Quotes from Ron Zook's press conference

No team wants to lose, and with Illinois now sitting at 2-2 following Saturday's 38-24 loss to Penn State, Illini Nation may be wondering how many games this year's team will win. Last week the theme was to get the better players to step up and they did that despite the fact the Illini came up short. Read here for more on Zook's comments.

How about the way your team played?

"We didn't play a bad game defensively. When something bad happens we'll let another one happen, but that's a part of being young. You just have to get over it and play the next play. A little bit of that has to do with being young and a little has to do with wanting to be good and trying too hard. I think overall it was a good offense we played; to me the kickoff return was the biggest difference in the game. That wasn't anything we haven't worked on."

What about Michigan's comeback and what do you know about them?

"I watched some of the first half, and didn't get to see any of the second half. I know the ball was on the ground a bunch, both teams I think had turned the ball over. They kind of dug themselves a hole; I was somewhat surprised to hear some of the equipment guys were telling me that I guess Wisconsin had an opportunity to go for two and tie it. They have talented guys. This is going to be a game they feel like they can win. We know it's going to be a battle; we just have go play the way we're capable of playing."

What is the feeling of the team?

"Penn State is a pretty good football team. We stood toe to toe; the thing you can't do is give up big plays. I think the thing everybody keeps riding on is the Rose Bowl. Last year was a magical year. Do we want to go back? Absolutely, that wasn't one of the team's goals, but however your goal is to always go to the Rose Bowl. But we just have to keep our goals in perspective and just keep plugging away."

What are the goals of the team?

"I'm not going to talk about what our goals are. Obviously the goals that this team has made for itself and not the coaches are all attainable; we can't have a whole lot of slip- ups. The thing we have to do is learn from this game. We have made progress; we're a better football team than we were two weeks ago and we're going to need to be as we get into this grind here. We just have to continue to improve and continue to coach and have our guys do the things they can do. We'll be okay."

Stay tuned for comments from the Illinois players starting tomorrow as they meet the press.


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