Terry Boers: We are down to the final football game of the season for the Fighting Illini. They are at Northwestern on Saturday. Ron Turner is on the phone. Hello Ron, how are you today?
Ron Turner: I'm doing great, how are you guys doing? I missed you last week.
Boers: You did not. That's a lie.
Turner: Yes I did. We finally get a win and I have something positive to talk about with you and you guys don't have me on.
Boers: Well, that's not our call because I would talk to you any time.
Turner: I know, I'm teasing you. We never talk during bye weeks. We have the Tuesday and the Friday night one, and we've never done bye weeks.
Boers: What did you do during the course of the bye week? I don't know how much at this point you can afford to celebrate or whatever you did. Obviously you had a fun week, or atleast a better week.
Turner: A better week, no question. We practiced Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday. Kind of light on Thursday, and earlier so the coaches could hit the road. They went recruiting Friday and Saturday, and I was just here looking at Northwestern and trying to get ready.
Boers: Now did you watch the game on Saturday, Michigan and Northwestern?
Turner: Yes I did. I watched it on TV, and obviously we got the tapes and I have watched that several times.
Boers: Beat down!
Turner: What's that?
Boers: That was a beat down for them. That Michigan team has really sort of gotten a little better than they were early in the season it looks to me. Again, I don't know.
Turner: Yeah, I think they are a good team. They really are. I mean offensively those two freshmen are unbelievable, the quarterback and running back. To play as true freshman and do what they are doing. I think they are doing a lot of good things offensively and their wide receivers are unreal. Braylon Edwards can just take a game over. Defensively I think they are a real good team.
Dan Bernstein: You were quoted in both papers today as when you were asked a question, "Do you expect to be back?" you answered "yeah." Is that because you think that way because you have evidence to suggest that you will be back, or is it because that is how you have to think?
Turner: Probably that is the way I have to think. I have no evidence about anything other than we are just going to try to win this last game, try to win the final two games. Get some confidence and let the seniors go out with a win. Get the young guys something positive to build with on the offseason. Plan ahead, and go from there. We are working hard at recruiting, preparing, and getting ready to go as wel always do.
Boers: I guess at Northwestern they are still entertaining bowl notions. They have you and they have a game at Hawaii. Is your motivation simply what you are talking about to have this senior class go out on a high note? It seems like Northwestern likes to talk a lot of stuff, the Wildcats do. I don't know particularly if they said anything about you guys, but they think they are playing for a big time bowl berth here. How do you match that emotion?
Turner: Well the definitely are. They are playing for an opportunity to be bowl eligible and go to a bowl. They've got to win the next two to do that. So they've got great motivation and something tangible to play for that they are going after. We've got to match it, and it is just about pride. To give our seniors an opportunity to go out with two wins, and to give our young guys an opportunity to build on. I love these kids, I really do. They are doing everything they can do to try to get a win. They are working and preparing as well as any team I have been around, and so the motivation I think for them is about pride and going out and getting a win.
Bernstein: From the scouting you have done on Northwestern, how good are they? It was tough to tell because there was a little bit of excitement before they were seemingly just put in their place by a Michigan team that outclassed them.
Turner: I think they are a good team, I really do. Defensively up front they are a very strong, physical team. They have several guys who played a couple of years ago who have been in the lineup a long time that have grown up and become very good players. Very similar as to what I have said when we were getting ready to play Iowa and Wisconsin. They played a lot of young players a couple of years ago, and now these guys have grown up and they are very physical up front. They've got a linebacker that is as good as there is in the league. Offensively they can score a lot of points.
Boers: I like Noah Herron, too. I watch him and I think Ron. I watched the Michigan game, and before that Ron they have been talking and playing very well and I guess just sometimes it is hard to judge that game. I don't know what a coach takes away from watching that other than Michigan had a great day. Northwestern had definitely made improvements as well.
Turner: Yeah, I think they are a good team. I think they have gotten better. They have had a lot of close games, and I think they know how to win the close games. I think they play hard, and I think they are a good football team.
Boers: Well, good luck on Saturday my friend. We will talk to you soon.
Ron Turner on Boers & Bernstein
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