Now the Player Post Game Interviews....
First up: Wide Receiver Jonathan Fields:
What about that Overtime TD Catch?Now its CB and Punt Return Expert Jeff Backes -
It was a great catch...my head was down because I dropped those balls, but my teammates wouldn't let me get down.
I was getting down a first, but they were like, "Keep your head up.Your time is going to come."
And it came in overtime.
Tell us a little bit about the catch - it looked like you were dragging down the line into the end zone.
linebackers bit on the run, they bit on the run fake, and I ran behind 'em and I was wide open in the end zone. It was a long time the ball was in the air, but I was wide open in the end zone. Gives you a lot to think about.
But Dave Eanet said it was a great opportunity to redeem yourself and it must feel good.
It do, it does feel great. I'm very happy right now.
Tell us a little bit about this game - you guys were down, you couldn't get any offense going but did you ever lose faith?
No, we never lost faith, we were just sitting there looking at each other like, what are we doing, we know we can play better than we were doing, so - get it together. Reb called us up and the offensive line, you know you have a good offensive line, they were just talking to the wide receivers saying "get it together." and telling Noah, run the ball and we just ran and passed the ball.
It will be an easier flight to Hawaii after this win.
What were your thoughts as you stood on the 35 yard line with about 1 minute left to go? [Before you broke the tieing TD]And now the previously mentioned, 2 Sackman, DE Loren Howard...
I knew we definitely needed a big play. We got on the sideline, Loren Howard told me don't stop running - we need a spark.
Deante Battle and Corey Dious did a great job eliminating the wide guys, then after that, everybody blocked up, I had to make the kicker miss and it all worked out.
It looked like you did a good job running "north" all the way.
Both Coach McGee and Coach Walker really preach that. You gotta catch and hit north as fast as you can. Don't waste time or yards going sideways, so when I catch it that's the first thing I look for is running as fast as I can straight ahead
When you sit back there ready to catch the punt do you have a vision of going all the way?
Oh definitely. That's one of the great things about getting the ball in your hands. I used to be on offense, I don't get it so much any more. When I get it I've got to make it count.
On defense, where you play corner, you guys seem to hang around and when it counts you don't give up any more scores.
We responded at the right times, in the critical moments, and that's why we came around with the W.
What about Illinois' fake field goal.
I was coming around the end. That was a very athletic play by the kicker. I think he jumped or hurdled somebody. I mean, hats off to them for making a big play.
You're one game away from being bowl eligible.
Definitely, that was the goal from day one.We've got an opportunity to do that and we need to go down to Hawaii and do it.
so you have a 73 yard TD to get it to overtime, that was great.
It took a while to get back in gear...and Now its off to Hawaii for [we hope] another win, and a shot at a December [or January] Bowl.
Yeah, ... I was playing limited snaps and I really expected to come back when I came back and hit it full stride, and its usually not the case when you come back, especially when you come back from an injury like I had - its so severe, I was supposed to be out for so long...
I've been really frustrated with my playing lately, Coach Washington figured it out, by watching tape on me, what I've been doing wrong and I really hadn't been focussing in on my key, my head was in the backfield in 3 of the games, and in the Michigan game I was trying to make every play and not going for my keys.
And today, I went back to my fundimentals, just lined up, we'd call - linemen, get off and keys. If you're a lineman, you get off in your key, and pretty much just go throught that, your fundimentals every play and take it to the ball and I tried to get back to that today, bring it more plays, and it wasn't perfect but it was a lot better, just getting back to it. [Loren H was still pumped up]
What about the fake field goal by Illinois?
I came off the ball, I probably would have blocked it if they hadn't run that fake because I came off the ball really, really quick - I might have been off sides but they didn't call that- and I blew my guy back 3 yards and I jumped as high as I could and then, then thought Tim would make it and then I saw, he [the Kicker] turned into like, Ricky Williams for a minute, hurdled over 3 dudes and dove into the end zone so it was frustrating but we know ... so we kept our composure and did one more play.
So now its off to Hawaii with a QB who has thrown for 15,000 yards?
Yeah, but he's also the interception leader too along with the yards leader so... I haven't really watch much on them, I just know they line up and they throw the ball a ton, every - almost every play and so I don't know a whole lot, I don't have the game plan for them yet, but we're going to bring our A Game and I'm sure they're a good football team, just like everybody is, and we'll prepare for them well, just like any other game - you know - we gotta win.
4th Overtime and 3rd OT Victory has to feel good for you.
Definitely, this is my fourth game back - I don't count the Wisconsin game 'cause I only played a half 'cause my ankle was pretty jacked up, but .
Being back and getting 3 wins in the 4 games I've been back and just being one of the guys and the team and just - it makes you feel a lot better, especially when you play better.
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