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.
"Good afternoon, I just wanted to start off the press conference in saying how proud I am of not just the veteran football players of this football team but also the bunch of young freshmen that stepped in. In my opinion, to be able to play in your third game of your football season and step in there in their first opportunities and play the way they were capable of playing, I'm very proud of the way they not only played on Saturday, but as a football team how we prepared Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to get our football team better. I'm very, very proud of the way they played; the challenge, as I told them last night when we were out there on the football field at Memorial stadium here, is to learn how to win and to learn how to respond to winning. Those are the things that we need to do as a football team to be ready to play a very, very good football team here on Saturday night in Louisiana Tech."
On playing against an up-tempo offense:
"(They play) Very fast, I think they got 101 snaps in against Houston, not quite as many against Rice. They do a tempo-type offense, they'll stay in the same formation and run certain plays out of that formation, and then bring in a whole set of new backs and wide receivers. Coach Dykes has done a great job and they have a senior-laden football team that is able to do these things, so we're going to have to respond, keep it as simple as we can and play Illini football."
Did Nathan Scheelhaase practice Sunday?
"He was out there; he's progressed about the same, to be honest with you. He's looked good on both Sundays, really, but we're not going to put Nathan out there until he can better this football team and he is feeling good about the way he is capable of playing."
Are you confident in your defense against a fast-paced team?
"Yeah, there's no question. It still comes down to tackling. I think that Louisiana Tech - in watching the two football games that they had - I'm figuring it right know, I don't know how many yards after contact those running backs and wide receivers had, but it was tremendous. They were making a lot of people miss. They're third in the country right now in scoring. They've scored 14 touchdowns in 14 (red-zone) possessions. Right now they're No. 1 in the red zone in the country for scoring."
On the late start time:
"We can only control what we can control. The things that we do on a night football game are things that we have experienced throughout the years as being a head football coach and playing night football games. We'll have walkthroughs over here at Memorial Stadium on Saturday, they'll be able to get treatment. Those are the things that we'll do. We'll utilize the same philosophies that we've had with night football games and getting them ready."
On the younger players' performances:
"I think Mason (Monheim) definitely showcased himself throughout two-a-days and proved to not only the coaching staff but the team that he had the capabilities of being a good linebacker. He jumped in there and started his third football game as a college football player, so that speaks highly about him. (Plus) V'Angelo Bentley, Justin Hardee, Dami Ayoola, those are four guys that ended up playing quite a bit of ball for us this last week that are true freshmen. As you look at our depth chart, we have some youth there on our depth chart. There's no question about it."
For full video of Beckman's press conference, click here.