Oct. 26, 2013
Michigan State 42, Illinois 3
Memorial Stadium // Oct. 26, 2013 // Attendance: 45,895
Head Coach Tim Beckman
"Again, as I start off as I always do, credit goes to Michigan State. I think Coach Dantonio has got a very good football team, very good defense. I've been around college ball a long time and they have got a very, very good defense personnel and do a great job with their defense. I'm disappointed, no question. One, it was Homecoming. I think we started out fast but we, again, didn't capitalize on some of the things that we needed to. Of course, if you look at the first quarter, the things like the turnover were huge in the first quarter for us. We had a holding on a touchdown that was called back. Again, you can't do those types of things when you're playing people like that. I was proud of the goal-line fumble recovery by our defense. You go into the second quarter, they've got the ball on the inch-yard line. We've got to score, we don't score, and then they drive it 99-and-a-half yards for a touchdown. We've got a couple third-down situations that we get out of if we don't get a penalty. We have a penalty and they end up scoring on a tipped ball. I think it was tipped twice, at least. But we came out in the second half and didn't play the way that I really believe we're capable of playing. I said to this football team, I brought the seniors out to the middle, and said that we're going to do whatever's possible among this football family that we have to make sure that these seniors leave these last five football games proud of what they've accomplished. We're 3-4 right now. We're 0-1 in the third quarter. We've got two games that are on the road against Penn State and Indiana and we better be ready to play against a good Penn State football team."
On the play at the end of the first half:
"Because of the maturity of the football team, being a young football team, it took a little breath out of them, but the game is 60 minutes and four quarters. We did not play well for four quarters, especially in the second half."
Where do you go from here?:
"You've got five games left. We're 3-4; we're not 0-7. We've felt success. I believe in every one of these football players that we have. Our job as a coaching staff and as a football team and everyone involved in this family is to move forward and know we've got ourselves getting ready for a Penn State football team."
Is there anything positive you can take away from this game?:
"The second half, no, probably not much out of the second half, to be honest with you. The first half, you have to score. We can't have a penalty to negate a score. You can't not score when the ball is inside the 5 yard line. You've got to score touchdowns. We have got to do that as an offensive football team. We can't let teams drive 99 yards and have stupid penalties. You just can't do that. The last three teams (we've played) have only lost one Big Ten game. They're pretty good football teams. When you're playing that caliber, you have got to be striking on all chords."
On Ryan Lankford:
"Honestly, I think he's probably out for the season (shoulder). We are not for sure right now. To be honest with you, after seeing it, he's probably gone for the year."
"I think he will be a big loss. He's one of our true deep threats. I know how Ryan is and I know what Ryan's beliefs are for this football team and he'll have to lead us now by not playing. He'll still be there; he'll still be getting the guys ready. It's tough anytime you lose a starter like that, but that's football. The next guy has got to step up and be ready to go. Just as we lost Bentley, Dunlap has got to step up. That's just the game of football.
How do you keep a game like this from happening again next week?:
"You have to be positive. I made the team promise the seniors to do everything that they could do to get better and that's all you ask. We made some silly mistakes at the corner position. I know just from watching those corners play. They're young and they have got to have this experience. We need to take the next challenge and move forward and that's just not the game of football, that's everything."
Illinois Offensive Tackle Corey Lewis
On the team moving forward:
"We have to continue to fight. In other games, we continued to fight. One thing I can say about this team is that the guys aren't quitting. When the plays are there, we have to make them. As you can see, we get stopped on the one, we turn the ball over again inside our own (20-yard line) and then the holding penalty hurt us on the first drive. Just as a collective group when the plays are there we have to make them."
On putting this game behind them:
"Coach Ricker and coach Cubit have the 24-hour rule, where you think about it and then have to get over it. If you dwell on the past game, that can continue to snowball and that's how you continue to lose games. We have to brush it off and move forward."
Illinois Linebacker Mason Monheim
On the defensive performance on third downs:
"We had chances to get off the field on third down, many chances throughout the game, and we just need to make that play. We're in position a lot of the time, we just didn't make that play. I'm not going to pin it on one thing or another, just us as a group, we have to make that play."
On Michigan State's touchdown at the end of the first half:
"Whenever anything happens like that, it will hit you a little bit. But I felt like for the most part when we were at halftime, it was very positive. We were confident in what we were doing. We were down 14-3 but it definitely didn't feel like that to us. We were confident."
Illinois Defensive Back Jaylen Dunlap
On defending the Michigan State touchdown at the end of the first half:
"The receiver ran a comeback and I guarded it, so the quarterback looked off him and he took off scrambling out of the pocket, so I stayed on (the receiver). He threw the ball, and I should've made a play on it that I wish I could get back, but I should've made that play. I had it. There are no excuses. I should've made that play."
On the defense's response to the touchdown at the end of the half:
"I think in the first half we came out and started fast. That's what coaches stressed all week: to start fast. So I think we have to finish strong. I think we have to come out in the second half and play harder. I wouldn't say (the touchdown) was demoralizing. Any play like that you wish you could have it back and play it better, but I don't think it brought down the whole defense."
Head Coach Mark Dantonio
"First of all, outstanding job by our football team. I thought it was a little different type of a football game because they were ahead three to nothing, and we bounced back from fumbling in the end zone. We got a turnover, scored to make it seven to three, and they come right back down the field on our one-yard line. On fourth and one, we stop them and really that's probably the turning point in the game. Then we're able to drive back down the field and score before the half to make it fourteen to three. Great job by our defense - obviously in the second half we played very, very well. Cook obviously played very well and spread the ball around when we did throw it and involved three running backs. I thought all three did an excellent job, and obviously it means our offensive line played well. Defensively, in the second half I don't think they got a first down, so they played very well."
On this being the best the team has played in a game so far:
"Like I said, we've handled some adversity. That's the thing that is impressive to me. We've remained pretty resilient as a football team. We've played very well away from home really since 2010. You know our guys sort of come together, and we are confident when we go away. It talks to team chemistry I think and good things happen when you have team chemistry. It wasn't as easy as the score would indicate. The first half was definitely in question and you have to credit Illinois with that, too. You know things can flow and momentum has a way of shifting and creating a lot things for a team."
On quarterback Connor Cook's play:
"Conner got better. When you're a young player, you have a chance to sit back, re-group, re-establish yourself and move forward. He has tremendous talent. He was off a little bit throwing the football last week, but you know, he's able to re-group and move forward. That's being young, that's youth and I think that happen sometimes. Obviously with this play, there's always going to be more expected of him. You see him play like this and there's going to be very high expectations, but I know he's got talent. We've always known he has talent. I thought he did a great job taking care of our offense as well and running the football a little bit, distributing the ball, and had some great throws."
On how important the momentum is going into the rivalry game vs. Michigan next week:
"We're 4-0, which is where we wanted to be. But we'll worry about that tomorrow. All of our focus is really on the present. Let's have a good time on the bus and plane ride home, and we'll take care of business tomorrow."
On the goal line stand for a turnover on downs:
"Our goal line defense had great penetration and we built a wall. Somebody must have topped it off. But we had great penetration, built a wall, topped it off, and it was a huge play of the game."
QB Connor Cook
On being confident and sustaining confidence:
"I have full confidence in myself. I always believe in myself no matter what the situation is. Coming off a performance I had last week, obviously, I was upset and really focused on things. I needed to get better at practice. I always believe in myself and have faith in myself and I told him [head coach Mark Dantonio] `Don't worry. We'll be okay.'"
On the difference today:
"I think it was great play calling. The run, too, helped out a lot, with play-action passes and just opening up the pass game because we were able to run the ball so well. I really don't know. Maybe it was the wind. I just go out there every single play and try to do whatever I can to make a play, to put our team in a situation managing a game and just trying to win a football game in general, but I just went out there and I was focused. Focused on the task at hand that I was playing Illinois."
RB Jeremy Langford
On running so well today:
"The offensive line has been doing a great job of blocking and the team is doing a great job on the offensive side. Seeing them [the linemen] blocking downfield and we are all making plays. The line is getting a push and then I am doing a good job running behind them and they just lead me to the end zone.
MLB Max Bullough
On holding Illinois to under 200 yards of offense:
"We keep continuing along and keep looking at the next opponent and trying to do the best we can, and I think we've done a pretty good job week in and week out making the other team play the way we want them to play. Shutting them down, taking away the things they like to do and we can be successful."
On the importance of the goal-line stop:
"We knew they were going to come with the ball quick and line up and try to overpower us, and we had seen it on film, so we were just lined up and we knew what they were doing. As long as we played downhill, we would be fine. Before that, we really hadn't built any momentum, so I think that's where it kind of all started."