Ron Turner on Boers & Bernstein Transcript

Illinois Football Head Coach Ron Turner was once again on the Score's Boers & Bernstein at 11:45 Tuesday morning. <br><br> Among the items discussed were whether or not Saturday's loss to Purdue could be considered a <i>moral victory</i> and the challenge Illinois faces against the Wisconsin defense this Saturday in Madison, WI. <br><br> Read more for Coach Turner's comments this morning on the radio.

Terry Boers: Every Tuesday right around this time we have Illinois football coach Ron Turner. Hello Coach.

Ron Turner: Hey, how are you guys doing?

Boers: We're doing well. How 'bout you?

Turner: Doing well. Just getting ready for another game.

Dan Bernstein: Moral victory or not?

Turner: Uhh, no, not really. I don't know if there is such a thing. We went into that game preparing to win, expecting to win, and you know we fell short. So we were disappointed, but we know the reasons why. We've got to play better. We've got to clean up a lot of the things that we need to clean up. Quit making mistakes. Basically, it boils down to quit making mistakes that hurt us, and take advantage of opportunities. And, you know we're doing a lot of good things, but we've got to do those things better.

Boers: And once again, as we talked about last week Ron, I'm not the least bit worried about your offense. They're fine. There were some plays that could have been made that were missed. You know a few throws here and there. But the defense, as I think all of Illinois fans are saying "Ron what's going on here?"

Turner: Yeah, you know, we definitely have to play better. We did some things better. They didn't necessarily show in the stats, but we've got to continue to improve, continue to get better. Umm, we made some mistakes to give up some big plays that really hurt us that we've got to eliminate. Got to make the people, you know if they are going to move the ball and score, make them execute. Make them earn it. Make them be very efficient. And, umm, which Purdue is. I mean they were very efficient. They didn't turn the ball over, and they didn't make many mistakes. But we gave them big plays and made mistakes. We've got to continue to play better.

Bernstein: One thing that's clear is that regardless of how your team fares, it doesn't seem to be effecting Jon Beutjer's status as a sought after quarterback by the NFL. I mean every list I look at, he's on it. He's right there. Is that something that you can talk to him about at all? Is it something that you can use as a motivational tactic? Or is he not a problem?

Turner: You know right now, I don't think Jon's concerned about that. I think he's concerned about doing what he can do to win. He knows that's there and that's going to be there. They're at practice and they're watching him and all that stuff. So, we all know that's part of it. But I think he's just got to go out and perform. Jon's doping some good things, but we had some opportunities to make some plays that we didn't make offensively. Jon had a couple of opportunities to make plays that he didn't make. I think he realizes that he's got to make those plays to win games. Like I said, he's doing a lot of good things, and he's doing well, and those things. But when we get down to the red zone and we get an opportunity to make a play, and they present themselves, we've got to make the throw the majority of the time.

Boers: What you are going to see with Wisconsin on Saturday, Ron, I would think is after look at the tape, and I'm sure you've don that, a better defensive team than you've seen anywhere. I don't know about Purdue, I mean you got Purdue pretty good. You did a good job against their defense, but this Wisconsin defense. I mean I look at them and they look good. Then again, they knocked out every Penn State quarterback including the guys I think played ten years ago.

Turner: Yeah, I think they did. They're defense is unreal. They've got seven seniors, all of which have been playing quite a while. They've got two juniors. So they're a pretty experienced team. Their four defensive line guys, we played against them two years ago when they were sophomores and they were good players then. But now, they are unbelievable. They have Erasmus James back. He didn't play against us last year. As a defensive end he is almost unblock able. He is the one who knocked out both Penn State quarterbacks. He has impacted and totally dominated every game they have played this year. As has their entire defensive line, so that's going to be a huge challenge. We haven't faced a defensive line like this in some time. They also have two good corners, so they can play man on you. And they have as good a safety as there is in the league. All he does is just make plays and intercept balls.

So, they're very, very talented defensively and it's going to be a huge challenge for us.

Bernstein: 1:00 Saturday Illinois leads the all time series against Wisconsin 35-30-7. The storied rivalry.

Boers: Well, it will be an interesting game. The Illinois offense has been pretty good for the most part. Ron, I agree with you, there were some chances Saturday, "that throw could have been here." You know it was that close, but this is an interesting game.

Turner: Yeah, it will be. It will be a totally different game for our defense. Purdue spread the ball out, and threw the ball fifty times, and had a very efficient quarterback. These guys are going to line up and pound you and run it, so it's going to be a totally different type of game. We've got to change gears and get ready for an extremely physical game.

Boers: You won't miss Kyle Orton will you?

Turner: Ahh, no. He's a great player. We tried everything. We blitzed, we played zone, we tried everything we could. We disguised coverages. He's been in that system so long that he knows it so well that we couldn't surprise him. You couldn't really get to him he threw it so quick. They threw 48 passes that we charted, and 37 of them were thrown for less than ten yards. So they were just very efficient in what they were doing.

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