Presser Notes: Western Illinois

Updates from the team's press conference after beating WIU.

Pat Fitzgerald

“I saw improvement in some areas, and need for improvement in a lot of other areas. We’re far from where we need to be.”

On the wide receivers: “We don’t think that there’s enough trust in that unit collectively.”

On Justin Jackson and Solomon Vault: “The two young guys are very talented football players. They’re continuing to learn and grow. Twenty-seven of our 41 runs were on their shoulders. But we want to make sure that we bring them along at a pace that’s fair to them. I do think more and more will be added to their plate.”

On whether the team can compete in conference: “Absolutely. No question. We won a football game. I’m not going to get mad, but I’m a bit insulted by the question. I think we can win every game we play, I really do.”

On defending Western Illinois’ passing game: “We were more than willing to let them dink and dunk the ball. We didn’t think they’d be able to run the ball consistently against us.”

On disciplining the team: “If you’re worried about me, you have a problem. Go play football. You can psychoanalyze and psycho-bablyze all day...My size 12 is going where the sun doesn't shine on this team ‘til the end of the year."

Solomon Vault

On getting goal line carries: "I honestly was surprised."

On playing in front of the Class of 2018 for the first time: "It was cool. We've been busy all week, going down to Millennium Park and going to meetings, but I saw a lot of people I knew today. Justin and I were looking out for each other."

"I was originally recruited as a receiver, but I don't really have a preference as long as I'm on the field."

Nick VanHoose

"The way we played today was a huge morale booster."

On the third-quarter pick: "It was a double move. An old out-and-up. They were picking on me the whole game, and I was thinking, 'I really want an interception.' It was a good play."

Ifeadi Odengibo

On increased reps: "This week, they were running a lot of formations that allowed me to get in."

On which Game Of Thrones celebration he used: "The normal one. Stark Family."

"Our coaches told us that we needed a sense of urgency. These last two weeks we were waiting for things to happen instead of making things happen."

Justin Jackson

"The students definitely brought a different energy. It was nice to go sing that fight song with them."

On his increased workload: "I'm here for a reason. They recruited me for a reason. I just want to go out and play for my school."


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