Do you think you guys have as much talent as they do at Alabama? “Don’t get me wrong. Alabama has a lot of talented people. They have a lot of five stars. There’s a reason they’re five stars, I’m not going to lie to you. But at the end of the day, everyone can compete with anyone. So it’s basically how you attack your day, attack practice, attack preparation that would be better, honestly, to overcome Alabama.”

RB Deuce Vaughn

How big would it be for K-State to beat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl? “It would be huge, but it’s one of those things where tomorrow or Saturday I’m playing for my team, and we’re playing to win a team game. Of course, I want to have the performance to put my team in the spot to be successful, but it is never one of those prove-it type deals.”

What does it mean to play a program like Alabama? “It’s huge. The Nick Saban era of Alabama football has been something that I grew up watching. I watched the rise of Alabama and how they’ve stayed at the top for all these years, it’s a historic program. They’ve played in games like this and higher games. They have won national championships in recent years and over the past ten to fifteen years. So, I’m super excited for this opportunity. This is a game that I have always wanted to play in, the Sugar Bowl against a top-five team in the nation and a program like Alabama. So, I’m super excited.”

LB Austin Moore

What and who stands out to him about/on Alabama? “All the talent that they have at every position and the explosive plays that they’re able to create with that talent is what definitely stands out to me. Obviously, Bryce Young stands out, Jahmyr Gibbs, their entire offensive line, wide receiver core. I would just say that especially Bryce stands out on most plays the way he scrambles.”

Have you played anyone similar to Alabama? “I’d say TCU is probably the most similar from the explosive play standpoint and a quarterback who is able to scramble and keep plays alive. But Bryce (Young) is a different player from what we’ve seen.”

What stands out about Bryce Young? “It’s his ability to keep the play going when the play breaks down. That’s where a lot of his explosive plays come from. When he’s still scrambling and running around.”

What does Kansas State have to prove? “I think it’s a huge measuring stick obviously because Alabama is a dynasty of a program, amazing head coach, top-level players. So a lot of our guys want to prove we can play with the best.”

Are you tired of hearing about that dynamic? “I think it’s a little motivating, but it’s the truth. We know they’re one of the top programs and we need to prove we belong here.”

OL Cooper Beebe

What do you see when looking at the tape of Alabama? “I see a lot of great things. To start off, they’re well coached. As long as I’ve been alive, they’ve been at the top of college football and they still are. They [Alabama] don’t beat themselves and I think that’s one of the things that led to success over the years. They’re strong, physical guys, like I said, well coached, they don’t make mistakes and it’s tough to beat a team that doesn’t make mistakes.”

LB Daniel Green

What is different about Alabama? “Up front, their athleticism goes along with their size. They’re just really athletic up front. I think that’s the biggest thing that I see differently. Not saying the Big 12 doesn’t have athletes but when you’re 320 or 330 pounds and you can move the way they move their feet and pass off blocks like that, it’s a good up-front team.”

Who stands out when watching a movie? “Their guards are pretty good. They move well. They pass off things well. They sustain blocks pretty well. It’s a challenge we’re really excited to take out because up front, we’ve got some dudes and they’ve got dudes so we’re going to battle with them and go at it. I’m excited about that.”

Do you have something to prove? “Oh yeah. All season, we’ve had a chip on our shoulder. It didn’t matter who we played. This is an opportunity to show our defense is legit and not just good against Big 12 teams. Even though we played SEC earlier in the year, this is the best. Nick Saban is one of the best coaches to ever do it. Alabama is one of the best historical programs. It’s a blessing to be able to come out here and compete with these guys and we’re ready to embrace the moment.”

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