Pre-Iowa Q&A with Todd Blythe

Growing up in Indianola Todd Blythe just wanted to see a good football game between Iowa State and Iowa, boy how things have changed. Prior to the in-state rivalry game Blythe talks about his recruitment by both schools and his thoughts on the big game.

Talk about your recruitment by both Iowa and Iowa State.


Blythe: I had offers from both schools and really got a chance to go in deep and see the things that a lot of people don't get to see, so I was fortunate in that aspect. I really got to know the coaches on both sides really well and obviously in the end I came here.





Blythe: Just how comfortable I felt coming here on recruiting visits. I got to know the players up here real well. The players that were going to be coming in with my class real well and Coach Mac really sold me and also Coach Grant the receivers coach.



Do you think anybody sits around and waits to see who wins the game to commit to Iowa State or Iowa?


Blythe: I don't think you can really base a decision on a game. Obviously you want to go to a winning program so that's going to factor in and things like that. Obviously if a teams getting blown out you're not going to look at that one as strongly. But as far as making your decision about who wins this game, I don't know if a whole lot of guys would choose it just based on that. This game definitely does have an impact on recruiting.



Did it influence you?


Blythe: Yeah [Iowa State] had won five straight when I made my decision. I mean I looked at that and definitely saw that Iowa State was more than just who they were beating, they were winning games and moving up and going to bowl games and things like that. So just the fact that they were a winning program really helps.



When did they offer you?


Blythe: Iowa State offered me a long time ago. I think I was a junior, midway through my junior season. Iowa offered me right after my junior season.



Did Iowa want to move you into a different position?


Blythe: Nope, they were both looking at me as receiver. Really the only school that thought about anything else was K-State. They talked about me playing some safety.



Was it a factor that Iowa State was there first?


Blythe: Yeah, absolutely. It just felt they were the first ones to really commit to me and make a decision that they wanted me to be a part of their program so that helps a lot. Also the fact that my first letters getting recruited as a sophomore were from Iowa State and then Iowa jumped in there right away also. It just felt Iowa State was the first ones to commit to me and that kind of loyalty went a long ways.



How did it feel to be back out there?


Blythe: I feel back to normal. It felt really good to be running around out there and finally playing against a defense that didn't include our defensive backs and linebackers.



What did the first hits feel like?


Blythe: Just like the ones I've had in practice. Luckily we've had a month of practice to get those out of the way, but getting hit by Dobbins and stuff in practice you get used to taking some shots early.


How is that staph infection?


Blythe:  It's gone. I don't even think it was staph infection, for staph infection it went away in about three days.



Do you think your passing game can work against Iowa?


Blythe: We hope so; I mean we hope we can have a big day running the ball. Balance is going to be key. If we're one dimensional they're going to be able to load up on that. So we go into this game like we do every game and hope to be a balanced offense and take what they give us.



Do you expect Antwan Allen to play?


Blythe: Absolutely, I think I saw in the paper that he's still not listed on the depth chart, but I'd be real surprised if No. 20 isn't out there. I hope he's out there.



Why's that?


Blythe: You want to go up against their best competition. I think he's been a starter for the last three years there so he's definitely one of their top two corners. As a wide receiver you want that challenge, you want to go against the best guys.



Talk about growing up in Iowa, being an Iowa kid and playing in this game.


Blythe: It means a lot as a native Iowa kid. You see this game from when you were little and all the way through elementary school, middle school, high school - you always follow this game. When this week comes up it's a different feeling all the way into the littlest towns in Iowa just because everybody's either an Iowa or an Iowa State fan. You can't sit on the fence in this state for this game. It's a lot of fun and it's an honor to be playing in this game.



Who did you root for?


Blythe: Really it depended on who had good receivers, who had good running backs. I was never really either for one or the other. When the Davis boys were here I was an Iowa State fan. And Iowa had some good players. I was a fan of Tim Dwight when he was there, so it was really whoever was making plays. I was just looking for a good game.



Talk about the difference in the halves on Saturday.


Blythe: We just really need to clean up a lot of things from that first half. I think we did a lot better in the second half. A lot of it was just focus. We had a lot of dumb penalties and mental mistakes that obviously we can't have this week if we expect to come out and play well.



Did you watch the Iowa game?


Blythe: A little bit of it. Yeah, I've watched all the film on it.



What are your thoughts on it?


Blythe: They're a really solid team. Ball State wasn't the best competition for them, but their a great defense and a great team all around. They've got a lot of great athletes.



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