Full Transcript: Mouton, Shaw, Kovacs

Full Transcript: Jonas Mouton, Michael Shaw, Jordan Kovacs talk about the Illinois victory.

Jonas Mouton

Question: How are you feeling? When you're forced to go to a game that length, football players are conditioned normally for four quarters, when you play that extensively and that deeply, what is going on with your body?

Jonas Mouton: "I think fortunately for us, Mike Barwis and his staff and Parker Whiteman, they do a great job of getting us in condition throughout the season. It is not just about maintaining strength or conditioning, it is about continuously developing it."

Question: What are you feeling as the overtimes are mounting up there; legs, respiratory and all that other stuff?

Jonas Mouton: "I feel like you just thinking about getting the job done, winning the football game. That's really what is most important."

Question: By giving up 550 some yards of offense, does it still feel like the D play one of their better games in a while?

Jonas Mouton: "We did a lot of different things today that was just put in this week. The numbers may say otherwise, but guys came out, fought and we got the win."

Question: Did you like the changes for this week?

Jonas Mouton: "Everybody seemed to take it to it fine. If we were playing what we've been playing, I think guys would have still taken to it to the same way. The coaches obviously felt like we needed to change some things up and they did it. We got a win today."

Question: Can you talk about how a couple of younger defensive players, Courtney Avery and Ray (Vinopal) both made big stops that forced punts or fourth downs; can you talk about them?

Jonas Mouton: "It's great to see that. They played with a lot of confidence. They know that everybody believes in them and they made some great plays today."

Question: The defense made a few stops on critical third downs that maybe hadn't been there the past few weeks; how rewarding is it to see that and to get off the field?

Jonas Mouton: "It is always good to come out and get a three and out or a stop on third down. I just felt like we took advantage when we could and a couple of them got away from us and then we got a win."

Question: Can you talk a little about the changes that you were just referring to?

Jonas Mouton: "Just a few schematically changes and moving a couple of guys around to different positions and we had a chance to put a lot more different players in the game this week. Guys took to it."

Question: You guys are bowl eligible is that a cause to celebrate is that a relief that it is off your back?

Jonas Mouton: "This won't be my first bowl, but it is great for the younger guys to experience that and for me to be here to experience it with them. Obviously every win now is just for a better bowl game."

Question: Does it feel good to kind of know that in your senior year, you're going to make it back there?

Jonas Mouton: "It is great to feel that. I feel for the guys the past couple of years that couldn't make it and we're going to a bowl this year."

Question: Can you talk about the last two-point conversion?

Jonas Mouton: "The coach called to put some pressure on those guys and the defensive lineman they did a good job of flushing the quarterback out and I was just doing my job I came off the edge and forced the play."

Question: Mike Martin has been a little limited the past two games, was it big to have him back in a big contributing role this week?

Jonas Mouton: "It is always great when you have a guy like that out there. Even Adam Patterson when he comes in, I feel like he does a great job and it is just great to have two guys like that playing. Obviously, when Mike came back out there he made some plays and he caused some ruckus, they always have to account for him no matter how he is playing. It was great to have him back."


Michael Shaw

Question: That front was really, really good, how did you guys make the movements that you were able to make against a defense that has really been very experienced?

Michael Shaw: "The O-line played outstanding. That is one thing. I don't think they've been given enough credit this year for the way that we've been able to run the ball for the whole season. It was just me, Coach Rod always gets on me about making my moves too soon and not going up to the line of scrimmage and pressing the line of scrimmage before I make my move. I just tried to trust what Coach Rod told me and going to the line of scrimmage press my reads and then burst out."

Question: That a couple of the tougher yards you've ever made there at the end?

Michael Shaw: "Yeah. I'm still feeling those hits, but it was well worth it."

Question: Just the feeling of pulling this game, being bowl eligible; what does it feel like?

Michael Shaw: "It feels real good just to get that sixth game monkey off our back. Now we can focus on bigger and better things, but it is a good feeling to have as a team, smiling again and singing ‘The Victors' after a win. Just having the home team, the home crowd something to cheer for."

Question: What was going through your mind watching the defense make that one final play to get you guys the win; what are you thinking on the sidelines?

Michael Shaw: "I think not only me, but a lot of guys, we were excepting them to make that stop. The defense, they had a couple of key stops this game, and they gave up a lot of points but when it came down to it, they had the momentum and I know they wanted to win just as bad as everybody else did and they stepped up and made a great stop."

Question: What was the attitude around the locker room?

Michael Shaw: "It was upbeat. Actually, last night we talked about it, our backs were against the wall and Coach Rod mentioned he doesn't think anybody understands how we were working. He says that today he wants us to come out and just play and fight and have heart and a three overtime game is the best way to do it, just fight to the end and it is all about will and determination and I think we showed that."

Question: Where was that discussion last night?

Michael Shaw: "In our team meeting."

Question: After Tate (Forcier) fumbles and you fall behind, did the offense get together and say anything to each other in terms of holding it together and coming back?

Michael Shaw: "I think we really didn't say anything each other, it was most of going back to our groups, the backs with the backs, the O-line with the O-line and really taking to our coaching and our adjustments. Knowing when the defense gets the stop, which they did, we got to go back and make up for losing the ball and turning it back over. We bit down on our mouth pieces, tightened up our chin straps and went back out there and went at it."

Question: Were you surprised the defense put all that pressure on the final play?

Michael Shaw: "No that is something that we practiced all week. We've been practicing goal line situations, tight yardage situations and they performed. It was a big stop. Our defense has been getting a lot of negative reactions to the way that they've been playing but two point conversion on the two yard line and they got the stop. That's all that matters."

Question: Have you been in a game quite this crazy outside of a video game?

Michael Shaw: "I was actually telling Dave that this my first time ever being in an overtime game being one of the longest games in school history it wears on me. I'm a little tired right now, but like I said we got the win. It was fun."


Jordan Kovacs

Question: It is tough to imagine in a 65 point game, but did you feel like the defense had some pretty good moments?

Jordan Kovacs: "Oh yeah. We came up with some big stops when we had to. Obviously, we still got a lot of mistakes correct, but we did come up with some big stops and some young guys really stepped up today. It was a pretty positive experience out there."

Question: What was going through your head on the last call before you basically sent the house on them?

Jordan Kovacs: "Let us stop them. I figure I'll do my part and I'll trust my teammates to do their part and we're going to win this game, and that's what happened."

Question: Talk a little bit about having to stop them a few times early after your offense had a few turnovers.

Jordan Kovacs: "Yeah. We were put in some situations defensively, but I thought we responded well. At the same time, the offense, they kept us out of the hole a few times and they did their thing. Overall, it was a great game on both sides and we're just excited for the win."

Question: I imagine it means a lot to be bowl eligible?

Jordan Kovacs: "Oh yeah. After the last couple of years, we're hungry and I'm just proud of these guys. We fought today and there has been some down weeks, but this is a positive one and we're going to rise up."

Question: Big play third and one where you guys got the ball back, what do you remember about that play, do you remember that play?

Jordan Kovacs: "Ray (Vinopal), yeah he played a great game. That was a huge stop for us. I was just proud of the way he played and same thing for Courtney (Avery) and all those other young guys that played well and we're just looking forward to the next game."

Question: Do you think gets you over the hump finally?

Jordan Kovacs: "I hope so. Like I said, we're just looking to the next game. This is a huge win for us. We're finally bowl eligible. Obviously, there are still some corrections that we need to make defensively, but we're young and we're playing hard, we're fighting and that's what is most important. As long as we continue to fight, we'll be fine."

Question: Do you see progression still on the defense game by game?

Jordan Kovacs: "Oh yeah. Every game. And Ray's (Vinopal) play. That's one of the best plays by a safety all year. It was a huge play for us and Courtney made a nice open field tackle in the first half I believe tackling the quarterback. We're getting better every game and we're excited about it."

Question: Which play were you talking about with Ray? Was it the last play?

Jordan Kovacs: "No the third and one, where Ray came up and stuck a guy in the hole. I think there was about 50 seconds left in the game."

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