Kirk Ferentz: Really quickly, obviously we're pleased to get the win. It was a hard fought game today, we expected that. It's exactly what everybody saw out there on the field. Both teams played hard. The ball game turned out to be that way, it definitely did. Any time you can open up on the road in conference play and come out 1-0 we're very very please about that. We have a lot of things we need to clean up still, and we've got some injury situations right now that are a little bit concerning. I think overall the guys did a lot of good things out there too. We'll enjoy the win today, get on the plane here, come back tomorrow and try and correct some mistakes. Hopefully be a better football team next week, but we're just happy to be sitting here 1-0.
Q: The offensive, at times, seemed to be out of sync.
Ferentz: It really did. You've got to give Illinois credit. Right from the start of the game they did a very excellent job of game-planning. They played very aggressively and brought pressure. They did pretty good, brought pressure, we never got into a rhythm there until the 2nd quarter. A lot of that was a result of defensive play, some turnovers, things of that nature. I'm not sure we ever got into a real smooth offensive rhythm. Their players played extremely hard.
Q: You got a chance to use a lot of running backs.
Ferentz: I just don't think we'd been totally in sync in the running game. It's something we'll have to keep working on. A good collaborative effort from all 3 guys. I think they were all in the 50s, Gary just told me that on the radio. We got good production out of them, I think they all ran hard. We're just not getting a lot of clean runs right now. Hopefully it's going to improve in time. It wont' get any easier here next week, probably won't get any easier in conference play, it's just the nature of o0ur conference. I thought overall the guys hung tough and did some good things. We had a bunch of folks playing up front, too. I'm sure that impacted it.
Q: (A question on the injuries)
Ferentz: Obviously the most serious would be Alex Kannellis, he never made it to the stadium, had a tough night. I understand right now they're going to operate today, or already have. I'm not real sure. That's the most serious one I can think of, that and Devan Moylan at this point. He strained a hammy, I believe. You're never sure how those are going to respond. I think everything else right now, hopefully, everybody will be back next week, time will tell.
Q: You had Marcus banged up at that position too.
Ferentz: Yeah. In a perfect world, you'd like to have both guys there. Devan did a great job jumping in last week and did a nice job today filling in. The good news is that Marcus was back today. Kind of like a tag-team wrestling match. We're not the deepest team in the league anyway, we need everyone out there.
Q: What did you think about your play defensively against Juice Williams?
Ferentz: I think the guys did a good job. We lost coverage there on one of the scrambles, someone lost discipline in coverage, he did a good job of finding the open man. As you can see, this guy's a very talented football player. He was highly recruited last year for very good reason, did an awful lot of good things out there. Good feet, a very strong arm.
Q: How much was this a tune-up for Ohio State?
Ferentz: We're not a tune-up team. We've got to go full-boar all the time to have a chance. I think we understand that. It's just the way we operate. We have to been playing as hard as we possibly can. I don't think we've his stride yet, or played our best football. I hope we haven't. We're going to have to find a way to upgrade that quickly in the next 7 days. We play an outstanding team. I haven't seen one play on film or on TV. I can't remember Ohio State ever having a bad team, I think they're still #1. There's no dispute on that one. All the votes went for them. We'll have our hands full next week. Right now we'll enjoy the win. It's like every week. We know we have to get better, that's just the nature of our football team.
Q: A windy day, your punting was good.
Ferentz: I thought overall our special teams played well today. Kyle made a nice field goal there, it wasn't a chip-shot or a routine kick at all. Most definitely Andy Fenstermaker had a great day. I think he really punted the ball well, both with the wind and into the wind. He gave us a chance to cover the thing and control field position.
Q: You did better in the turnover battle.
Ferentz: Part of that is playing a young guy. Everybody knows when you play young QB, he may give up the turnover, throw the bad ball occasionally. That's something he'll work through real quickly, I'm sure of that. This game will be invaluable for him. On the flip side, it was major for us. It helped us get something going offensively. It gave us a little spark. Credit goes to our guys up front, they were working hard, doing a good job of getting their hands on the ball. We haven't done so well with that, even in practice.
Q: (A question on cohesiveness on the OL)
Ferentz: In the running game, it's not as obvious. We blew a couple of things there, a couple guys came free at times. The good news is pass protection. We didn't let someone run through. That's what you worry about with guys out there for the first time. You look at a guy, Travis Meade, it was the first time he's ever played, certainly when it counted. The same with Wes Aeschliman. Seth did a great job of starting. You've got to give Mike Elgin a lot of credit too. When Raf had that mild sprain, he shifted right over and didn't have any problems with exchanges and those kinds of things. Our overall cohesiveness and timing, all that probably wasn't what it needed to be, but to avoid any major flares. You run that risk when you start to play guys, but we were running out of bodies there at the end.