Postgame Quotes - Illinois vs. Youngstown State, August 30, 2014

Geronimo Allison
Geronimo Allison
Aug. 30, 2014

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Postgame Quotes
Illinois 28, Youngstown State 17
Memorial Stadium // Aug. 30, 2014 // Attendance: 36,234

Illinois Head Coach Tim Beckman

Opening statement:

"First and foremost, I want to talk about this football team and they all knew it was going to be a four-quarter football game. When you're playing a team like Youngstown State that's been there, that two years ago beat a Pitt team at Pittsburgh, you knew you were going to get a four-quarter football game. All these guys did a great job of continuing to fight because the first three quarters weren't anything of what we wanted to be as a football team, from coaching down to playing. I'm proud. I think the seniors did a great job of really stepping up and saying 'Hey, let's go. Let's get this thing the way we need to get it done.' We made some plays offensively, of course we made some stops defensively and I was proud of the way the game finished. It's a 'W,' (but it) wasn't a pretty 'W.' It's something we can definitely can learn from, but it's a 'W' and it's our first 'W' of 2014, and we are looking forward to go after that next 'W,' which is Western Kentucky."

On the game as a whole:

"I'm going to look at this game in a positive way. I was proud of the way that the sideline was in that fourth quarter, the fight in this football team. I know the defense had been on the field for a little bit in that football game and there wasn't any quitting."

On the fourth-quarter comeback:

"To be honest with you, I never felt there was a doubt that we were going to win this football game because of the way the football team responded. There wasn't a question that we could win this football game and should win this football game."

On Wes Lunt:

"I think as the game progressed, he got better and better and better. He showed his arm strength. As Wes responded, the offense responded and we won a football game."

On defense:

"They play with a sense of urgency but I want them to play with that confidence, that when they need to make a stop, there going to make a stop."

On needing to get off to a quicker start:

"It's going to be something we harp on as a football program until we get it. It's very important that we come out of the gate faster than what we have been."

QB Wes Lunt

On his confidence in Illinois' freshman receivers:

"You have to have all the confidence in the world in them. I'm still going to throw to them even if they have a few drops. They're freshman and they're out here playing so well. Malik (Turner) and Mikey (Dudek) are going to be special players here."

On the offensive play calling in today's game:

"I agree with Coach Cubit's play calling and it's whatever he wants to do. We had what we wanted, we just didn't execute very well. Also I'll adjust to the line; if they bring a blitz, I'll try to protect myself. Or if the defense is in a certain coverage that we like a route in, just check the route."

RB Josh Ferguson

On his pregame confidence in today's win:

"It was weird, I just had a certain peace about me that we were going to win the game. It was just a matter of executing. The offense started slow and we knew that we had to finish fast in order for us to win."

On his fumble in the second quarter:

"It was rough on me. I'm not proud of myself for that one. But it was just a little wake-up call to hold it a little tighter and I took it in stride."

On Donovonn Young stepping up in today's win:

"It was great. In order to be the team that we want to be, he's going to have to get going and it was good to see him run."

Youngstown State Head Coach Eric Wolford

Opening Statement:

"All right, obviously a great effort by Illinois. They were able to get some stops when they needed to at crucial points in the game. From Illinois' standpoint, I think they have improved tremendously on defense. That showed up today. They were stopping us in the red zone. When you look at us, we had to kick field goals there and that ended up probably being the difference in the ball game."

On the blocked punt in the third quarter:

"Early fourth quarter, about 10 minutes to go there, I probably should've gone for it on fourth-and-one at midfield. That was a mistake on my part. I didn't go with my intuition, so that's a lesson learned. I assured our team that I wouldn't make that mistake again. We'll put the offense back out there and see if we can get a yard."

On the performance of the Youngstown defense:

"Coach (Jamie) Bryant had a good plan and obviously Illinois' coaching staff was very complimentary of them. And we can build on that. That's something encouraging."

On the fourth-quarter touchdown from Lunt to Barr:

"On the very last play, there, we were supposed to be pressed up and they ran a switch route. That was a big play. We had them backed up and felt that we had to put some pressure on them and come after them. We didn't hold up in cover zero. But the game didn't really come down to that play."

On the performance of the Youngstown offense:

"Offensively, we were 5-of-19 on third down. That's something that you can't win many football games doing. We were able to possess the football, which was something that we wanted to do. We've just got to be a lot better on third down and when you get the ball in the red zone, we have to score touchdowns."

On Illinois' offensive talent:

"They're a good offensive group. Don't be misled by what you saw from them today. They cause a lot of problems. Thank goodness we had a lot of time to prepare for them. They do a good job. They have good players."

YSU QB Dante Nania

On his feelings heading into his first start:

"Honest to God. I wasn't nervous. I was more anxious then nervous. I was excited to get out there. It was nice being out there getting my first start. It was great weather. It was ideal for a start for me.

On the running performance by Youngstown:

"We ran the ball really well today. I think we ran the ball for close to 200 yards. We got the ball moving inside zone outside zone. We were running really well and we just have to finish."

On he takes from this game:

"The good thing is it didn't mean too much for us. We have to get ready for our conference and our conference play coming up. We're going to look at the film and get better. We're just going to build on it."

On third downs and in the red zone:

"We got to get better on third down there and we have to capitalize in the red zone. We'll take a field goal but we need to score touchdowns. That's what we need to do. That's what coach Wolfe preaches. Most importantly, third downs we struggled a little bit today. I'm sure we're going to be working on that all week."

YSU WLB Duben Nwadiogbu

On Youngstown's defensive performance:

"We were on fire the first half. We kept going at it. I felt that we were doing real good. We were reading our keys and everything. As the game went on, in the second half and the fourth quarter we started dying down. We got tired because they kept bringing the tempo."

On the 4th quarter touchdown from Lunt to Barr:

"The original plan was for a blitz. I don't know what really happened. I think the safety thought we checked out of if. We just have to read our keys and remember what we are calling because we didn't really check out of anything. We're just going to keep running it because we're trying to get pressure on the quarterback.

On whether he was surprised that the Youngstown defensive line was able to control the line of scrimmage:

"Not at all because my defensive line they change the line of scrimmage. Every time in practice they move the line of scrimmage and make it easier for the back seven to make plays.

On the feelings of competed well with a BCS team:

"This year we expected to play well against a BCS team. Our team basically can play in the BCS. That's how we feel. We feel like there's no one that's unbeatable. All you have to do is practice hard, know your keys and know what your are supposed to do."