Sep 9, 2013
Full Press Conference Video | Illinois-Washington Gameday Central
Interviews: Cubit | Banks | Brown | Osei | Scheelhaase
Head coach Tim Beckman met with the media at his weekly press conference on Monday. Selected quotes are below. For the full video of the press conference, please click the link above.
"Just would like to start off saying I'm very, very proud of this football team, not only the way they played but the way they prepared. This family, that's what we tend to talk about it as is a family, won that football game this past Saturday on their preparation on Monday through Friday. The coaching staff, the players, the commitment to making the family the best that we can make it. I can't be more proud of the way they came out and performed, I'm very excited. I think the couple keys to the game was not necessarily the plays being made, but the effort especially on a couple of those third-down situations. We were 3-of-6 when you take the third-down situations and it's third-and-seven-plus and so to be 50 percent on third-down-and-seven-plus is outstanding, that usually doesn't come about. They were 1-of-7 on third down with seven-plus yards to go. A lot of those plays made were effort plays: a wide receiver pushing to get three more yards, a quarterback being patient and seeing it open up to get the ball to him. It's the protection that's lasting for our players to make plays. It's a defense that makes a big stop on a third-down-and-long situation or even in a goal-line situation. When you look back at those parts of the game, yeah, we know it was 45-17, but there was a lot of reasons for that and the reasons were definitely because of the preparation that this team provided for themselves Monday through Friday."
On receiving votes in both the AP and coaches' polls:
"I wasn't even aware. We're just worried about one game at a time and we know we get the opportunity to play a very good football team in Washington and that's all we're worried about right nowl, Tuesday, and then Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and of course, Washington."
Have you noticed more excitement since Saturday?
"I'm sure after this win that there's more, but again, we are very, very focused on what we need to accomplish and how we need to get better. This football team is really driven in that direction and I can say it's from the senior class down to the freshmen. They are all very aware of what we have and how we need to get better."
On the fourth-and-goal play by Earnest Thomas:
"Yeah, Mike Svetina did a great job on that play, also. They, of course, play-faked it and Mike got out to the receiver, also. You're right about Earnest, Earnest was able to come in there, defeat a block and hold himself right there on the one-yard line, and then V'Angelo Bentley came off the side, too, so there were three that were really, really involved in that. And it looked like V'Angelo's knee caused that (ball) to be out before the goal line. Looking at it, of course, I'm a little biased because it was us, but I thought it was a good call and the way we saw it on film, and the way we saw it on the sidelines and in the press box that that was going to be the call."
On creating depth on the defensive line:
"Well, I think it's needed. We need to make sure that we're playing players. I know that at the outside linebacker and star positions, we played six players this last ballgame. Smoot got in there as a freshman, Finney was back so we got Finney to be the STAR along with B.J. Bello and Mike Svetine. Inside, we've got Teko Powell, who will continue to get better and better with more reps. Remember, he was not redshirted, so he's just a sophomore and didn't play a whole bunch of reps last year. Austin Teitsma and Jake Howe continue to provide stability, then you've got to get Bain in there and you try to improve the defensive front each game."
On the difference in the running game:
"Again, I think that [the SIU game] was the first opportunity to play under this system of Coach Cubit's and as we perform, we get better each week. I think as you look at, we really hit them with some outside runs early in the Cincinnati game. Which, of course, with the pass success we were having, of course stretches the defense a little bit more. In all, as a head football coach as I look at that film, I think our offense did a great job of utilizing different looks and being able to establish the pass really first before that run really became effective."
On the leadership the team has shown:
"These seniors do a great job of making everyone lead. They're not just the only ones voicing opinions on how things need to be played or how this program is moving forward. They spread the word to others on our football team that can be leaders that are younger, and because we are a young football team, they've been able to capitalize on that and spread the news to everyone to become leaders."
On the improvements the wide receivers have made:
"I think (receivers coach) Mike Bellamy's done a fabulous job with those guys. When you have some good athletes, you can get big-headedness. That room does not have that. They all want to be successful, so you definitely see that from all, especially having that many seniors."
On playing at Soldier Field:
"Not everybody gets to do this. I think it's a phenomenal opportunity for any student-athlete to go in and say they got to play a college football game in the Orange and Blue at Soldier Field. I know this is one of things we want to continue to do as a program because it's a unique experience, an experience that college football gives a young man and it just happens to be in our state and in one of our cities, so we're excited about going up to Chicago."
On Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux:
"Coach (Tim) Banks went there (to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana) after the football game because Coach Banks had much to do with Munchie's recruitment and we were happy to hear that everything came out successful with it and we were happy to hear that he was heading back to Cincinnati yesterday, so we wish him the best as a football team because this game is about the student-athlete."