"This is Our First True Test" - Ron Zook

"The way we handle adversity is going to determine what kind of team we are. I told them last night that this is our first true test of adversity and how we bounce back," says Coach Ron Zook. Get inside for more details.

This week the Fighting Illini football team will travel to Iowa City looking for its first Big Ten win of this young season. After Saturday's embarrassing loss to the Michigan State Spartans you could clearly tell this group has a long was to go and that the Head "Chief" was not happy with last week's outcome.

It's really not fair to judge Zook with this group. Why? Because he's playing with the cards he's been dealt. Most of the players on this roster have lost every year in the program. That attitude has to change and you can only do that with wins. "I know this: there's a lot of different ways to skin a cat. What we're doing works. I don't think there's one system that's the best, otherwise everyone would be using the same system. We believe in our system; we believe in what we're doing." The system may be a good one, only time will tell. Right now our receivers are not getting open, but all that's really going on is quarterback Tim Brasic appears to be running for his life.

Iowa, for the past few years, has been not only one of the best teams in the conference but in the nation. Saturday at 11:00 a.m. you can bet that Head Coach Kirk Ferentz will have his troops ready for a fight. Zook has a tremendous amount of respect for Ferentz. "All you got to do is go back and look at Coach Ferentz's track record. He's done a great job, with where the program was when he got there and what he has accomplished in his seven years there," Zook said.

Having said all this, Zook did have this to say about his team bouncing back after the loss. "Yesterday I was very impressed with the effort and attitude of the team. The players are usually a little more resilient in most cases than the coaches. Most players at this level are prideful people and they are embarrassed," Zook stated.

Saturday the Illini need to show that their effort against Michigan State was a rare situation. If not, looking at the rest of their schedule, there could be a lot of long days ahead. At least until the Illini have the players to compete with the other Big Ten schools.

Illini Inquirer Top Stories