Quoting Coach Ron Zook

Each week head football Coach Ron Zook has a weekly press conference to talk about the upcoming game. This week for the Fighting Illini will be the Indiana Hoosiers. This is also homecoming week for Illinois, read here for quotes from the presser.

Opening Statement:
"It's good be coming back for homecoming. As I told our players Sunday, homecoming is not for them. Homecoming is for the graduates. Our job is to do the best that we can do to put on a good show for them. Hopefully that is what we are going to do. It's important that they understand that things aren't going to get easy. If anything, they are going to get harder. It's important as a coaching staff and as a football team that we continue to do the same things that we have been doing for the past few weeks. We've got to play loose. We've got to play hard. We have to play with emotion. But on the same token, we have to practice. The past week we've practiced pretty well, and I think they understand the things we are trying to get accomplished, stay in the moment of the game. One of the things that impressed me the most about them is that no matter what happened Saturday, they were able to maintain their poise. That's important; that's a sign of growth and beginning to mature there a little bit.

...on DL Melvin Alaeze's situation:
"I'm not trying to keep anything from you, but because of the law I can't really comment on it, other than to say that he has withdrawn from school. I like Melvin; I love him a lot. He's a great guy, and I wish the best for him. I hope everything works out for him."

..on the incident following the game:
"Regarding the incident at the end of the game, again, I'd like to apologize. As I told our football team, we are going to win and lose with class, regardless of what's happened in the past. That's not something that we are going to allow to happen. I will say this, I'm not trying to make any excuses: it was a spontaneous, emotional outbreak. It really was. It wasn't anything planned or anything like that. But regardless of what's happened in the past, that's not something that this university is going to be noted for, and I don't think that there will be any problems with that."

...on the quarterback situation:
"Juice has continued to improve. I think he'd be the first guy to tell you that he has a long way to go, but he'd also be the first to tell you that things are becoming to get clearer for him. I wan t to say this about Timmy Brasic. I can't say enough about Tim Brasic, about the way he is there, the way he is helping. He is there emotionally. Tim is a great team guy. I've said it from the very beginning, we need everybody in the room, and Tim is a perfect example of a guy who has stepped up. He was there in the locker room after the game congratulating everybody. He was one of the first to congratulate Juice. He gives Juice a lot of, not only support, but he can see things happen and can help him on the sidelines. He does a great job there."

...on Tim Brasic:
"The best thing that I could say about Tim Brasic is that he's a winner. I mean everybody wants to be a starter, but he's a true winner. "

...on the last six seconds of the MSU game:
"The thing that I was trying to do is tell the kickoff team that this game isn't over yet. When I was with the Steelers, we scored with five seconds to go in the game, and Coach Cowher wanted to squib kick, so we squibbed it and they ran it back in five seconds to score. To me it was an eternity with 10 seconds left on that clock. That's one case where the new rule probably helped us."

...on DT Chris Norwell and the defensive line:
"I think that Chris is having a great year. Sometimes those guys are like the offensive linemen--they don't get a lot of publicity. Very seldom are those guys the sackers. What he is doing, controlling the run, he's a big reason why we're improved up front. The thing that I'm most impressed with is the way he's led, the way he has worked. I think all those guys have done a heck of a job. I mean Josh Norris, he is kind of the catalyst in there and goes extremely hard."

...on DE Derek Walker:
"I said it at the beginning of the year: I really feel that Derek has made an unbelievable improvement. The statement I made I believe at the beginning of the year was that he's truly a Big Ten defensive end. I think the plays he makes, the things that he does, he just isn't the same guy. And Derek doesn't say anything. He just kind of keeps his mouth shut, you never know he's there."

...on the selflessness of the team:
"I don't look at the box score. I look at the final score. I think that's the great thing about our football team right now. I don't think there is anybody wanting the ball in their hands or complaining because they're not getting the football."

...on Indiana Coach Terry Hoeppner:
"I think when someone said that he might miss our game, I said I'd bet he's here because I know how Terry is. He's a tough guy, and God willing, he was going to be at the game. I think the fact that he was not only back this past weekend, I think he was in the press box the week before. If you watch their team play, they play hard. They play no matter what. If you watch the game from Saturday, I mean you can't tell the difference between 42-0 and the start of the game. Their defense is playing hard; they're getting after it. That's the thing that our guys need to understand. This is going to be a game just like the past four years. It's going to be a barnburner. It's going to go down to the wire. That's the way its going to be, and we're going to have to be ready to go."

Information provided by the U of I SID

Illini Inquirer Top Stories