Illinois Postgame: Brownlee, Babineaux

During the Hawkeyes 23-13 victory at Illinois on Saturday, RB Sam Browlee avoided being one of the additional injuries in the offensive backfield. Iowa DE Jonathan Babineaux helped seal the win by forcing a fumble and recovering it. "I stripped it out and it pretty much landed right in my hands. It just came right into my arms, and I held it."

SAM BROWNLEE:

You seemed to have a little better time running the ball consistently today.

It all started up front. The line did a great job today. They really came off of the ball well. It's a lot easier for me to make plays when they're doing well, too.

Do you think eventually that you might be the only running back?

I sure hope not. I just wish for the best for all of them to come back, and soon.

It's tough to carry the load, isn't it?

I can do it. I'm up to the task. But I really hope that they come back.

Are you feeling more comfortable, getting used to the blocking schemes and things like that?

Yeah. I think I feel pretty comfortable back there. I've gotten rid of the jitters.

Do you have more feel for the holes and what's going to be there than before?

I don't know about that. It's just a lot easier for me to find the holes when the offensive line is opening them like they did today. They did a great job.

You fought for a lot of yards today.

I kind of base my philosophy on not quitting on the run. I try to get whatever I can, I guess.

Are you OK? You looked a little slow getting up for a run and had to go to the sidelines.

I'll be fine. It was just a small bruise. It was just a routine football injury. A little ice will take care of it.

What were your thoughts when Aaron Mickens went down?

It was a real scary thought, especially when someone is on the ground for that long. I just hope fo the best. And I don't think you can really do anything else but hope for the best. He seems to be doing fine, so that's real good for him.

JONATHAN BABINEAUX:

How were you able to strip the ball away and recover it?

It was a screen, and they had me wide out. The running back spun back to me. Soon as he spun back to me, I just stripped it out.

Did it hit the ground?

Nah, I stripped it out and it pretty much landed right in my hands. It just came right into my arms, and I held it.

Did you guys feel like the defense needed to make a play?

We knew that we had to come out with the wind going our way and had to get the offense back on the field to take advantage of it. We had to keep getting the offense out there.

When they came out on offense with the wind, did you feel like you had to get the ball back right away?

When we started the game out, we should have gotten it right away. But we just had to adjust to the offense that they were running.


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