Oct. 19, 2013
#25/RV Wisconsin 56, Illinois 32
Memorial Stadium // Oct. 19, 2013 // Attendance: 47,362
Illinois Head Coach Tim Beckman
"I'll just start by saying that we played a good football team tonight. Coach Andersen has done a great job being there and continuing to build with Wisconsin. You walk by their truck out front and it's got the last three championships that they've won. They're a good football team and they've got some good football players. When you're playing a team like that, you have to be clicking on all cylinders. Defensively, we didn't tackle well in space. Again, they've got a couple of good backs, there's no question, and they've made people look that way a little bit all year long. But they did some things in space and we've got to do better. I think offensively, we didn't start off the way that we needed to start that football game and we fell down early. But our team fought to the end and they tried to do what they could do to score and to stop them. I didn't see anybody quitting or anything like that, I thought the kids played hard. We've got to remember that this is halfway through the season. We're 3-3 at the halfway point, we've got six Big Ten games left, and we know right now that it's like going in at half 0-0. Because right now, we're 3-3 at the midway point, so that's what we're considering and what we talked about as a team is that right now it's halftime and it's 0-0. We're tied."
On what he sees from the team:
"This team at least fights, they'll fight to the end. We just played Nebraska and Wisconsin and I think they were there in December (last year) the last time I looked, so they're pretty good football teams. And we've got a ways to go, there's no question, but we fought and we need to continue to fight throughout this football season for this program to move forward."
On Illinois' early fumble:
"We had set up that plan. You can't fumble the football, that's the bottom line. I don't think that's play calling or who's in the football game, it's just you cannot fumble. That's not a call, that's not executing what we need to execute to be successful."
On Nathan Scheelhaase's performance:
"Nathan made some good plays for us but we just have to do it consistently. We had a couple of turnovers or missed throws that could've been a little bit better. But when you're playing against a team like Wisconsin, you better be hitting on all cylinders and he just wasn't tonight. But I did think he did some things good enough to score points for us. It's never one man's fault, not in the game of football."
Illinois QB Nathan Scheelhaase
On the play of Illinois' wide receivers:
"Our receivers made plays. They've been doing that all year and they've been improving all year. We knew Wisconsin was a stout defense and they were going to come in with a good game plan, but we have receivers who are going to make plays on anyone and it was good to see them step up tonight."
On the progression of the Illini thus far in the season:
"It doesn't really matter how far we've progressed halfway through the season. What we need to understand is that nobody is going to feel sorry for us, nobody is going to care what teams we've lost to. Halfway through the season, we're no longer an inexperienced team, nobody is a freshman anymore. All that matters is the next game and we just need to step up to the challenge and get ready for the next game."
Illinois WR Steve Hull
On the long touchdown pass from Scheelhaase:
"Nate threw a great ball and it was a great play call by Coach Cubit. We had run the same play earlier in the quarter where I ended up blocking the safety and then we came back and ran the same play action, so it was easy to slip by the safety. My job was easy. All I had to do was put my hands up."
Illinois DL Tim Kynard
On lining up against a physical Wisconsin offensive line:
"Well it's not my first Big Ten game, so I've been around some big offensive lines. Wisconsin is known for running the ball and playing physical so they're always going to have physical players. We knew what kind of game this was going to be and we just did not execute to our ability."
On the defensive struggles against Wisconsin:
"Wisconsin made plays; I'm not going to take that away from them. At the same time, we didn't do our job. We missed tackles and guys were not filling the right holes. Overall, I thought we beat ourselves, versus Wisconsin simply outplaying us."
Wisconsin Head Coach Gary Anderson
"The first road victory of the season for us is very important. The offense was very powerful tonight. They ran the ball extremely well. I thought they reacted to situations where they got stopped a couple times with positive, good adjustments. Special teams were solid for the most part. I'm proud of that group of kids. Defensively, we played hard, and we flew around the field, but we're going to have to be better than that on defense. I give a lot of credit to Illinois. They are a hard team to stop. It's a great victory, and we're going to take advantage of this bye week and get the kids back and continue to progress.
On the severity of Chris Borland's injury:
"I think he will be fine. It is a good thing that we have a bye week. I think we'll get him back and he'll be ready to roll. Does it hurt to lose Chris, absolutely. He's the best linebacker in the country, and I will say it again and again. We need to get him back and get him where he needs to be. If we let [Borland's injury] deflate us, we need to mature and not let that happen."
On the Wisconsin DB performance:
"Coaches and players are working hard on those young backs and we need to focus on it now because we had some problems today in the back end."
On Melvin Gordon averaging over 100 yards per game:
"He still wows me every single week. There is a run or two every single week. Both he and James [White] are special running backs. For Melvin to get over 1,000 yards is very impressive and I know he is excited about getting that done."
On the Hemer's touchdown off of a turnover in the second quarter:
"I thought it was really important, especially as the game swung during the second quarter. That was a big score and it is fun to see him make a play like that."
QB Joel Stave
On the two touchdowns to start the second half:
"That was big. We put a lot of emphasis on that, coming out and scoring. We knew that was big time for us. Being able to move the ball down the field and score was really important."
On winning a Big Ten night game on the road:
"Yeah that's big for us. That seems like that's all we've been playing, road night games, dating back to last year. But it's great. It's good to get a win on the road and in an environment like this; it's fun. It's important to win on the road if you want to be a good team, so I thought we did a good job of taking a advantage of the opportunity"
On if the offense has reached it's optimal level:
"Yeah, I think so. With the way we ran the ball tonight we were really, really efficient. I think that's the way this offense works best. When the defense starts creeping down, we can start taking shots over the top. I think this offense is really powerful and really tough to stop."
LB Chris Borland
On seeing the defense from the sidelines:
"We played well. I think Trotter did a great job. It's a difficult thing to step in cold turkey like that, and he didn't miss a beat. He was right in on the calls and he preformed well. As an entire defense, I think we did some good things; the goal line stand was great. I think we gave up too many big plays and that's something we'll have to work on. It's a performance we can build on."
LB Marcus Trotter
On replacing Borland after his injury:
"Once I got in and got a couple reps everything seemed good and I felt really good out there. I made some mistakes here and there, but we got that fixed up. Chris should be fresh and healthy again, but I'm always there to help the team out."