Q: You got one sack the last four games. Obviously, three of those are wins, but how concerned are you about not getting more of them?
Hawkins: Well, you always want to get pressure on the quarterback.
Q: How do you think that’s affected you?
Hawkins: Like you said, we won (three) of those games, and we didn’t win this last game. So you’ve got to look at the overall game plan and what teams do, and what they do to combat (the blitz). Sometimes it’s a reflection of the other team’s scheme and what they do.
Q: Do you feel like you need to blitz more often?
Hawkins: I think we’ve played pretty well for the most part. I think Ron Collins does a good job of mixing it up and we need to continue to do that.
Q: This is more about your role as a voter in the Coaches’ Poll. As we get deeper and deeper into the season, do you feel inclined more to vote for undefeated teams over teams with losses regardless who they’ve played?
Hawkins: Not necessarily, no. I try to look at their schedule and who they’ve played. Our sports information director Dave Plati does a good job of laying out everybody’s schedules. We have some teams that have lost a game or a couple games to some pretty good teams, you have to take that into consideration.
Q: Do coaches feel some sort of an obligation to favor teams in their own conference?
Hawkins: I don’t think so. I don’t think it’s ever really necessarily ever come up for us. I don’t think that’s the case at all — at least for me.
Q: Would you mind talking about who you did vote for in your top two or three?
Hawkins: I don’t know if I can exactly even remember that, to tell you the truth. No. 1, I voted about 3 o’clock in the morning. That probably has something to do with it.
Q: Jordon Dizon’s had a big year for you guys. How much of his success is also helped by the fact you have those two big tackles in there?
Hawkins: Well, that’s definitely a part of it. The other thing is, some people have talked about it, and every linebacker you can say the same thing. If you’ve got good guys in front of you, it helps you out a lot. That’s kind of a moot point.
The bottom line is the guy’s a great football player, he makes great plays and has a great motor.
Q: I read a couple stories where you said your team played tight at Kansas State. Was that a surprise to you?
Hawkins: No. I think when you look at the evolution of a program, and the evolution of a team, you have to go through some issues. There’s no way to explain it. Sometimes, experience has to happen (for them to learn).
Q: Could you talk a little bit about Cody’s play on Saturday night, and what you and Mark Helfrich have told him about settling down and taking more time and seeing the big picture?
Hawkins: I think it was probably similar to the rest of our team. I think it was probably the first time he was really trying to press to make some plays vs. going through the progression and not predetermining and not trying to force a ball downfield.
Again, the guy’s a freshman. Just like with our team, he’s learning. …The other thing is, he got drilled a couple times. They got after him a little bit.