Postgame Quotes - Illinois 35, Southern Illinois 3


Sept. 11, 2010

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ILLINOIS Postgame Player Quotes
Illinois 35, Southern Illinois 3
Memorial Stadium // Sept. 11, 2010 // 52,217

QB Nathan Scheelhaase
On the fans:
"I think we had a positive week with the fans. They were supportive and looked forward to what we're about this season. I think they could see flashes of it, and we went out and really put it all together tonight. We have three home games in a row and we need more fans going crazy every week."

On the team's mindset:
"No one is really paying attention to us and we don't really care. We're just trying to prepare each and every week for the team we're playing against. This week it happened to be Southern Illinois. Next week it happens to be Northern Illinois. We're going to line up and play our best each week. We're going to line up and play with intensity, play with fire, and play with passion."

On the win:
This is huge. Coach Petrino built it up as a huge game for us, and I think when we get to the end of the season, we'll look at this game as a huge game for us. We've felt what it feels like to do it for 60 minutes. Last week we had great preparation, we just didn't execute in the second half. We did that tonight."

On the offense:
"It's meshing well. Coach Petrino said our progress has been phenomenal compared to some of the other places where he's been in his first year."

RB Mikel Leshoure
On his expectations for himself:
"I said before the season started that I want to be the go-to guy. The coaches know they can count on me and depend on me. If they need someone to get something going, I want to be that guy. The past two games, I've been blessed with 100 yards and I hope to keep it going."

On the offense:
"This gets our confidence going. We executed things we've been coached. To go out there and do it shows us that we can do what we've worked so hard to accomplish."

On QB Nathan Scheelhaase:
"Nathan did a very good job. He was very composed. He did a lot of good things last week and even more good things this week. I think he will get better every game."

DE Whitney Mercilus
On playing defensive end:
"I don't think of it as too different because I work on it every day of the week. I just go out and read my keys. I showed the coaches I can play, how many reps I can take, if I can stay consistent."

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS Head Coach Dale Lennon Postgame Quotes
Illinois 35, Southern Illinois 3
Memorial Stadium // Sept. 11, 2010 // 52,217

Opening Statement:
"Naturally we're disappointed we didn't put on a better show tonight. We felt that we were capable of doing things better than we did. We had some opportunities. We had some situations where if we come through and make a play here and there, all of a sudden we get some momentum on our side. That was the big challenge on the night. We could never fully establish momentum. You have to give a lot of credit to the University of Illinois. They were well prepared, well coached, and they played a hard football game and they taught us a lot of lessons and we have to learn from that."

On struggling in the red zone:
"The main thing is execution. You look at our third down conversion - we were 3 for 16, and that's not very good. Some of that you give credit to the defense, some of it we had some dropped balls that we probably should have hung on to, and others we probably made a couple of poor decisions as far as where we're throwing it. When the game is on the line, you want to make the play, and we just didn't make the play."

On not sustaining offensive momentum:
"At the end of the first half, it was fourth and 10 and we should have kicked the field goal, but at that point in time, I want something to spark us so we try for it on fourth and 10. I felt `let's give this a shot here' and maybe get something that will fire us up going into halftime, but it didn't work out."

On the team's mistakes:
"Our players played hard. It wasn't that the want-to wasn't there, but we made some mistakes. We made some young mistakes on a couple of the personal foul penalties that extended their drives, which allowed them to score, so that's something we need to clean up. We had some players that were running free down the field, and we gave up some big plays, and again, those were some youthful mistakes that we made. We learned a few lessons today, and we definitely know what we need to work on."

SOUTHERN ILLINOIS Postgame Player Quotes
Illinois 35, Southern Illinois 3
Memorial Stadium // Sept. 11, 2010 // 52,217

QB Chris Dieker
On the loss:
"It's definitely disappointing. We came up here with the mindset that we were going to come in here and win this game. We came in here and we were prepared and ready. There were chances out there. We had to make plays and we didn't make them. It's disappointing."

On what SIU can take from this game:
"There's a lot of stuff to take from this. Coming off of Quincy, we really didn't know what we needed to get better at. That opponent wasn't as tough as Illinois. Now we know what areas of the game we need to get better at. We're going to look at the film and we're going to figure that out and we're going to start on it tomorrow, getting better. We're going to put this behind us. It's a long season ahead us and we're just going to keep playing."

WR Joe Allaria
On SIU's start:
"We started slow. It's not like us, but we just can't afford to do that. We knew what they were going to throw at us, we saw on it film. We didn't take advantage early of wha we wanted to from their defense. I think at the end of the game we moved the ball better, but we just had a hard time finishing off drives."

On not finding the end zone:
"We just have to capitalize. Our defense had turnovers and gave us good field position multiple times and we didn't get a touchdown. That's not acceptable. As we continue through the season, we're going to have to put points on the board when we get in those positions. We're going to have to put touchdowns on the board, instead of just field goals."

LB Stephen Franklin
On the game:
"It's disappointing anytime you lose a game, but I felt like coming in we were really prepared. We just had a few too many mental mistakes. When you play somebody of this caliber, you can't get away from that."

On what they learned:
"We can't have mental mistakes. We know there are going to be physical mistakes and some technique things, but we can't have too many personal fouls and things after the whistle. That kind of hurt us."