Q: How did you guys manage to get the run gaming so effectively today? What did you guys change, what did you do today?
Brian Ferentz: We didn't change much. We had a good game plan, I thought we had a good game plan last week too, though. The difference is execution. We blocked who we needed to block, our running backs made great reads, our fullbacks got some good blocks, I think our receivers blocked well downfield. We didn't change a whole lot, I just think our execution improved.
Q: What'd you think of the crowd out there today?
Ferentz: That was great, they were loud. They were awfully loud, they caused some problems for the Illinois offense, and you can't beat coming home. You really can't beat it, it's such a difference to have 70,000 people behind you. I saw some pink in the crowd, too.
Q: What'd you think about that?
Ferentz: About the pink? You know, I'd hate to think there were any misogynists in the crowd wearing pink, but other than that, like I think it was said on Tuesday. If that was on the top of our priority list, I'd be very happy if that was all we had to worry about was a pink locker room. If they painted it a different color tomorrow, it wouldn't ruin my life.
Q: The blocked field goals and the miscues that Illinois seemed to have on offense in the red zone, how much did that build your momentum, give you guys confidence that you could put this game away?
Ferentz: It gives you huge confidence when the defense bends but doesn't break, then comes up with a big football play to get you the ball back and keep them off the scoreboard. That's huge, it's just huge. If anything, it motivates you to see those guys out there making plays like that. You have to reciprocate, you have to return the favor. I think that's the biggest thing.
Q: What'd you think of Ed (Hinkel)'s dive into the end zone?
Ferentz: I didn't get to see it. I saw it on the replay, it looked pretty good. We'd been razzing him pretty good, we have some mutual friends who have been razzing a little bit, he hasn't found the end zone yet this year. The joke was he did it today, twice, two different ways. Hopefully everybody's happy now.
Q: How does it feel, coming off last year, pounding the ball in for 2 or 3 yards games to see a day like this where you've got Marcus and Damian and Albert even Sam going crazy?
Ferentz: It's great. It's unbelievably different. I was looking at the program and I think in this game last year we rushed the game 36 times for 78 yards. I'm not a math major, but that's not good. That's a little over 2 (yards per rush). I couldn't tell you our statistics today, it's a world of difference. The best feeling in the world as an offensive lineman is to see the back of a running back's jersey going downfield. Probably the greatest thrill I've had this year is chasing Damian (Sims) into the end zone. That was pretty exciting, just from an offensive line standpoint, that was like the cherry on top for me.
Q: What's it going to take for the whole offense to build the consistency to have more games like this?
Ferentz: I'll tell you what, I'm not sure. It's execution, a matter of execution. The game plan is very simple week to week, it was very simple last week and it was very simple this week. Obviously your opponent has a little to do with that, but in the end, it comes down to how you play. What you manage to do on the ground or in the air. I think the main thing for this offense is just consistency. TO achieve that, we need execution every week, ever play.
Q: What was the difference between the two weeks? Anything change?