Hobbs: Cotton's Speech Fuels ISU's Fire

Senior cornerback Ellis Hobbs was part of a solid defensive effort against Oklahoma State on Saturday, picking off a pass in the first quarter. But his play wasn't enough to overcome a lackluster performance by the offense. Hobbs spoke on the added responsibilities placed on his side of the ball during a question-and-answer session.

CN: Do you like night games?

Ellis Hobbs: Not really. It makes you wait around. I like to spend time with my family when they come up here. So anytime I can get a day game and a win, then go home and be with my family, that's a plus for me. Night games aren't really me.

CN: The Aggies have a lot of weapons in their offensive arsenal. How do you match up with them?

Hobbs: They have a lot of athletes. It's a dangerous team just because of their big-play potential and big-play capabilities. You've got a lot of athletes all over the field with their wideouts, and especially at quarterback. They have a double threat of the passing attack and the running game with (Reggie McNeal) and their running back.

Anytime you have a quarterback that's been in the program for the years he's been and been able to mature at the starting level, you've got to take that into consideration. He's going to come in the game with confidence. Our job is to disrupt that. Then with the players they have on the field that are making so many plays, we have to limit those and get 11 hats on the ball.

CN: What do you expect Texas A&M's offense to come at your secondary with?

Hobbs: We expect to see many diverse situations out there, and a lot of different personnel sets as far as five receivers, four receivers, a lot of single-back sets, and things like that to get their athletes into open spaces to see if they can make plays.

CN: Has the defensive approach changed, given the recent struggles of the offense?

Hobbs: We're thinking about picking the offense up, but at the same time what we're really emphasizing playing at a high level all the time. We're going to have to make a lot of plays out there, knowing what type of situations we're going to be in, and already knowing there are going to be some letdowns out there.

Regardless of where we're put at on the field or what type of situation we're put in, it doesn't matter. If we have to score, so be it. We've done that a couple times this year, and I don't see any reason why we still can't. I'm not saying the offense isn't going to do anything, but if we have to go above and beyond our part we're willing to do that.

CN: As a senior cornerback on defense, what were your thoughts on offensive coordinator Barney Cotton's speech to the team on Sunday?

Hobbs: Anytime you get a man like Coach Cotton doing something like that, it shows the type of character he has. A lot of guys in this type of situation and business will point the finger, and duck and hide. There could be a lot of blaming. Him getting up there wasn't really necessary, and I mean that as a positive. We're all a team. We take the fall together. I don't want to sit here and say it's the offense's fault, and I wouldn't want the offense to say it was the defense's fault. When we lose we lose as the Cyclones.

But him just getting up there, speaking to us, and making a vow to the team – we appreciated it a lot. It shows that they understand what we're going through, and we're fighting on every down and trying our best. That makes us want to go even harder, because we know that he understands that and we know they're trying their hardest over there.

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