Sept. 17, 2011
Illinois 17, #22/18 Arizona State 14
Memorial Stadium // Sept. 17, 2011 // 50,669
Illinois Head Coach Ron Zook Postgame Quotes
"First thing, our fans were unbelievable. I think you saw what it meant to our players when they ran up into the stands [at the end of the game]. The students were loud and we had fun tonight. The crowd did a great job. When you are in games like that, it's everybody. I told the football team, there are eleven guys on the field at a time, but you need everybody. You need everybody that's on the football team and you need everybody that is in orange. We had a great crowd tonight, and they did a great job. I'm just so thankful, and I know our players are as well. It was a great effort. It was a University of Illinois effort and everybody gets a little bit of the credit. The good thing is that we saw some things we have to work on, but I think we'll take this game and grow from it. [Winning] was something we needed to do, and we were fortunate enough to do it."
On the Illini defense:
"I said all along that they were not coming from Arizona to run the football. Even though they got some yards running, I kept telling [Defensive Coordinator, Vic Koenning], don't worry about it, they aren't going to beat us running the football. They came here to throw the football. I think they got a little frustrated, at the end particularly, but [the defense] had a great plan...That's a pretty good offense and the guys were where they should be. They were in position to make the plays. The pressure was great...They kept coming. I'm proud of the way the defense played, I really am."
On what this win means:
"We've taken some steps. We're continuing to get where we're supposed to get. As I told the football team in [the locker room], this is a great win for us, it's a great win for this season, but we're going to get a bunch more of these. It isn't the end of the season, it isn't the Big Ten Championship, it's just one that we're going to build on. Enjoy it, and I think it makes everybody understand that maybe Illinois is a little better than people think."
Illinois Player Quotes Quotes
Illinois WR AJ Jenkins
On being 3-0...
"It feels really good. To be 3-0 is something Illinois hasn't been in a long time, so it's a great feeling. Right now, we are going to just live in the moment and then on Monday we have to get our focus back on next week's game."
On his touchdown reception in the fourth quarter to take the lead ...
"I knew I had to make up for the one I didn't score on, on that long pass earlier. It was a great pass by Nate, good blocking by the line, and all I had to do was beat #7 (Vontaze Burfict), and I did."
Illinois QB Nate Scheelhaase
On being 3-0...
"It feels great. Coach Petrino was telling us all week that it was going to be a 15-round slug fest and we just kept swinging. Sometimes we were missing and sometimes we were connecting, but we found a way to land the last punch and win the fight."
On if it this win was more satisfying than the bowl win ...
"Just because it is a new season, I think it is more satisfying. You don't know what this win will do for you in the long run, and to start off 3-0 we feel like we have started off pretty solid and it feels pretty darn good."
Illinois LB Jonathan Brown
On the defense starting off the game...
"I like going out first and setting the momentum for the rest of the game. When we do that, we always seem to have a great game. It definitely helps us. We had a lot of emotion starting off, and it helped us in setting the tone for the game."
On the meaning of this game...
"I think we showed people what we have been thinking all summer. We showed people that we can play with anybody in the country, and that we can have the best defense in the country. Coming into the season, they had us ranked dead last as a linebacker core, and one of our goals was to go out and prove people wrong."
Arizona State Head Coach Dennis Erickson Postgame Quotes
"They did some different things. We didn't protect very well. It wasn't anything that we didn't know was coming. A lot of it was that there were times when we held the football when we needed to get it out of our hands. It's a combination of things."
"They're a good football team and they played very well defensively. But we had some many opportunities ... we finally took advantage of one and then turned the ball back over to get them back in the game. It's very disappointing. It's two steps forward and one step back."
On the Arizona State offense:
"I thought at the beginning of the game we ran the ball pretty well. We got three or four penalties in the second quarter that were interesting ... We ended up at second and third and long, and you don't want to be in that situation."
Arizona State Player Quotes Quotes
QB Brock Osweiler
On what sticks with him the most about the game:
"You know, just missed opportunities. I can't tell you how many times we were in scoring position and didn't come away with points. Whether that was a mistake I made, a wrong route being ran, a penalty, something like that. Mostly just the scoring opportunities where we didn't come away with points and we needed to."
On Illinois' pressure:
"They brought a lot of pressure tonight. Shoot, it seemed like almost every snap. But you know I thought the offensive line played great. They were seeing a lot of different fronts, stunts, and blitzes."
On what he could have done better:
"Well, when you lose you think back to a lot of specific plays. But I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason. Obviously you want to get the win every game, but we lost this one and now we need to go back and study to see what we could have done better so we can improve upon that to make sure this doesn't happen again."
WR Gerell Robinson
On how disappointing the loss was:
"This is gut-wrenching, to be honest with you. Everyone is sitting in disbelief that it happened the way it did. We just have to go back to the drawing board and get ready for next week."
On preparation for the Illinois defense:
"We were pretty much prepared for everything they were bringing. They had a solid D-line and I tip my hat off to that, but other than that there wasn't anything we hadn't faced before."
LB Colin Parker
On the defense improving since last week:
"It was a pretty good effort overall. We started a little slow with the first couple drives, but after that we kind of stiffened up and played a little bit better. We just came up a little bit short in the end.
On how many quarterback-designed runs Illinois ran:
"Yeah, there was a little bit more of that than we were expecting. After our Missouri game it got brought up that they would go to that a little bit more if we were stuffing their running backs. There were a couple different looks that we needed to get a feel for and it just took a minute."