Nov. 16, 2013
Ohio State 60, Illinois 35
Memorial Stadium // Nov. 16, 2013 // Attendance: 44,095
Illinois Head Coach Tim Beckman
"To start off, [Ohio State] is a good football team. No question about it. They've got some skilled athletes, very well-coached. I thought our players battled to the dang end; they never came up short, they continued to fight. Probably the last three or four minutes, as I told them, were disappointing times but proud of the way they competed and proud of the way this coaching staff coached it. We've got two remaining football games and we want our seniors to leave winners and to win that football game that is necessary for them to get this losing streak done. They've worked extremely hard."
On the overall performance of the offense
I thought that other than the miscues we had with the interception for a touchdown and the safety, I thought they performed well. Steve Hull and those guys performed well and guys continue to make big plays. Ferguson and all of them. They've got good things that they're doing and they're giving up those big plays again that just bite us, but I was proud of the way this football team played."
On what the resilience today showed about the team
"I think they've been that way this whole football season and I continue to tell them that and that's why it's so disheartening when they don't get that victory because they're fighting to the end, there's no question about that. I tell them that I'm proud of the way they continue to fight because through adversity good things will come, if you continue to fight, and that's exactly what they're doing.
On how he is able to motivate the team during these struggles
"In all honesty, it's not that hard. It's because of these seniors and young kids. They're fighters. Nobody likes to lose. This coaching staff does a great job and these players do a great job and, as I always say, when you come into this facility you get fired up for it because you've some great players and great kids and great coaches that surround yourself, so we've got to get that win - there's no question about it - but I'm proud of the way these kids are fighting."
On the goals for the rest of the season
"I want these seniors [to be] successful and to get that monkey off their back, get that victory, and we still have two opportunities to get that victory. We still have two trophies left to play for and it's kind of ironic that those things are still left for us to play for and that's exactly what we'll play for. We'll take one at a time and get ourselves ready to go for West Lafayette."
On the performance of the offensive line
"A couple of sacks here and there, but I thought we ran the ball well. I thought that (Josh) Ferguson and Nathan (Scheelhaase) both had close to 100 yards. We're continuing to get better. It hurts not having Simon [Cvijanovic], always will, but we have to play who we've got. I thought Jake Feldmeyer came in, and I thought Austin Schmidt played well for us, and Joe Spencer. Those were the guys that had to step up for us when we lost Simon. I thought those three stepped in and played well.
On V'Angelo Bentley's punt return for a touchdown
"Any time you have a play like that, it's going to spark what you're doing."
WR Steve Hull
On the key to getting back in the game back after the slow start
"I think our offense has done a great job of being resilient, sticking to the game plan, and continuing to build confidence throughout the whole game. That's something that I think is really impressive on the coaches' behalf and impressing that to us and then the players, we're actually believing in it and giving it everything we possibly have. We've got guys fighting through injuries, fighting through things in life and you know, it's really special to be around."
On what was going wrong
"You know we just didn't finish the game. They started it off really fast, got most of their points in the first quarter. Once we kind of settled down and played ball a little bit it showed how good of a defense we could be - I mean I think we only gave up 12 points within those two quarters right there - and the fourth quarter we just didn't finish. This has been what has been hurting us all season, just finishing games. I mean I'm proud of the way my guys fought and I wouldn't want to go out there with anybody else and we're going to continue to get better."
On being ineligible for a bowl game and readjusting focus
"I've put in a lot of time at the University of Illinois and I wanted to end on a good note. I want to win these last two games, snap the streak, and leave something behind to build on for next season. This could be a really good team, they just need a foundation to stand on."
On the comeback
"It was one of those games, if I would have to give a synopsis, you look at it from a boxing standpoint. We came out and they knocked us down twice in part of the first two rounds and I think any time you deal with that it shakes you up a little bit but I was just so happy with the way we responded. I mean we stood up and we fought until the 15th round and just to be surrounded by a bunch of players that are willing to do that, to have a group of seniors like that, that's kind of the mentality we've had not only on the field on Saturday's but in anything we do. I'm just honored to be a part of something like that. There's not a group of guys that I would rather do it with."
On refocusing for the end of the season and ending the losing streak
"For sure, I think anytime we put on a jersey and wear the emblem on our helmet representing this University, you always have something to play for. To be surrounded by the people we are surrounded by each and every day, to look my brothers in the eye and know I want to go to war with them, you always have something to play for. There's never a question about that whether a bowl is an option or not. Everybody knows that they just have to look to their left and right and realize that there's plenty to play for."
Ohio State Head Coach Urban Meyer
"I'm a big fan of No. 2, the quarterback (Nathan Scheelhaase). I've watched him, and I just love guys like that. I told him after the game that I think he's a great player. I thought he was hard to defend today. These players work so hard. We have to make sure that our focus is on getting better each week instead of all of the national stuff. I think I'm learning a lesson to just shut my mouth and quit worrying about this and that. Let's get a little better. We're down 11 players for the year. Our special teams are a little bit of a mess right now. Some of the guys playing right now, quite frankly, haven't played at all; and as a result, we just have to coach better, and I can't wait to get back to work tomorrow.
On the fourth quarter
"It did get tight. We were playing a quarterback that is creating plays on you. Offensively, we had too many three-and-outs. It allows us to really get after it tomorrow."
On Jack Mewhort's knee injury
"He twinged his knee on Wednesday. Then (he was) off practice Thursday and a little bit on Friday. It was during pass rush. He hyper-extended it. It's devastating. He's the man. He's a rally point. He's a leader.
"Let's just coach and get better. We're down to week 11. Let's get our 11th win.
QB Braxton Miller
On the wind factor in today's game
"It played a pretty big effect on the passing game because the wind is so tricky at times. I think it was around 25 miles per hour. I throw a pretty decent deep ball and the last one I threw was five or 10 yards in front (of the receiver), so we tried to focus on short passes."
On the transition from the passing game to a run-oriented game plan
"Yeah, we went back to basics because the passing game wasn't really working. We just handed the ball to Carlos or me and we've got the best offensive line in the Big Ten or the country. Carlos loves running against any type of defense and he just wants to improve himself and play like he has a chip on his shoulder."
RB Carlos Hyde
On his performance in today's game
"It was a long day and we definitely have to improve because we kind of hit a wall. We came out scoring points, but we hit a wall later with a few three-and-outs. Like Coach Martin told us before the game, `We've got to play very, very good.' We came out strong and then hit a wall. Late in the game we started clicking, but we can't hit that wall."
On continuing to improve in the future
"A win is a win, but I'm not pleased with the way we performed today. If we get to where we want to go this year, we have to get better. We can't focus too much on our opponent's records; we just need to focus on what's good for us and that's getting better in practice. We need to play our game no matter who our opponent is."
LB Ryan Shazier
On today's game
"To be honest, I feel like the first quarter we did a good job when we started off 21-0. Then Illinois had a good punt return, which gave them a little bit of momentum to get them back into the game."
On playing with new starters in today's game
"It was a little different because I'm so used to looking and seeing the same guys on the side of me. But we practice with each other and rotate all the time so with those guys in, I felt confident."