Aug. 30, 2003
Illinois Head Coach Ron Turner Quotes
"The first thing I want to do is congratulate Missouri, they've got a good football team and they came in and made no mistakes and made plays when they needed to make them."
On feelings about the loss
"We'll bounce back from it. I really believe we are going to be a good football team. I'm disappointed, obviously, with the score. We played our hearts out and did some good things and need to clean up some things. It hurts. When you play this hard and care very much about a team, it hurts."
On Illinois' mistakes during the game
"We made mistakes and they didn't. They took advantage of opportunities and we didn't and that was the difference."
On E.B. Halsey
"He's a football player. He is a tremendous competitor, very smart, a very versatile kid, and he is a winner. We are going to win a lot of football games with E.B. and a lot of other guys we have on the field."
About call to go for it on 4th and One
"I felt confident. I felt confident on two things. First that we would make it obviously, and if we didn't we'd stop them and get the ball back which is exactly what happened. We got it back with great field position and went down and scored."
Missouri Head Coach Gary Pinkel Quotes
On the game
"I'm proud of my football team. It was a very emotional game because of the rivalry. I think Illinois is a really good football team. They did a great job against our offense for much of the game. We were fortunate enough a couple of times to come up with some drives when we needed them. I certainly think you give credit to them. They did a great job and we were fortunate enough to win the football game."
On the Illinois-Missouri rivalry
"I'm very happy for Mizzou fans because this game is huge for them. It's emotional, and the rivalry is so big."
On two point conversion in the fourth
"We tried it in practice. We weren't going to run it until we made a critical penalty on the two-point conversion. The ball is on the three-yard line, and all of the sudden it goes to the eight. It's designed to go three or four yards, not eight. We thought if we could catch them off guard and kind of freeze their feet a little bit, and with Brad's speed, he could get around the corner. It was a huge football play."
On Missouri defense
"When you hold them to field goals and then only one touchdown, that's not bad defense. There are five players that started division one football game for the first time. I think we certainly have to get better on that side of the ball. The last drive, you just try to keep the ball in front of you, and we gave up one big play on the side. For living on the field, I thought we did some good things."
"(Jon) Beutjer is a great player. He has a great arm. We saw him at the end of the year last year. The last four or five games, he was playing against some of the best people in the Big Ten and picked them apart."
FB Carey Davis
On coming back from his injury...
"On Monday after the surgery, I could walk so I felt that I was going to be able to play. I would not have played if I could not play my best and contribute to the team performance."
On new faces in the starting lineup...
"Everybody did their part today, we just have to finish drives and score touchdowns, rather than settling for field goals."
On feeling confident in the second half...
"Coach Turner gave me the ball in practice which gave me confidence going into the game. I would rather have the ball in the clutch. The older guys made it a lot easier for me today."
On gaining something from the loss...
With a loss you always want to gain something, I think that we learned something about ourselves today, we will improve every week throughout the season."
QB Jon Beutjer
On E.B. inspiring the team...
"I think that very first long run he had really got himself pumped, in which the team responded, and everyone increased their intensity."
On the final drive...
"We had been running the two minute drill since practice started. We scored almost every time in practice, and when we got down inside the 30 I felt confident we would score, but we just did not finish it."
On the last touchdown by Missouri...
"It was the best they moved on us all day, they executed when they had to and the little things beat us on that drive."
On the failed punt attempt...
"They sent a guy off the corner and we honored our rules to protect the inside because nine out of ten times the guy on the corner will not have enough time to reach the punter. That punt just happened to be one of those times."
On Missouri making offensive adjustments
"We did not reach very well, they saw we were blitzing a lot, and they adjusted by running more screens and draws, and we did not make the right adjustments to counter."
Missouri Center A.J. Ricker
On the final drive
"It just started going our way, and the offensive line got a mindset that we had to put this game on our shoulders, and we got it done."
On the two-point conversion
"We practiced it and I never thought we'd use it, but sure enough, it came in clutch today. When we ran that 'Polecat,' I was shocked it came up to help us.
On TE J.D. McCoy, who snapped the two-point conversion
"In practice he makes me critique him on his snaps and he does a good job. He got it when it counted."
On Missouri's offensive inconsistency
"We struggled early on. I don't know if we weren't mentally prepared, but we've got to get it done. We can't do that anymore. We've got to watch film and learn from this game, and get better."
Missouri Defensive Lineman Zach Ville
On Missouri's defense
"We played like a fist. If that fist opens, you aren't going to play as tough as a balled fist. That's the idea: to play like a balled-up fist."
Missouri Cornerback Dedrick Harrington
On the fatigue factor
"As much as we prepared, we were mentally focused and ready to go."
On Missouri's defensive performance
"As a unit, we stayed together today. Everybody was together and we worked as hard as we could today. I knew it was going to be tough. We knew it was going to be a fight coming in. With as good a team as Illinois is, they were going to bring it to us. They were going to bring their 'A' game, so we had to pick it up in the fourth quarter and bring ours. We're taking too long to get started, but we picked it up in the long run. The first downs are going to have to get picked up a little bit. We let them drive down and kick field goal after field goal. We've got to get some stops out there and get off the field a little faster. Our chemistry worked well. Things didn't always go our way, but we stayed together."
Missouri Quarterback Brad Smith
On his team depending on him
"That was the coaches call. They told me they were going to put it in my hands, and that's where I like to have it. If my team needed me to make something happen, I wanted it to be in my hands."
On the third-and-three pass when he threw the ball out of bounds
"I threw the ball away and stopped the clock and gave them an opportunity to win the game."
On the offense
"We executed well. Hopefully we'll open it up a little more. I think the offense played well as a whole, we just need to make more big plays."
On the importance of the win
"It shows how much character we have. I'm glad that happened to us today. It gave us a big push to know we can do something like that. It's something we can be excited about and build on when it comes down to it. We can make plays and that we know we're going to score when we need it."
On the two-point conversion
"We work on it all the time. That's something that coaches draw up at midnight when they're by themselves."
On why Missouri won
"It was determination. The whole game we were doing the right things with the football and making good decisions, we just kept telling them to stay with it, do what you do, execute out offense and it's going to happen."