Ron Zook Still Upset After Loss To Badgers

Fighting Illini head coach Ron Zook was still upset with his team's play at Wisconsin on Sunday. And he said the Illini Nation has a right to be upset as well. According to his teleconference, Illini players will have a difficult week of practice in preparation for Iowa's visit next Saturday.

Q: After watching tape, was there anything different than what you thought?

Zook: No. I'm not happy, hopefully they're not very happy. They're not gonna be very happy this week. Here's the deal. We're a better football team than we play at times. I think our fans deserve a better football team, and they deserve to be upset. Hell, I'm upset too. I'd be upset too, and we're gonna keep beating on the door until we get it right.

I don't care if we have to make changes. I'm not gonna make any changes today. But we're gonna evaluate everything. This is a good football team. We're just not playing the way we're capable of playing all the time. And that's up to us the coaching staff and me to figure out why.

Q: Might there be changes later in the week?

Zook: You guys will see them on Saturday. There's no use asking me.

Q: Any thoughts about Iowa?

Zook: They're starting to peak. They're a good football team. It goes back to this. We'd better take care of us. We'd better play the way we're capable of playing. We've lost two games that we shoulda, coulda won. That's on us. We've got to make sure we've got us taken care of. Obviously, we're gonna worry about Iowa, don't get me wrong.

Q: How is Juice doing?

Zook: He's upset. He should be upset. He's not the only one, but sometimes the quarterback gets more credit than he deserves and gets more blame than he deserves. That's part of it.

Q: What should be the points of emphasis with Juice this week?

Zook: Consistency. We all know he's capable of being a pretty good quarterback. He's got to do it consistently.

Q: What about the discipline on the penalties yesterday?

Zook: I can't comment on some of them. Some of them were penalties, and some of them weren't. Like I tell Dave Parry (head of Big Ten Officials) all the time, I get judged by the number of penalties that are called. So we think that we have an undisciplined team.

But our team is as disciplined as anybody's. Sometimes things are called that maybe are questionable. When you go on the road in a Big Ten football game, you've got to be better than the football team, you have to be better than the fans, and you have to be better than the officials. That's just the way it is.

Q: Can defensive linemen do things to lure your offensive linemen into false starts?

Zook: If a defensive lineman jumps, and an offensive lineman reacts simultaneously, it's on the defense and not on the offense.

Q: Can you say that was happening?

Zook: Yes. That's why they put the rule in.

Q: Did you talk to Dave Parry this morning?

Zook: No. We didn't lose that game because of the officials. We lost that game because we didn't play the game the way we're capable of playing. That's something myself and my coaching staff have got to get corrected. We can't have stupid penalties. You're gonna have penalties in the game. I get upset about stupid penalties.

Q: Does Juice need to get back to fundamentals?

Zook: I don't know. One minute someone tells him how good a player he is, the thing about coming out after three years. But he'd better worry about next week, and then the next week. He's a good quarterback, and he's gonna be really good as he gains experience. It's not all on Juice though, everyone else has to rise up too. We can't be waiting around for Juice. Everybody else has to stand up and make plays to help Juice get going.

Q: There was a catch that led to a Wisconsin touchdown. Did you think it was incomplete?

Zook: I called a timeout and used a challenge on that. I thought it bounced in there myself. Dere didn't know because he was behind the play, but Brit thought it did. I trusted them. It didn't get overturned.

Q: Multiple people said it was a bad call.

Zook: Once again, that isn't why we lost the game.


Illini Inquirer Top Stories