Did you feel like it was a good performance by the defense today?
We were up and down. We played some better performances this year. But under the circumstances, on the road in the Big Ten, we played pretty well. Any time you can travel in the Big Ten and get a win, you're going to be satisfied no matter what the score is, whether it's 6-4 or 23-13. We're not satisfied to the point that we're where we need to be. But we're satisfied with the win, but we know we can do a lot better.
You guys really buckled down after that first drive. Did something change?
There weren't any big changes. We just settled down. When you're on the road and you're not used to the field and the surroundings you're playing in, you just have to get used to things. That's what happened to Purdue here. They scored on their first drive, but we buckled down after that. We saw what they were doing and made some changes and adjustments.
You're 6-2 (overall), 4-1 (Big Ten) now, but there isn't another Illinois on the schedule. Things get appreciatively harder now.
We've been a pretty good team in November. We've been practicing pretty well the last few weeks. We just have to have good preparation with the Big Three (Purdue, Minnesota, Wisconsin) coming up. We want to keep moving up the board.
Now, you're bowl eligible.
It's good to be bowl eligible, but we're obviously looking for a few more (wins). It feels good to be bowl eligible. We have six wins. But that's not where we want to be. We want to keep going.
You guys looked like you were on your heels initially, but you shut it down after that. What happened?
That first drive, you have to give them credit. They came out and were getting rid of the ball quick; and making good catches; and put a nice drive together; and put seven on the board quick.
And then what?
We got into a rhythm. We settled down and we started playing our football and weren't giving up much. We got the hang of it and got what they were doing. We changed our scheme a little bit and took away the run and made them pass it.
How important was the third quarter in holding them down and getting some points?
It was definitely a game of field position because it was a little windy out there. It was huge to keep them guys down and get our offense some good field position.
How aggravating was their last touchdown drive? It seemed like it took forever.
Yeah. That was a long series. You've got to give them credit. They put a nice drive together at the end. But we came away with the W, so it really doesn't matter.
It looked like you were pretty close to getting Beutjer a couple of times. He just slipped away from you.
Yeah. They were getting rid of the ball quick. But it was still fun. We had a lot of fun out there today.
Did you have anything to say to him or vice versa?
I was too tired, man, from running around. That was a long series. But he's a competitor. And as you could see, he's still got it. He put together a nice little drive at the end. It doesn't matter who the quarterback is, I'm always trying to get after him.