Q: How important is ball control this week?
Blythe: Yeah, I think this week we know as an offense that we have to control the ball as much as possible. Last time that we went down to Texas Tech, I remember that our defense played 100+ snaps. We have to be able to give our defense a break. Especially in a game like this, it's going to be very important that we run the ball and move the ball through the year and have a good time of possession. There's definitely going to be pressure on us to score.
Q: How big of a role have turnovers played this season?
Blythe: Huge. They play a huge part. We've been in some ball games where we've been in the lead or within one or two scores and all of a sudden we get a couple turnovers and it kills drives and momentum. Obviously, it takes the ball out of our hands and if we don't have the ball, we can't score. On Saturday, it gave them a couple scores. They picked off a running back and set them up to score. That's something that our defensive takes pride in…getting the ball.
Q: Is that a lot of focus?
Blythe: It's a combination of a lot of things. Sometimes they just catch right on defense and run a defense that we run a play right into to. Sometimes it's focus and guys just have to be able to step up and protect the ball. When I'm holding the ball, I know I'm carrying it for the whole team.
Q: Do you miss the days of your sophomore year when people didn't game scheme to you that much? (couldn't hear part of the question)
Blythe: Yeah, our system is different this year in the fact that I've caught more slants already this year than I've caught in my whole career. That's something that I like to that I didn't get to do in the past. As you can see, we spread the ball a lot. We throw to 3 or 4 different receivers. I think that makes it tougher for a defense. In years past, it was run, run, run and if you get third and long you just chuck the deep ball. In this offense, we don't get the ball in third and long situation. I like what we're doing right now.
Q: How fine is the line between winning and losing this year?
Blythe: For us, it's been really fine. We've been a couple turnovers away in a couple games. In this last year, turnovers killed us. Bottomline is, Football 101 we can't turn the ball over.
Q: You probably ended up thinking about the slot. I think it's 84 yards and you'll pass Lane Danielson's record. How important is that to you just to look back and know you did something really special?
Blythe: It'll be pretty neat to look back on after the season. Right now it's not really high on my priority list because we have to get this team fixed right now. We have some stuff that we have to do right as a team and the yards and the records will come. I know Bret's got a bunch of school records right now and he never talks about them once. That's the way I'm going to be. Right now, I had a guy ask me about it last night and that's pretty much the end of me wanting to talk about it. If you get a record in football, it means that the whole team did something well especially as a receiver If the line isn't blocking correctly or Bret's not throwing well, I won't be able to get the ball. As a receiver, every record you get is a team record more than an individual record.
Q: So you don't want to talk about it…let me ask you something else about it. You were on the team with Lane. Breaking the record of somebody you know and have a lot of respect for…does that add something to it?
Blythe: I think obviously the reason I've been able to succeed so early on in my career is because of Lane and other guys that were seniors. I was fortunate enough to play in practice every day and watch them play every day…every snap, how they presented themselves, how they practiced. They taught me how to approach the game at this level. Coming from high school to college is not even close…so much bigger, so much faster, so much stronger and especially playing with guys like that. I have so much respect for them.
Q: We're almost half way through the season now. Where are you guys at as a team?
Blythe: We're close. We're so close. We break down film and we had 102 plays on offense last game. We're not putting up near enough points for 102 plays, but it means we're doing a lot of things right. It's encouraging. It would be easy for a lot of people to say pack it in. What's frustrating is that I've actually heard some people saying pull the seniors and start playing the young kids and get ready for next year. Are you kidding me? We've got a lot of season left to play and I don't think anyone on this team including the coaches all the way down to the trainers are thinking that we should start playing for next year.
Q: The new coach and the learning curve…did you expect struggles and did you expect what you're facing now?
Blythe: We knew every season you have adversity. I don't know if I expected this much. We were hoping it would be a little better at this point, but that's the hand we've been dealt right now and that's what we have to roll with and that's what we're going to do. I think the team is going to stay positive and if someone's not positive, we'll let them know that we need them on this team and we need everyone on the same page. I think the seniors and the leaders are doing a great job of doing that. We're going to rally and right now we've got a lot of opportunities left to make things happen for this team.
Q: Has the team lost hope of getting another win?
Blythe: The whole season in general has showed you that anything can happen on any given Saturday. Anybody can win. Anybody can lose. That's just how college football is. We know we're going to be in every ball game and we're going to compete and we can win. That's encouraging. There's not one game on our schedule where we'll step out onto the field and think let's keep this thing close.