Football
Post-Game Quotes

 
 

Oct. 10, 2009

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QUOTING ILLINOIS HEAD COACH RON ZOOK...

Opening Statement...
"The first question is going to be who's going to start at quarterback and obviously I'm not going to even comment on that until we look at the tape. The good news is, defensively we finally grew up today and did some good things offensively. We are still not hitting on all eight cylinders and we have to continue to work on that and get things going. I do not think we are as far away as everybody seems, but we have to make some things happen because we are not doing that now."

On QB Eddie McGee's first half performance...
"It's hard for Eddie to get much going when we weren't very good at defense in the first half. I think we only had the ball for eight minutes in the first half. It's hard to get any kind of rhythm going and that is why I left him in there in the second half for awhile. I told Eddie going into this game that he didn't have to worry about looking over his shoulder and he still doesn't have to worry about looking over his shoulder."

On Juice Williams in the second half...
"I think it says a lot about Juice. It shows that he did prepare and that he was into the game, which I knew he would be. What he went through was very hard to do. A lot of people couldn't do it, but it shows you right there the type of people Eddie and Juice are. They're winners. They're competitors. They want to do well, but they can't do it all. Football is a team game and everybody is involved."

On team defense in the second half...
"They finally just got tired of it. I think the defensive coaches made some great adjustments with things that we had to do. They (the defense) went out and performed. Going into the game we were going to try to play more people to keep them fresh and I think that helped us."

On what to take from the game...
"It's not a lost cause. This team's not going to quit. They're going to keep on keeping on. We have to fight through this thing and fight through it together. As a coaching staff we have to help them get through it."


QUOTING ILLINOIS PLAYERS:

Safety Donsay Hardeman

On defense...
"We made some adjustments to our defense at half. We were hungry and we were just trying to score."

On defenses performance...
"From the games that we lost we were never tight. We have the mindset at defense just to go play. We are just going to play, no matter what the score is. The score could be 99-0 but we're just going to play. Coach always told us it's about inches and that's how we got the goal line stop. Just fight."


CB Tavon Wilson

On defensive improvements...
"It will help in the future going to Indiana. We just have to take all of the positives out of this game and keep them rolling until the next game."

On his interception...
"It felt good but it would feel a lot better if we had won the game. I'd rather give up plays all day and win the game than catch an interception."


QB Juice Williams

On his mindset before the game...
I told myself to always be ready because anything can happen. Something could happen to Eddie [McGee] and he could go down with an injury or something like that. I told myself to always be prepared, and understand and get a great feel for the game plan. I think I was able to give the team a spark."

On Juice and Eddie both getting oppurtunities this season...
"It depends on what happens. We're always going to be like brothers. We've come a long way through this process these last couple years, and we've been very understanding of every situation possible that we've been faced with. Anything is possible. We could have a situation where I go in for a few series and he comes in or vice versa, or he plays a whole game. Any situation could come up and regardless I'm going to be ready."


RB Mikel LeShoure

On his touchdown...
"I just always want to score. Any way I can get the ball, that's what I want to do. If it's in the backfield or receiving the ball, I just want to make plays."

On the difference between the first half and the second half...
"Coach preaches to us that it's a 60 minute game. The score after 30 minutes isn't going to go into the record book. He pushed that in the locker room and we had people step up and talk. It got the guys pumped up and I felt like going out at the half we had it on our mind that we can actually win this game. We picked it up but it was just a little too late."



QUOTING MICHIGAN STATE HEAD COACH MARK DANTONIO

On Michigan State's defense...
"I thought our defense played well and you just take the game and shake the game. It's not an error-free game by any means for us or for anybody else."

On Illinois' defense...
"Credit Illinois. Defensively, they played well in the second half but we had opportunities to continue to play and make plays."

On keeping focus coming into todays game...
"The thing that I like about our football team is that everyone was very involved. The focus was there, Thursday practice was very good, Friday was very good. Everything you want as a coach - all the focus was there. We kept talking about a road win and we had to come over here and get a road win. We had to parallel it with '07 and '08. I think I mentioned that going to Northwestern last year and Purdue the year before. So it paralleled where we were as a football program."

Onthe quarterback situation...
"Keith (Nichol) took reps predominately on Tuesday and Wednesday. Kirk (Cousins) had some on Wednesday, and then on Thursday they took reps a little bit more equally. He (Cousins) could have played, but we felt like all things being equal with the abilities and experience that Keith is bringing, we'd use Kirk in an emergency situation. We're going to try and win football games. If somebody is out, (Andrew Maxwell) will be ready. He would have been ready today had Cousins not been able to play, but that was not the case."

On where Michigan State goes from here...
"After an emotional game, it is important to get your players back and thinking about the next challenge. We have great young men here. We have great seniors and they help in that endeavor. A coach doesn't get that done because there are too many things that happen on a football team. Credit our football team, our senior leadership, our staff and position coaches. They get the job done."

On QB Darryl Clark...
"Darryl rarely says 'We should throw the ball more' or 'we should run more'. He's a team player. I think he showed he could run, we always knew he could run. We will probably take more chances with Clark as we go along."


QUOTING MICHIGAN STATE PLAYERS:

Defensive tackle Jerel Worthy

On Illinois playing both quarterbacks...
"We were prepared for both. We practiced all this week. Energitic quarterbacks, quarterbacks that can run fast, and quarterbacks who can pass well. We were ready for both of them."

On todays gameplan...
"We wanted to stop the run first. We felt that if we stopped the run, then everything else would fall into place. During plays, we wanted to make sure all four linemen would put pressure on the quarterback at all times."


Defensive end Colin Neely

On focusing for this weeks game...
"We had to get over last week's victory against Michigan and stop celebrating. Our focus we to be prepared for this week's game against Illinois."

On Illinois struggling...
"Every team in the big ten can win games. They have won before with this team. Arrelious Benn is a great player. Juice Williams is a great player. Eddie McGee is a great player. They have great players, but I guess they are not putting it together yet. On paper they look like a great team, so we could not underestimate them at all."


Free safety Danny Fortner

On taking momentum forward...
"We came out strong in the first half. We played well in the second. Obviously, we have a lot of confidence coming out of last week and this week. We just have to keep rolling and keep doing what we we have been doing."

On his interception for a touchdown...
"I knew I was gone. I didn't see anyone else near me. I wanted to get to the end zone as fast as I could to celebrate with my teammates."

Left guard Joel Foreman

On todays game...
"We did well against Michigan and we had to show it was not a one-time thing. When we get into the heart of the Big Ten schedule, we have to show that we can run the football effectively. If we want to be able to win in the Big Ten, we have to dominate up front."

On Illinois...
"We knew they would come out strong early. They are a team that is struggling, but we also have our backs against the wall. We evened our record this week and now we are 2-1 in the Big Ten. This was a statement game for us. Both teams came out fast, but we had to sustain."

Quarterback Keith Nichol

On his injury...
"The medical staff took a look at it and it's just a little bruise. We will be back."

On how Michigan State played today...
"My main focus is how this team played today. We played extremely well. The defense played extremely well today. We didn't capitalize when we could have. I could have made the game a lot easier for our guys, but to Illinois' credit they kept on playing."

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