Sept. 30, 2013
Full Press Conference Video | Illinois-Nebraska Gameday Central
Interviews: Cubit | Banks | Scheelhaase | LaCosse | Teitsma
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.
"I'm proud of the way we came out and played. I still challenged the team, after we got inside and the game was over, to continue to work on playing four quarters of football. We're going to have to do that to ultimately be successful in the Big Ten. I thought that the players came out with a passion. You could tell that we had been off for a week and they were ready to play. I guess they were ready to hit a different color. I thought we started out the game the way we wanted to and that was to start fast.
Defensively, I thought we did about the same thing, holding them to a goose egg at halftime and continuing to work on our tackling. I thought our tackling was much better than we evaluated in our first three games, but still has to get better, especially out in the open field.
Offensively, as we talk about that, I thought Coach Cubit called a great game again and was able to get players in position to make a lot of good plays for us and I really enjoyed him after the game because we didn't have to punt. Since I'm in charge of the `Seals,' our punt team, I didn't have to call one play last Saturday, so I thanked him for that.
I thought our tight ends played spectacular. We were able to get them the football in needed opportunities for them. It was great to see Matt LaCosse get in the end zone twice, and JD (Jon Davis), and, of course, a great catch by a six-foot-seven tight end (Evan Wilson), which pays off for you too, having a six-foot-seven tight end. Special teams-wise, again, I was proud of V'Angelo again getting the punt return for us, which enables us to move up a problem area that we had had problems with last year and we had made strides to get better at in the return game, the offensive portion of special teams. We were proud of that. Last, but not least, Tim Russell's play. If you haven't really checked the play out, the snap was a little bit off and he made a great catch on that fake, a one-handed snag, down toward his right kneecap and then he got pressured from the young man that was covering Tyler White, who came in to block off that motion, and Tim got out there and got the ball into JD's hands. Those are things we've practiced and we saw something there, we saw something we needed to do because we needed to get better at doing those things if that opportunities arises again later on in season we need to take advantage of it and try to succeed on the fake field goals and kickoff, the surprise on-sides."
How eager are you to see how the young players will respond to their first road game of the year?
"Very. This is a great place to play a football game. I asked the players last night, before we went out to practice, how many had been in Lincoln and there was maybe two or three kids that stood up. So there haven't been too many. I know there have been some coaches that have been there. Great atmosphere for football and I think it will be a great opportunity for our football team to get better and experience playing on the road at a good place."
On how many players are going on their first true college road game:
"I'm sure some of the guys haven't been on a road trip and that's kind of why we did what we did up in Chicago. And we're doing about the same thing here. We have to leave earlier because it's an 11k o'clock kickoff, but everything that we're doing on Friday is the same regimen as we do here."
On preparing for Nebraska with Taylor Martinez's status uncertain:
"I think Taylor will play. I know there hasn't been an announcement yet. Of course, we watched the San Diego State game with the other two quarterbacks that came in and they played outstanding, so you know whoever is going to be at quarterback has been around Tim Beck's offense and they've been successful doing it because they've been very, very successful - in past years and now - of moving the football."
On what makes Taylor Martinez successful:
"I think he is just a leader. He can run, he's throwing the ball extremely well, I thought. In that offense, I think Coach Beck does a great job with that offense and establishing an offense for him to run because he is a dynamic type of quarterback, run and pass."
On Aaron Bailey winning Big Ten Freshmen of the Week:
"That's great. I did not know that until you just told me. Congratulations to him. He'll be the first person I call when I get out of here and I'll call his dad, too, just like I called Nathan when he won it. That's outstanding and it's well deserving. He's a great young man. Not just a great football player, a great person."
On working Aaron Bailey into the offense:
"We're doing the things that we know that our players can do so that our players can be successful. That's what I think is so good about the offense that we're running and the offensive coaching staff. They're utilizing what our players do well.
On Matt LaCosse's development as a tight end:
"He has done a good job. He really has. It was really his first big year last year; I know he played a little bit prior to that. You can see how he has progressed as a tight end as someone who played quarterback in high school. I think as this season continues, you'll see more of Matt and the ways that he is capable of producing."
Will the defensive line have to be even more disciplined than normal?
"I think it's the whole defense. Their offensive line is returning four starters. We just got done for the last two days watching film on them. And their offensive line is physical, they're big, they can run, they're a good unit. You can tell they've been playing together and you have four seniors standing there. I think they have eight back on offense total and you can see why they were the No. 1 offense, or one of the best offenses in the Big Ten last year, and are ranked there now."