Football
Postgame Quotes - #2 Ohio State 24, Illinois 13

 
 

Oct. 2, 2010

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ILLINOIS Head Coach Ron Zook Postgame Quotes
Opening Statement...

"I just told my football team that I am proud of them. Any time you play the number two team in the nation, you have to play the way we played. Obviously, there are some things we have to clean up, but if we get those things cleaned up we have a chance to be a pretty good football team. We fought hard. There were some things that happened during the course of the game that we had to overcome and they hung in there. They never questioned whether they could play or not. For the most part I was proud of them but there are some things we have to get cleaned up."

On kicking the field goal on fourth down late in the game...
"When you look at that, I felt that if we get the field goal, we're only down four, and if you hold them to another field goal we're only down seven. We still have a chance to get points. I just felt like we should take the points we will for sure have and then count on the defense to get the ball back. If you hold them to a field goal, now it's a seven point game which is still a manageable game."

On the key to stopping them defensively...
"We played hard up until the end when they got outside us a little bit. We are continuing to get better and better on defense which is the key thing. The one play where (Terrelle) Pryor got out there in the first half, that is the thing we talked about all week. He has that capability. He's a big, strong, fast and physical guy. Other than that, at the end we had to have a stop but we didn't. That is the one frustrating thing to me about the game. Pryor is going to get loose on people a little bit. I thought in terms of the passing game and so forth we did a good job."

On the penalties...
"The dumb penalties I really get frustrated with because you can't have those things when you play a good football team. You have to go back and look at them and you have to learn from them."

On challenging the spot...
"I just thought it was a time I should challenge because it was a critical down. I hate to give up a timeout but I just thought it was important. That's why they have the challenge."

On Scheelhaase's presence...
"Nathan is going to continue to get better and better. He also has to get rid of the football in a two-minute situation. Those are the things that come with experience. He continues to make strides. The football team is very confident with him and they feel good about what he does. They feel good about him being the leader."

On Trulon Henry...
"Trulon is another one who gets better and better. He has played a lot of college football. We said it from the very beginning that he was going to be a guy that continued to improve. When you're away from the game for a while it takes a little bit to get back into it. He's coming along and doing a nice job."

On the trick play...
"We have a lot of trick plays. You try to call them at the right time. I really felt that as much as we have worked it and done it that we could maybe go for a touchdown."

ILLINOIS PLAYER QUOTES
Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase:

On Ohio State's performance...

"We knew they were going to be a tough team all week. We've been watching them, and they played a good game. You have to give them a lot of credit, but obviously there were still plays that I feel like we left on the field."

On not moving the ball after the first quarter...
"They did a good job of adjusting to what we were doing and there were a couple of plays that I felt like we could make. I felt like there were still plays that could have been made, but obviously we didn't make them as much in that middle section of the game."

On playing well against the No. 2 team...
"I think we've kind of proved something to ourselves. We know what we've got. We know we are a team that can give any team in the country a game. I think the frustrating part is when you're in a heavyweight bout with the number two team in the country and you get to the late rounds of the game, and you don't find a way to get that knockout punch. Obviously, we knew that they're a good team. They're going to play well both offensively and defensively and sustain thins throughout the game, but we're in there fighting it out, throwing punch for punch, and obviously, it's a rough feeling when you don't come out on top."

Running back Mikel Leshoure
On facing a tough schedule early in the conference season...

"We're prepared for the Big Ten schedule. We showed it today. The defense came out and did a very good job today. [They] contained an offense, a high-power offense and contained them very well. The offense, we just need to go out and take advantage of our opportunities more. There were times when we definitely could have scored points, touchdowns, field goals, and we didn't get it in, so we just need to take care of that."

On opportunities in the second half...
"Things started opening up towards the end of the game. The problem was that we were beating ourselves. If we could have eliminated some of those penalties early in the drives, I think we could have put more points on the board. It wasn't about them beating or stopping us, we just have to go out and have security in our jobs first."

On showing they can play with top teams...
"We believed before this game that we could play with the best. It showed today. We definitely felt like that there could have been a way we could have won that. I have a lot of confidence, especially in our defense, those guys came out and played their butts off and gave the offense plenty of opportunities. It's definitely a confidence booster going into next week. We know what we can do, and we plan on winning."

Linebacker Martez Wilson
On Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor...

"He's a threat. He was running today. He's a fast quarterback, so our best thing was just when you get a hold of him, you just take him down to the ground as fast as you could because he's a big strong guy. That was basically our game plan against him."

On the Ohio State first down review in the 4th quarter...
"I don't think that was a first down. I think we definitely stopped him, but you know, it was a tough judgment, and at the end of the day, that's the [referee's] call."

On the first down review being a critical play
"I feel like it was a very critical play because it was a play where we could have been off the field. The offense could have been on the field for another opportunity to go down to make a push. You give them a little momentum, and it was just a momentum thing."

Defensive tackle Corey Liuget
On the game and the team's performance...

"I feel like we could have done a lot more out there on the field defensively to win the game. We had two opportunities, two interceptions that we could have absolutely taken to the house for 6 points and played with a lot more emotion."

On Ohio State quarterback Terrelle Pryor...
"If you go high on him, he's definitely going to get away from you because he'll give you the stiff arm, but you just have to clip his ankles, get at him, and just keep coming at him. You have to be relentless with that guy. He's a great athlete."

OHIO STATE Head Coach Jim Tressel Postgame Quotes
Opening Statement...

"It was tough. You knew it would be when you travel in the Big Ten. Illinois, I thought, did a good job of preparing and taking advantage of that extra week off. They had a couple little things that we hadn't seen that worked out for them. It was a Big Ten game. There was a wind that certainly played a factor in the kick and pass games. That's the way it is in the Big Ten. Every battle is a battle. I'm proud of our kids for slugging it out. You always like to start the Big Ten season 1-0 instead of 0-1."

On Boom Herron...
"He's always ready to be that physical back you want him to be. He took that fourth quarter, and parts of the third, and did a good job of running physically. They were committing a lot of people to the line of scrimmage. They knew the makeup of the game wasn't going to be where you create statistics, we were trying to create wins."

On the Buckeye defense...
"Early on, you could see they came up with some things that hurt us. They hit a misdirection pass and they hit the pass back to the quarterback. They had some gadgets they worked on, and those worked for them. When the defense settled in and it came down to basic first-, second-, or third-down plays, I thought our defense just kept playing. It seemed like in the second half we were winning third down and putting pressure on the quarterback."

On going for it on fourth and one...
"We were up by four, so it didn't make it a two-score game if we get the field goal. Plus, I was hoping to take a couple more minutes off the clock, and I was confident we could get a yard. We did and chewed up a whole bunch of clock."

On the series...
"We haven't had too many teams that didn't go down swinging. I knew the game was going to be this way, the players knew the game was going to be this way and Illinois' players knew the game was going to be this way. We've been playing the series since 1902 or something like that, so I had no doubt in my mind that we would play through it."

On passing and kicking with a stiff wind...
"You know I'm not a golfer, but if you listen to golfers, they will tell you they can play in rain all day. When that wind comes in, it's a killer. It's no different in football. It affects so much of your game. Defenses know you're not able to throw those 30-yard routes downfield, and that makes quite a difference."

On winning a Big Ten title...
"It's tough. We know it and every team in the conference knows it. It's a good reminder when they're walking back to the bus and they're all bruised up and you know you've been in a dogfight. That's a good reminder of how tough it is. Our guys did not come in here thinking this was going to be a two and a half quarter game and let's get the subs in."

OHIO STATE Player Postgame Quotes
QB Terrelle Pryor
On his injury...

"I'm just happy we came out with the win. Hopefully we get the right treatment going, so I'll be fine and back to myself. I was in full stride and I thought I was going to the house on it. I was in full stride and all of a sudden I felt and heard something pop and I was like `what's going on?' As I was I full stride, I just stumbled and I just let the ball go. It was probably the worst pain I had in a while."

On the team stepping up after he was injured...
"That was great. The worst thing was when I came back and the guys said I was alright and they were saying `come on Terrelle, lead us.' It was hard because I knew I couldn't do anything about it. There's no way I could do anything about it, except to hand the ball off and get a couple passes. But it kind of hurt even dropping back. My hats off to the linemen, the receivers, the blocking and Boom (Dan Heron) running the ball the way he did and got us a victory. That's what you look for. I went down and then we had a guy step up when we needed it. That's the main thing."

On facing adversity when they were behind...
"That's what happens. Championship teams, no matter who you are, you got to face adversity. We've got a target on our back and my hats off to Illinois. It's a hard fought Big Ten game, but at the end of the day we came out with a win. We just have to keep on getting better and pushing forward, because we can't play like the way we did today."

DE Cameron Heyward
On the Illinois offense...

"You know Illinois always has athletic teams. They have really good backs and we have to commend their offense. They did a really good job. They prepared really well for two weeks. They came out with the right mindset, but I think we just made some corrections, just playing tougher. We were resilient. You're going to have some bad plays; they're going to capitalize on them. But it says a lot about this team that we were able to make up ground and just keep fighting through it."

On the play of his teammates along the defensive line...
"When you have depth at the defensive line, it's only going to help. Dex (Dexter Larimore) is an old guy, but he gets the job done and to have Hank (Jonathan Hankins) in there, it's only going to make it better. To have both of those guys, it's critical."

WR Dane Sanzenbacher
On QB Terrelle Pryor's injury during the game...

"Obviously we were not excited about that. He's our leader out there on offense and we want to see him on the field whenever we can. We have faith in Joe (Bauserman) when he was able to go out there and it didn't look like it was something that was too serious, so we were hopeful he was going to be back."

On Illinois-Ohio State games being tough match-ups...
"We know coming in it's going to be tough, no matter what the records are. I know we say that a lot about a lot of teams, but Illinois has been proven to give us a fight every time we play them. So we knew we they were going to come in and play tough."

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