Illini Get Win #1 Over Florida A & M 52-13

<p>Ron Turner ...on the enthusiasm of players: "I am proud of the way our guys came out to play today. It was hard to hold them back in the locker room; they were very antsy. Their eyes were big from the Block "I," our fans were great and they really pumped our players up." "The players showed the same enthusiasm today that they have showed all summer in training camp."

...on what the defense showed today:

"We showed that we are still a work in progress, we're more athletic over there (on defense), and we are going to continue to get better."

"If we keep flying around and hitting like we did today good things are going to happen."

"Our defensive staff came up with a great plan. I told our guys if we focus on ourselves good things are going to happen." ...on the teams chemistry: "These guys care for one another and play for each other, and there is no substitute for that."

Illinois QB Jon Beutjer...

...on the offense: "We came out and executed well. I was proud of the offensive line giving the running backs big holes to run through and giving me plenty of time to throw. I think we played well. We didn't turn the ball over and we got four or five turnovers. If we keep doing that, we're going to do well this season."

...on how he feels after playing the first game of the season:

"I'm sore just from standing on the field so much. I think that's what's hardest on it. But other than that I feel good. Usually when I get hit early it helps me. It knocks out the cobwebs and then I'm ready to go."

...on Illinois CB Kelvin Hayden's performance:

"He did a great job for us tonight. Sometimes I won't throw to his side because he's such a good corner. I miss him a little (as a receiver), but I'm really comfortable with Ade (Adeyemo), Kendrick (Jones) and all of the receivers."

Illinois CB Kelvin Hayden...

...on FAMU's offense:

"We expected them to throw the ball, but we didn't expect them to come out every play throwing the ball. After the first drive, I was a little winded."

...on the interception return for a score:

"Coach Jackson had just been talking to me about it because I had just dropped an interception the last drive. He said `it's just like offense, you have to look the ball through.' That's what was going through my mind as I caught the ball."

...on the defensive philosophy:

"We did a good job, but we still didn't do some of the little things. We look forward to the next couple of practices so we can fix those. That's the main goal. Coach Mallory and Coach Shafer want teams to throw the ball. Because if they throw the ball that means we're doing a good job stopping the run."

Illinois FB Jason Davis...

...on the stable of running backs who played: "With everybody getting playing experience, it's going to be nothing new to any of the backs. If somebody goes down, we won't miss a beat. We'll just keep rolling."

...on the win:

"We haven't had a win like that around here in a long time. It feels good to get the fans behind you and the student body behind you. You do that every win. We haven't had a lot of wins around here, so it feels good to do that. The team wasn't thinking; it's just a reaction."

Illinois DT Ryan Matha...

...on the defense controlling the game:

"It's always tough in the first game of the season getting out on the field for the first time. Once we got settled down, in the second quarter and second half, it was three and out repeatedly. The defense really settled in and set the tone for the ballgame. We had three turnovers and Kelvin had two interceptions and took one to the crib. When we do that, we're going to be a tough team to beat."

...on the team's feeling:

"It felt great from the get-go. We had a lot of fans at the Illini walk. It's been a long time since there's been this much excitement around Illini football. To make a statement like we did, shutting them out for three quarters is really a tribute to our coaches."

Florida A&M Head Coach Billy Joe...

...on tonight's game:

"Well, of course, Ron Turner is doing a fine job coaching the Fighting Illini. Their defense is confident, determined and well-disciplined which ultimately led to an error free game, but we also committed self-inflicted wounds, penalties, dropped passes, that led to our demise. Early in the game we were beating ourselves with two fumbles, dropped passes and penalties causing the stoppage of our drives. I still have to give credit to the Illini. They played well and we played like Santa Claus."

...on Coach Turner:

"Ron Turner is doing a great job. I guarantee he'll have more than one win this season. Turner is an excellent coach, and as long as they're not plagued by injuries, he has a team that has what it takes to be competitive in the Big Ten."

Quotes provided by Illinois SID office

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