Q: (How big is this win for this team?)
Brian Ferentz: On the road here, with the history that we've had here, just in this era of the program, it's tremendously big.
Q: When they come out and take the ball right down the field and score, how important was it for you guys to answer the way you did?
Ferentz: It's critical, it's critical. You know, the main thing for us was go out there and give our defense some confidence and say, "Hey, just keep playing. We have to answer them" It was that kind of battle for 3 quarters. We'd answer, then they'd answer our answer. It was just one answer after the other, I guess, until the fourth quarter. Obviously maybe we would have liked to have a longer drive, but any way you get in the end zone, you're not going to complain about that. SO it was huge.
Q: Did you feel the confidence growing as the game went on?
Ferentz: Sure. I think it's like any football team when you're winning. It just felt like we were playing better. The 2nd quarter's better than the 1st quarter, the 3rd quarter is better than the 2nd quarter, and the 4th quarter is better than the sum of all 3 earlier quarters. We felt like we could have gone 100 yards rushing the ball at the end of that game, which is a great feeling.
Q: In the last 2 or 3 years there have been a lot of really big wins. Does this measure up with some of those, maybe the timing of it?
Ferentz: Every win's special, but they way I feel right now, this is the biggest one. If we do something down the road, that'll be the biggest one. Right now, we're certainly going to enjoy this. We felt like we came in here and earned a win.
Q: Could you feel this coming?
Ferentz: No, no. You mean the way we took the game over?
Ferentz: I could feel it coming as the game progressed, but during the week, no. I think we felt like we were in for a really hard fought game. I think we felt like we were coming here into a street fight, and that's what it turned into. I don't know if I felt like we'd take over the way we did. I think we're starting to develop a little bit of character as an offense and as an offensive line. To do it like this was tremendous.
Q: You've been talking all year about this team finding its identity, you just alluded to it. Do you feel like you're starting to develop that?
Ferentz: I don't know if we're there yet, but we're closer. I think we learned a lot about ourselves today. The circumstances of the game, we drove the ball down and it just seemed like we couldn't get in the end zone. Certainly that's frustrating as an offense. Our defense kept plugging, then that last drive where he threw that screen pass for the touchdown kind of cracked it open. We learned a lot about ourselves today, that we can compete, we can compete for 4 quarters and we can compete with good football teams.
Q: Did you feel like in the 4th quarter you guys were out muscling them?
Ferentz: I'd hate to say that. I think you have to give all the credit in the world to Purdue. Obviously we didn't run the ball as successfully in the 1st half as we did in the 2nd, but I think as the game wore on, I think we just gained more confidence. I think maybe they felt like things were falling apart. I've been on the other side of it too, and that's not a very good feeling. As the game progressed, I think we, I don't want to say imposed our will, but we were certainly a little more physical.
Q: Coach Tiller said it earlier, so don't feel bad.
Ferentz: Yeah. Well then I don't have to say it.
Q: After the game you (brought) the team over to the fans, could you feed off them through the game, did you hear them?
Ferentz: It was great. I think we traveled very well today. Just where they situate them here is great for us. We come out, they're right there for us as we take the field, then we had a few toward our bench. We could hear them the whole game, they definitely made their presence felt.
Q: Looked like you guys came together, kind of, offensive line-wise today.
Mike Elgin: We feel like we made a step up today. That's something we have to continue doing.
Q: What was it, was it cohesion? What are the keys to taking that step?
Elgin: We had a great week of practice and we knew we had to get the ball rolling, and this is just another step for us.
Q: Did you feel like by the end of the game you guys were out muscling them up front?
Elgin: It felt great. Purdue played a hell of a game, this was a tough fought game, but when you can do that, it's a great feeling.
Q: Did you feel like you wore them down?
Elgin: No, I think they hung in there until the end. They were a tough outfit, but it was a great feeling to be able to run the ball against them and stuff like that.