Pre-Nebraska Q&A Todd Blythe

ISU wideout Todd Blythe discusses his appearance on ESPN's SportsCenter and looks ahead to the showdown in Lincoln.

On how he's feeling after the big hit against Army

 

I'm alright now.

 

 

On making the Top 10 plays on SportsCenter…

 

Yeah, I was on the wrong end of it.

 

 

On Nebraska's defense…

 

Just the aggressiveness they come out with. They've got a lot of great athletes out there in the secondary. They've got three new guys that they didn't have last year, but they're pretty much picking up where they left off as far as the talent level and the speed and athleticism they have. They have a real good press 7 with their d-line and their linebackers, so it's definitely going to be a test for us.

 

 

On Nebraska playing more zone than man….

 

From watching them on film it looks like they play a lot more zone than they did last year. Last year they kind of put their corners on an island and said we're going to shut you down one-on-one. This year it looks like they're hanging back more looking to break on underneath routes and get interceptions that way and also keep guys in front of them. It's probably going to be a different philosophy offensively for us going into this game, but hopefully we can be successful like last year.

 

 

On what he remembers about last year's game…

 

I remember they put us on an island with the DBs and said okay we don't think you guys can beat us and like you said we were able to make some plays on them and hopefully we do the same thing against the zone.

 

 

On exploiting younger Nebraska defensive backs…

 

I don't think age has much to do with it. They may be young, but the coaches aren't going to put them out there if they're not ready to play.

 

 

On preparing for the Nebraska crowd…

 

That's going to be a real hostile environment with all the fans they have. I remember I went to a game there when I was getting recruited and I was just amazed by all the people that were there and just all the red. It's definitely going to be a place that we're going to have to come prepared and know what we're doing.

 

 

On if the West Point atmosphere prepared them for Lincoln

 

I don't think you can really compare the two. At West Point you're just in awe of being in their setting with all the great players they've had there. I will say the cadets, when they all stripped off their dress uniforms into the fatigues that was pretty impressive. But I don't really think you can prepare West Point to Lincoln, Nebraska.

 

 

On how winning at Kansas State last year gives them confidence on the road…

 

It definitely gives us confidence knowing that we can go into a place that we haven't had a real lot of success in and still come away with the win. Last year at K-State we had to come from behind in that fourth quarter and that gave us a lot of confidence and hopefully we can carry it into this year.

 

 

On what this team needs to do to play a four quarter game…

 

That's a good question. If I knew the answers to that we'd be playing a four quarter game. Right now it's just some little things we need to work out, it's correctable stuff that we can get done in practice, and hopefully we can get it corrected this week.

 

 

On the leadership of this team compared to last year…

 

Obviously we lost Ellis Hobbs who was the heart and soul of our defense and our whole team last year as far as leadership goes. [Along with] his ability to step up and say what needs to be said and direct the guys especially on defense. We have a lot of new guys stepping up this year as leaders. I think with our seniors and our captains we're doing a good job of that.

 

On the importance of getting off to a good start…

 

It's huge for us to come out fast and to start well, just because playing in that stadium is going to be real hard to come from behind. If you're in a big hole you're probably going to have to be throwing the ball around a lot and it's going to be hard to hear signals from Bret and hear the calls he's giving out.

 

 

On the confidence Iowa State winning two of the last three games against Nebraska

 

Absolutely, knowing that we beat them two of the last three years we know we can go in and get the job done. It's going to be a different game than it was last year, obviously playing in Lincoln. They got a lot of new guys on defense that I'm going to be facing and a lot of new guys on offense. But for the most part we just have to go in and worry about our game and what we're trying to do.

 

 

On how big of a game it is for the Nebraska natives…

 

It's a big game for me and I'm not from Nebraska, I can't even imagine how big it is for them. Nebraska is about all they've got in Nebraska; they don't have a pro-team or any other real big D-I schools. This is going to be a huge game for them and with Nick Leaders being a senior it'd be a great time to send him off with a win.

 

 

On whether or not Nebraska recruited him…

 

A little bit, but I think they figured out early on I wasn't trying to be a glorified lineman out there and block for them.

 

 

On how big the game is for ISU offensive coordinator Barney Cotton…

 

He did the scouting report on them this year and last year just because he knows the personnel and he was obviously there with a lot of the same guys who were still there. He's not going to let on like it's any bigger game than anything else, but deep down I'm sure he's looking at this one.

 

 

On if the team saw any extra emotion from Cotton after last year's win over Nebraska

 

Afterwards I'll say he was pretty excited in the locker room after that win, but he's excited after every win. The way we came out offensively and played, especially in the first half I think he was really proud of us.

 

 

On what happened in the locker room….

 

We had a little celebration in the locker room. No comment.

 

 

On seeing himself on SportsCenter last weekend…

 

Oh yeah I saw it, I'm going to have to bounce back this week and make something happen. I can't be doing that, it hurts our team so much.

 

 

On if he realized his reaction at the time…

 

I didn't know he picked off the ball so that was the worst part. I need to just need to pop up and go make a tackle. Obviously with dropping the ball to begin with that's what disappointed me the most; obviously I wasn't very happy.

 

I got a few calls about that, I got a lot of people and telling me 'get up and tackle the guy.'

 


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