Sept. 8, 2007
Quoting Illinois Head Coach Ron Zook
...On the program's first shut out in seven years...
"It was a win first off. But, this is what you work for. We worked hard and we pushed forward. The coaching staff is coaching the guys hard and the guys are coaching each other."
...on the defense:
"After the turnover on the second half kickoff, there wasn't any panic. They took on the challenge and did a great job of shutting them down. I'm really beginning to like the look in their eyes."
...on the play of Juice Williams:
"Juice wants to play; he wants to compete. I just told him to relax. You can't be tight. I told him that he can't force things. That's the thing with experienced guys, they are ready to do it. They get on the ground and they just relax and play. I looked in his eyes and I told him that I'm not going to let you leave this locker room feeling bad. You know you can do it. We know you can do it."
Quoting Illinois players...
Quarterback Juice Wiliams:
...on his play:
"I missed a few guys, but Coach Zook just told me to enjoy the next 24 hours. We will get back in the film room and at practice we will correct some of the mistakes from tonight."
...On returning to action:
"Coming off the injury last week I was a little self-conscious running the ball. I was trying to shy away from hits a little bit, and that affected my overall game.
...On Illinois' defense:
"It was an excellent game by the defense. Obviously there are going to be times when the offense isn't doing well. It was great for the defense to come out and put a goose egg on the board. It was an overall team effort."
Running Back Rashard Mendenhall
...On the offensive line...:
"Going over 100 yards is a huge credit to the offensive line. They were creating seams all night. It made my job a lot easier. It's obvious that they're gelling. That really helps our team."
...On the play of Daniel Dufrene:
"I was happy to see Dan play as well as he did. We're in meetings together all the time and hang out so it was good to see him put points on the board."
Linebacker J Leman
...On the defensive line:e
"As a defense, we go as our defensive line does. They played lights out."
...On stopping Western Illinois on fourth down in the third quarter:e
"We gambled, made a stunt on the play and it worked out. There were times when the game got close, but the momentum definitely shifted on that play."
Quoting Western Illinois Head Coach Don Patterson
...On the Illinois defense
"I want to begin by congratulating Illinois for beating us by what I would say as a coach was convincingly and I think what some fans would think of as convincingly. We obviously struggled with our defense while their defense is good and experienced."
..On Western Illinois' offensive performance
"We had too many dropped passes, too many to count, compared to what we normally have. We usually don't drop passes, but tonight we did."
...On the play of his defense...
"I'm proud that we defended the goal line. I think that our defense is going to be able to keep us in all of the games on our schedule, and offensively we're going to get better. We didn't play as well as we needed to tonight, but I also give credit to the Illinois defense, because they're pretty darn good."
...On simplifying his game plan...
"We have to be a little bit cautious about what we do against a defense that is as good as Illinois'. To begin with, we didn't want to mess up on offense and turn it over."
Quoting Westen Illinois players...
Linebacker Jason Williams
...On Illinois' offense
"They moved the ball well and were making plays. It's not anything for our defense to feel bad about, but they just handled plays better. We just need to come out with a confident attitude in the future. We don't care as long as we play our hearts out."
...On facing a Big Ten opponent
"Big Ten play always gets your adrenaline pumping. Last year at Wisconsin wasn't too different, but when you come into a stadium and play in front of 50,000 people or so it is going to give you a rush."
Running Back Herb Donaldson
...On Illinois' defense:
"Illinois' defense was really good. We need to work harder on trying to make more plays, but they are a fast defense. We probably won't face another defense as fast as Illinois, but tonight's game will help us a lot with conference play."
Punter Chris Fuchs
...On playing as a freshman...:
"Tonight's game was a good experience, and all in all, I'm just trying to help out. I learned a lot just in tonight's game and changing my approaches was one of them."