Quote Time - Illini Football

After another heartbreaking loss for the Illini, there's only one game left to get another win this season, next Saturday against the Northwestern Wildcats. Read here for quotes from last week's loss to the Purdue Boilermakers 42-31. Read here for game quotes.

Ron Zook on the turnovers:
"It's the intensity and a collaboration of things that happened. If there was any positive in it, we could have shut it down and they had enough there to keep fighting and come back, and to me that's a little flame there that you can have. The interception, the kickoff return, and the fumble, those are things that you are not going to be a very good football team until you stop turning the ball over."

On the last three games:
"I know this, we are going to be where we need to be. If you go back and study programs that have been in the same situation, I think you see a lot of things that are happening to us that you have to go through. It's unfortunate that you do, but it's a growing process and a learning process. I'll say this about our kids, they are giving us all they have and I really believe that."

On the defense:
"We played the last few weeks pretty good defense and I wouldn't say we played bad defense. We didn't get off the field when we needed to get got off the field on third down and that was probably the one thing that we had down the last few weeks that we didn't do today. We didn't give it to them like we wanted to." On Juice Williams: "As he learns and gets more and more experience, he'll mature and sit in there a little bit longer. I think you have to give a lot of credit to number 49, that guy is a good player and we knew he was going to be good player. He had a great game." On the senior class: "I told the seniors I was sorry that we didn't get one for them, and as I said all week long, I am still so proud of them. They have hung in there and been so positive and done everything that we've asked of them. When our team gets going like it's suppose to be going they are still going to be a big part of it." On Pierre Thomas' performance and breaking the Illinois career kickoff return yardage record : "I told Pierre on Monday that I was going to give him the opportunity to set the record, and he did and I was very happy about that. He did a great job and I think our kickoff return, we had a little bit of a seam going for him and he did a great job running with the football. There are always certain teams that he's had success with and this was one of those teams today."

QB Juice Williams...
On turnovers:
"It's something that Coach Locksley has been preaching to us all year. The turnovers are causing us to beat ourselves. We just need to keep focusing on the fundamentals as a team. We need to keep drilling it until we get it corrected. It's a mistake, but fortunately it's a correctable mistake."

On next week's game at Northwestern:
"Next week is very important, not only to leave the seniors with something to remember, but it's an important step in our momentum going into next year. We want to get a streak going and the train moving to give us something to build off going into next season."

On the youth of team as a factor in losing momentum:
"We don't want to keep using that as an excuse. We need to find a way to come up with victories. We have to learn how to finish games off. Instead of starting off well and then relaxing, we need to keep fighting until the end."

LB J. Leman...
On this week's performance:
""We thought we could build off from the game last week, but we just didn't capitalize. Our intensity seemed to lack after a turnover, when it should be at its highest. When you give up a turnover inside your own 35, we have to step up and get a stop or at least hold them to a field goal. We were only able to stop them one time after a turnover and that clearly is not enough."

On the seniors:
"I feel bad for them. They are the foundation. The guys that are coming back will get to see how they helped build our castle up, but unfortunately the seniors themselves are not going to be able to see it."

RB Pierre Thomas...
On his last game at Memorial Stadium...
"One of my main goals was to get a touchdown in my last game on my Illinois field. On my way back into the locker room, I had to stop, take one final look just so I can remember everything that this field has brought me. There is nothing better than playing in front of these fans at Memorial Sta

dium." On his kick return record...
"Kick returns are something that I love to do. I love being able to see the whole field and make my move. It's an honor to have the record, but Chris Duvalt already told me to cherish while I can cause he is going to break it."

Information provided by the University of Illinois SID office.


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