Sept. 15, 2012
Illinois 44, Charleston Southern 0
Memorial Stadium // Sept. 15, 2012 // Attendance: 45,369
Illinois Head Coach Tim Beckman
"I would just like to thank those 19 seniors because it was definitely a tough week, no question about it. When you don't play very good down in Arizona, and we challenged this football team, we challenged the seniors. The seniors stepped forward. I can't be more proud of the way they really took this team and said to this team we are capable of doing things...We won the football game on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. That's when you win football games."
On the shutout:
"It was huge. There was a lot of pride that was hurt; there was no question about it from the coaching staff down to the players. We know we were capable of playing better defensively."
On O'Toole making improvements:
"Reilly had great protection, Reilly had receivers that were getting open and Reilly will probably be the first one to tell you that too.
"I'm proud of the way he came in. He performed. I think our offensive staff did a great job of enabling him to hit some people that were open...It was a team effort."
On the freshmen:
"That's what this program is going to need and that's what it's always going to be. It's going to be about a lot of young players coming in and playing...If you look at our two-deep, there are 23 freshmen and sophomores...I thought Ayoola and Hardee and Monheim and Bentley, to just name a few, stepped in and had solid performances."
On Ayoola's touchdown run:
"He runs with great passion when he runs the football, and he's not a quitter. He got hit by a couple guys and kept his feet moving, got that first down and then finished it up. You know that's the capabilities of Ayoola and I'm just proud of the way that he performed and did what he needed to do to get in the endzone."
On the young wide receivers:
"They're young, they're learning, they're getting better every time we get them on the field and as a coach, you have to give them game experience because there's no way they're going to get any better unless you get them involved in games."
On the two-point conversion:
"We're going to give them multiple looks, people are going to have to prepare for it, so that's what we do and we wanted to try to gain an advantage."
On upcoming games and team health:
"We have to get healthy. It'll be a challenge unless we're health
Illinois Player Quotes
QB Reilly O'Toole
On his performance:
"It was fun. When you have guys running great routes and they're open it makes the game a lot more fun because you're just pitching and catching."
On the experience gained last week:
"Obviously we didn't perform like we wanted to last week. But at the same time getting confidence, playing at Arizona State that's a tough place to play at, but Miles (Osei) and myself both gained a lot of confidence playing there."
On the difference between this week and last week:
"Execute. It's as simple as that. We had a good tempo. We didn't have any delay of games, which was good and to start off drives well. We executed pretty well. Obviously we'd like to run the ball a little better and we can't have any turnovers, especially in the red zone."
STAR Ashante Williams
On getting more experience for players and the long term impact:
"It's going to be key. These last few games I've known that I've taken a bulk of the reps and it just wears on your body during the week and we need these guys to step and be accountable. A game like this is a good steppingstone for them to build their confidence and know that they can do it. This game was a confidence boost, a guy like Mason (Monheim) making a lot of plays that helps him out and builds his confidence as we prepare each and every week for a tougher and harder team."
DE Michael Buchanan:
On rebounding after last week's loss:
"I think it gave us a great chance to get back to our base fundamentals. Playing sound defense with everyone doing their job, I think that this game will really help us going into next week. It doesn't matter who you play, it's all about every man on the defense doing their job, hustling and being accountable. So it doesn't matter who we play, we have to execute and handle our business the right way."
WR Ryan Lankford
On his career day receiving:
"At practice, I just try to work hard everyday and when your number is called try and make a play."
On his connection with QB Reilly O'Toole:
"It wasn't a `Reilly to Ryan' thing, the play was just designed to go to me at certain times and that's just what happened."
On moving forward:
"This game definitely gets the ball rolling. Coming off of a loss last week that was really hard for us. We knew that we could come in and play well today and get right back on track. We lost last week but we're not far from our goal. We're not off track from our goal and we can keep rolling with it."
Charleston Southern Head Coach Jay Mills
Opening statement: Playing in a Big Ten Environment
"Well we were looking forward to it. This is the environment I grew up in. I'm from Iowa, high school in Indiana, and college at Illinois State, so this is my roots, my area. I had the opportunity a couple years ago to choose between a couple opponents to play and we've had some good opponents. We've played Florida, Florida State, Miami Hurricanes among others, but I really cherish the opportunity to come back into the Big Ten country and expose our school's vision, which has become nationally recognized for integrating faith in leading, learning, and serving. This is another area of the country we had not had a chance to go into, so we really looked forward to it. I know our young men looked forward to it. We thank the University of Illinois for the first-class treatment that they showed the team and our university this week."
On the benefits of CSU playing in a Big Ten environment:
"We talked about multiple things that you get from this. One is that it has provided us financial resources...It helps when Illinois and other FBS schools play these games. It helps every single college football program in the country at every level. That's the basics of it that few people understand, so it is huge for the continued growth and development of football at the collegiate level.
"In addition to that, it allowed us to build a new athletic facility and for the first time at our very humble school has allowed every athlete, male and female, for the fist time in school history, to have their own locker room. So there are gender equity benefits for playing these games."
"It's also an opportunity for guys to experience playing big-time football. Every kid that's ever played football dreamed of playing for schools like this. The next best thing is playing against them, so they have an opportunity to realize a dream in some way. We don't care if people cheer against us, we just like however many thousands there are yelling.
"Next to lastly, it gives us a chance to find out what guys will do in a very competitive environment. It gives some of our guys film against very good players, so they can see how they match up. We had pro scouts in this week and they were looking at our film against Florida State last year, so it helps them. And lastly, being a faith-based school, we believe in taking on God-sized challenges
Charleston Southern Player Quotes
DB Charles James
On playing at Memorial Stadium:
"It was a great experience, I think playing in front of 45,000 is a blessing. Just to come out here and compete with these guys at a high level was just a blessing."
On what he saw from his team:
"I saw a lot of fight. I saw a lot of guys wanting to prove something. A lot of these guys who come to the FCS level schools are basically passed up on and basically were told that they weren't good enough. So I saw a lot of fight in the guys and that basically showed that hey we can play with these guys."
On playing in front of 45,000:
"For me, I've kind of gotten used to it because I've played in the big games when we played Florida in front of 95,000 and Florida State last year and UCF. But it is something you have to kind of get used to, jumping from 3,000 to 50,000 is a big jump but it's basically trying to be dialed in, be mentally focused and have everything down pat to where you know it, so it doesn't hurt you in the long run."
On the benefits of playing an FBS school:
"I think getting good experience. Playing against those guys like Ryan Lankford, he's actually from my hometown, good receiver, those guys like Hawthorne, I know he's a great corner back. I think that playing against those guys gives us a lot of experience and basically gets us ready for when we go to the playoffs and things like that. We've seen guys at a high level so it wouldn't hurt when we go against maybe an App (Appalachian) State and they have a corner, well we've seen Terry Hawthorne, he's a pretty good corner, so we can just do alright."
On Ryan Lankford:
"I know him personally. He went to Paxon High School, I went to Mandarin High School. We actually didn't get to play against each other in high school but we're big on representing for our hometown so that's real big for us. But he's a great guy; we actually just took a picture not too long ago. It was fun playing against him. We talked before the game, it was great, we knew each other and I knew I was probably going to have to guard him at least once or twice during the game. He got me on one ball but I was able to come back and get one. So it was pretty cool."