"I know there at the end we got a little sloppy, but it's hard to win a game, and I want them to enjoy this game. We'll continue to make improvements; we'll continue to get better. But, I don't want them walking around here feeling like they didn't win, because they did. This is a perfect example of playing with emotion, and we tried to play a lot of people, which I think is very important. Our intensity fell off a little bit, and it's human nature, but you try to fight against that as much as you possibly can. But, there were a lot of good things, and I'm proud of these guys. They're going to continue to work and continue to believe in what we're trying to get accomplished. I don't think there's any question that we were a better football team this week than we were last week, and we're going to need to be a much improved football team this next week.."
...on playing a lot of guys: "It was important that we played a lot of people. We're going to need those guys down the road, and they're going to make a lot of improvements. So, it's going to be important that we get them in there."
...on what he liked from the game: "I liked how we moved the football. There was much better control on offense. Defensively, we played so much better. We tackled pretty good up until the end. That's going to be one thing that we continue to improve on."
...on the defense:
"We knew that the defense was going to improve I thought that we tackled much better. Obviously, we're going to be much improved this week because we're going to play a good football team in California."
...on enjoying the game:
"I want the players to enjoy this. It's so hard to win a game, and they need to go out there and enjoy it. It's supposed to be fun."
...on the running backs:
"There's no question that E.B. and Pierre are good running backs and Rashard did a great job. He ran the ball extremely well. We have three different guys that give you a different look. And if we can use all three, there's no question that it's going to help our running game."
QUOTING ILLINOIS PLAYERS:
QB Tim Brasic...
...on playing California, a ranked opponent, next weekend:
"We're ready to go. We were looking at San Jose State like a Rutgers team. Rutgers is good, and a lot of people forget that. We're ready and we're prepared to go out there and compete."
...on Rashard Mendenhall:
"I was really pleased with the way he played. You don't really know until someone gets out there in the game because in practice you can only do so much. He came out and ran the ball well and ran it hard. It was really exciting for us to see that."
DT Ryan Matha...
...on the goal line stand:
"It's always great when a team's got the ball on the one or inside the one and for four downs, actually five with the offsides, you stop them every time. That's huge. It gets the crowd going, it gets the team going, the defense going, and it gets the offense going knowing that the defense has got their back."
...on whether today is a confidence booster for the defense:
"We gave up 500-some yards last week. I haven't seen what we gave up this week, but I know it's a heck of a lot less. Probably the only significant amount of yards they got were in the fourth quarter when we had some younger guys playing and getting their first game experience. Any win is always a confidence builder, and we go into next week being 2-0 for the first time since 2001. Hopefully we'll give Cal everything they can handle."
RB Pierre Thomas...
...on having three running backs:
"There's enough balls for three running backs; there's action. Coach Mitchell said at Michigan he did three running backs in the backfield, so I think he can do that here. Rashard can add a lot to this offense."
...on preparing to play Cal:
"We have a lot of guys who have a lot of confidence. We need to keep it going. Cal is not going to take us lightly. We can't take Cal lightly either. They're going to come tough. We know they're going to come tough. So we need to come prepared this week. We have to focus on them a lot this week. We have to learn from our mistakes and keep getting better every week. This week we definitely need to get better."
QUOTING SAN JOSE STATE HEAD COACH DICK TOMEY...
...on the game overall:
"I give all the credit to Illinois and their coaching staff. We got out-coached, we got out-played, we got out-toughed, and we got out-disciplined. We got out-done in every phase of the game.
"They dominated the line of scrimmage so much both ways that I think it's unfair to go back pick at little things and say that was the turning point
"I think they just really did a good job, and they've got football players up there. They obviously were very motivated. I think Coach Zook has the chance to have himself a heck of a football team."
...on Illinois' performance after last week:
"I'm sure their coaches were in their faces all week because in many cases, Rutgers really took it to them all week, and they responded."
...on the Spartans' current state and potential:
"I hope that we can come in tomorrow and learn from it. I still feel like we have a chance to be a good football team, but we are very far from it right now.
"We didn't make as many strides as we needed to. I knew that the physical part of the game was where we needed to make great strides and obviously we didn't do that.
"I would say the patient has a pulse. The patient did not improve enough, but there is a pulse."
QUOTING SAN JOSE STATE PLAYERS:
LB Bobby Godinez...
...on their loss today... "We had our opportunities, we came out and we just didn't execute either side of the ball. You want to go through a game without making mistakes and with capitalizing on turnovers. We just didn't execute and we got out played."
...on their response to the adjustments made by Illinois:
"They made some adjustments, started reaching the second level and we didn't necessarily follow our responsibilities like we should have and they just capitalized off of our mistakes."
...on their loss today:
"In football people are going to lose, that's how it goes and hopefully we're going to bounce back from this and play better in the future and learn from our mistakes."
...on the team starting quickly and then turning:
"Things change real quick in a football game, momentum shifts and we just never really captured it again."
QB Adam Tafralis...
...on learning from their loss:
"It's not a step back at all. The best teams are usually the teams that have to be put in their place real quick and then they learn and they grow from there."
...on how difficult it was to run the ball:
"It was very tough. It's part of the game. We were hoping when they were pulling back and playing their cover two with a seven man front that we would be able to run on it, but it just didn't go our way. When they can stop the run its kind of hard to pass because they know they can still drop and stop the run."
RB Trestin George...
...on his 96-yard kick-off return for TD:
"When you're down like that, you're just trying to do anything that you can to make something better, trying to fight to finish. My mentality that whole time was I going to get in the end zone."
...on keeping the pace of the game up:
"We started off how we should have finished. We started off fast and finished slow. We should have started off fast and finished faster.
...on having a bye week before their next game:
"We have a lot of time to prepare for San Diego State. We can see what we did wrong and improve. That's the thing that the coaches are trying to emphasize. Guys just have to keep getting better we have to give a lot more than what we've been giving."
Quotes provided by the U of I press office, Illiniboard.com will have game stories more quotes and interviews.
Quoting Illinois Head Coach Ron Zook...
Illini Inquirer Top Stories
PREVIEW: Illinois vs. NorthwesternLead basketball reporter Derek Piper previews Tuesday's matchup between Illinois and Northwestern.
Illini Inquirer8:00 AM
4-Star Verdis Brown Sees Illinois AgainVerdis Brown, who left Chicago (IL) Mt. Carmel for IMG in Bradenton, FL at the semester, was back on campus this past weekend getting yet another look at the in-state program he's…
Illini InquirerYesterday at 6:45 PM
Hill: 'Nobody is down around here'Illini senior Malcolm Hill talks about his team's attitude with four regular season games left.
Illini InquirerYesterday at 1:15 PM
Lucas: 'We still got a lot of fight'Illini point guard Te'Jon Lucas talks about his team's fight against the odds.
Illini InquirerYesterday at 1:00 PM