Aug 31, 2013
Head Coach Tim Beckman
"Although it was not the most glorious win, I was very proud of the way the team fought and did some things today. There's no question that we've got to make strides and learn happened for them to be back in that football game at the end. I'm proud of this football team, I'm proud of the senior leadership. You saw Nathan Scheelhaase have an outstanding game. I think that it was one of the best he's had in his career. The defense played extremely well in the first half. We've got to continue to make strides when (the opponent is) throwing the football. We are still are very young. We had 27 players that had never traveled on Friday that were with us out of the 64, so almost half the team made their first night stay-over. We are a young football team, so we're going to learn from it. But again, I cannot say enough about the leadership of this football team."
On V'Angelo Bentley's 100-yard kickoff return:
"The first two weren't as good as we anticipated, but they finally kicked one to our left and it happened to be in V'Angelo's hands. He made a couple great moves and we had a couple guys that made outstanding blocks on the backside to cut it up. He took the kicker one-on-one and next thing you know we're in the end zone."
"We're working hard on making our special teams as good as our offense and our defense."
On today's offensive attack being pass-oriented:
"We want to run the football better."
"We want to be a 50/50 football team."
On going for the 2-point conversion in the 2nd quarter:
"That was in the game plan. Everybody knew that we were going to run that fake today."
"We're here to win. We're here to score points. We're here to do what we need to do to be successful."
On next week's opponent, Cincinnati:
"We know it will be a test, but I know this team is willing and we will be fired up tomorrow night after watching the film and make our corrections to play a very good Cincinnati team."
"I'm happy with the way we're responding. We've got a long way to go, but we're willing to go that way."
On the offense:
"I thought we were pretty productive. We did some good things. Obviously, we want to be more consistent with what we're doing, but anytime you're able to put up points like we did today and come out with a win, you're going to feel good."
On the team's overall performance:
"I feel like our team performed well in general. I think something we understand as players and our strength coach said it best. We aren't the kid on the street with the shiny shoes and a nice house and a nice car. We're not that type of team. We're the kid with the snotty nose and mismatched socks who hasn't washed his clothes in a while. That's the mentality we have every time we're out there, so it's going to be a fight every time. That's the mentality we have. We're going to give them 60 minutes of everything we got."
On QB Nathan Scheelhaase:
"That's a healthy Nathan. That's a new, smarter Nathan who really understands the offense and being able to read defenses. That's the Nathan we're going to have all season. He's an old guy. He's been around the game a long time, and the game doesn't change much itself, just names and concepts, but at the end of the day it's still football."
On the first play of the game:
"We knew all week that going in that first play, we're going to bomb it up. It was my job to just run and catch the ball, and it worked out. The first play was something that had me hyped, had the team hyped and got us a lot of energy early."
On the fourth quarter goal-line stand:
"We could've hung our heads at the end when they drove the ball, but we didn't. We stood up, made our plays and I'm proud of my guys. We work on this situation every day in practice, so credit to Coach Beckman and his coaching staff. It showed in the game. We stood up and did what we had to do."
On winning the season opener:
"Anytime you get a win it's fun. Last year, we might've lost a game like this but this year we kept our poise, kept a level head and went out and won."
Southern Illinois Quotes
TE MyCole Pruitt
On the tough ending:
"We fought as hard as we could to get in that position and it's real disappointing to come out and miss by just that much. We had our opportunities, but it's not just that last play that did it for us; we had other opportunities in the game earlier that we should have converted on, had a couple missteps, and it's disappointing, but we have to build on it."
On what changed in the second half:
"We just had to find a rhythm. Kory was clicking with all the receivers and he was clicking with me and the defense got a few key stops for us, got the ball back for us, and that helped out a lot."
On his explosive play in the second half:
"It was just a double move, and I was able to get past the linebacker and saw some open space."
On what Coach Lennon said to them after the game:
"It was a little bit emotional, he just really wanted that for us and we really wanted that. To be that close and on the last play really hurts."
LB Bryan Presume
On what happened on Illinois' big offensive plays:
"Miscommunication out there; a lot of fans out there as you can see, and the DBs just didn't get the coverages right at the time and it happens with our defense, a lot of communication is a key for our defense. It's just something we've got to adjust to keep getting better at."
On the pressure they were able to get on Scheelhaase:
"We got to the quarterback pretty good, got a few sacks, guys were getting a lot of quarterback hurries, hits on the quarterback, and that was our plan coming in and I think we did that pretty well."
On the defensive line and their new starters:
"They did a good job. We've got a lot of young guys and guys we had to replace from last year, and they got to the quarterback, caused havoc, and did a good job for their first game."
QB Kory Faulkner
On the last play of the game:
"It was a good call by our scouting report on the situation and that's all you can ask for. We battled and got it down to the three-yard line where we had that opportunity. Obviously, we didn't complete it so I wish I had it back, but we work on that play a lot in practice and Fuehne is a great target and maybe four inches to the right, and a little bit lower he could have timed it better."
What the team can take away from the game:
"We have a never quit attitude. This isn't a moral victory, we think we should have won that football game, and personally, I think we're a better football team so you can't really be happy about this loss."