Illinois' Ron Zook

Illinois Head Coach Ron Zook meets with the media each week. Read here for his comments regarding the upcoming game with the Indiana Hoosiers here at Illiniboard.com.

Q. The players said you were inspiring today - giving them more of a rah, rah day.

A. No, it wasn't a rah, rah, day or message, I told the kids just like I told them on Saturday, we're a lot better than the way were playing right now. We're just going to go out there and do it now.

Q. Indiana is an improved team. What are your thoughts on them?

A. Absolutely they are an improved team. They've done well and have had some success. I think it's important to worry about Indiana, but we have to worry about this football team and play the way we are capable of playing.

Q. Is there a major point of emphasis once you get in the red zone and you have to punch it in?

A. Yeah, right now we have to put a lot of emphasis on a lot of things. We're a lot closer than what people think. One play here or there - the whole thing can change. We just have to make the plays and put ourselves in position to make them.

"You look at a team like Indiana - they took a lot of lumps four to five years ago but now they are in a position where there can play. They were kind of in the same situation we're in right now with playing so many young guys," said Zook.

Right now the Illinois football team has seen its share of struggles; some become very frustrated with not winning. Football is a lot different that basketball. Sometimes you can find a great freshman class and win, but in football it doesn't work that way. You have to be patient. Most likely you don't see the success of your football recruiting classes until the players are juniors. Here's something to think about when you're watching the games and the Illini are facing teams like Michigan State, Iowa, Purdue, Wisconsin and Penn State. Illinois is the youngest team in the country, not just the Big Ten (tied with Cincinnati). There are twelve freshmen (3) and sophomores (9) in the starting lineup. The Illini have only four senior starters listed on the 2005 depth chart, which is the second lowest in college football (second to Rice's three).


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