Lunt Battling Despite Injuries

Illinois QB Wes Lunt, still feeling the lingering effects of an injury from the Washington game, knew he would be taking his hits on Saturday but wanted to stick it out for his team.

Wes Lunt has been battling a calf contusion since the Washington game, but despite the injury, the Illinois quarterback has tried his best to tough it out for his team.

"The (calf) injury happened against Washington, so I've been trying to battle it every day getting treatment for it," he said. "It's hard to tell if I'll be fighting it all season."

Especially in the third quarter, the Purdue defense was able to get to Lunt, and when they did, they made sure that he paid for it. After a sequence of several tough hits in a row, Lunt was helped off the field by the trainers.

Fortunately for Lunt and the Illini, the injury doesn't appear to be serious, but it was enough to pull him out of the game.

"I was getting hit but we were moving it well," Lunt said. "I got looked at by the trainers and we made a mutual decision that I was fine, but Reilly did a good job moving the ball too."

Lunt stood in the pocket and delivered pass after pass, knowing he was about to take a hit to his already sore body, but he knew that those hits meant easier completions and catches for his receivers.

"It's tough but it's part of football," Lunt said of getting hit. "I'm used to it. Usually when you're getting pressure, the secondary is a little softer."

Despite requiring help to come off the field, Lunt still wanted to be able to finish what he started. It was tough for a competitor like Lunt to have to observe the remainder of the game from the sideline, but his long term health and well-being prevailed.

"I wanted to fight through it and finish the game," he said. "We were moving the ball pretty well even though I was limping. I thought we were moving pretty well and putting drives together."

He continued, "I was disappointed being hurt. Nobody wants to be hurt, so it was frustrating."

One of Lunt's favorite targets prior to the injury was true freshman Mike Dudek. Dudek, who finished with 8 catches for 200 yards, was hauling in dimes from Lunt throughout the first three quarters. Lunt knows Dudek is far more dependable than his college experience suggests.

"Dudek did a great job," Lunt said. "He came up big in big situations making big catches. He's a true freshman but doesn't play like one."

Lunt understands the negativity that comes with losing to Purdue and the difficulties that keep piling up for the team, but he's doing his best to look to the future instead of dwelling on the past.

"We have to stay positive," Lunt said. "We're only halfway through the season. It's not like it's the last game like last year. We need to watch the film and learn from it."

He went on to talk about some of the team's leaders, "I think our seniors do a great job of staying positive, and I'll speak up, too, if I need to. It's tough but we need to stay positive and face the adversity."

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