Ron Zook Weekly Press Conference Quotes

Oct. 18, 2011

Full Press Conference Video

Tuesday Interviews: OC Paul Petrino | DC Vic Koenning | DE Whitney Mercilus | FB Jay Prosch | TE Evan Wilson

Head coach Ron Zook met with the media at his weekly press conference on Tuesday. Selected quotes are below. For the full video of the press conference, please click the link above.

Opening statement:
"Ok, basically a challenge this week, a challenge that we haven't faced so far this year: see if we can bounce back. I can't ask for any more than what they've done up to this point. Including Sunday and yesterday ¬- both in practice and in meetings - and this morning, I really like how the locker room is, I like how they're acting and I like how they're responding. They understand that all our goals are still in front of us and what we've got to do is just go play. Also, Purdue is going to present a big test for us. We got to go in there and play the way we're capable of playing."

On bouncing back from the loss to Ohio State:
"Well, I mean, they realize that they didn't play probably the way that, you know, they wanted to play and could have played. As I told them - I said it even after the game and I told them in the locker room - when you watch that [film], you're going to be sick because we didn't maybe perform, for whatever reason, the way that they had been. So I think we learn from that and we go on."

On Purdue's football team:
"Well, they do some things differently. Probably schematically, it would be very, very similar to Arkansas State with Big Ten players. You know, they're a balanced attack, I mean they're 200 (yards) rushing, 200 (yards) throwing - or basically. So a lot of underneath stuff, screens and things like that, although they will go deep. Their running back is a very, very good running back that Vic (Koenning) tried to recruit when he was at, I think, Clemson or wherever it was and we tried to recruit him here. I mean, (he's from) Charlton County right down there, right on the other side of the Florida border. Really good back, you know he was hurt last year, but he's back. He's had a little hamstring issue earlier, but he's playing extremely well. Elusive guy, tough guy, a guy that, you know, is playing well."

On Purdue's offense and QB Caleb TerBush:
"A big kid, that's really kind of come into his own. I mean, he was ineligible last year, but he's back this year and playing well. Doing the things that they're asking them to do. You know, as I said, they run a lot of underneath stuff and so forth, but on the same token, they will take their shots and throw it downfield. That's a good offensive staff; those guys do a good job. Danny's been an offensive coach, since I've known him, anyway. I know when he was at Eastern Kentucky, he was an offensive guy. But the thing that they're doing, in my opinion, is they're doing a great job of doing the things that their players do well."

On Illinois WR Darius Millines playing against Purdue:
"I think so, he was running around out there last night and today. And I think, once again, we're trying to be smart with him, but he was catching the ball and running and doing stuff that - right now he does not have any pain or anything like that. But they've got like a brace - not a brace, but a splint in his shoe and they've got to kind of keep cutting it down and working it until it's comfortable. But I was very pleased with the way he ran last night and this morning I thought he was even better."

On Millines bringing more firepower to the offense:
"Well I mean he's another guy, I think probably, and Coach Petrino would probably say this also, I think a lot of times, you know that game, maybe Saturday, we kind of stood back and waited on Nathan or A.J. to make the plays. But we've got other players in that offense who can make plays. I know one thing, Darius can make plays, as can Spencer, as can we in the running game, as can the tight ends. I think that's the one challenge that I'm sure that - or I know - the offensive coaches have put on those guys, is that `Hey, there's enough players, we can all make plays just don't wait on A.J. to do it or Nathan to do it.'"

On whether Ohio State did things differently than Illinois expected:
"I don't think so, you know, Ohio State did what they do. And you know, once again, I think the biggest thing is that we maybe sit back instead of going out there - I don't want to say we played tight, but we didn't play the way we're capable of playing and that's the thing that we've got to learn from. You know, sometimes you want something so bad and - maybe we put too much pressure on them, I don't know.

On taking care of the Illini before taking care of the opposition:
"You know, once again, I think it's imperative that we take care of us. I don't think there's any question, I don't care if we're playing the Green Bay Packers, it's imperative that we get ourselves back in that swing. What I first said when I came here was that, you know, it's something new, it's the first time this year that we've had to bounce back and I don't know that I could ask for anything more than what we've gotten in the last two days and the way the locker room is as well."

On Illinois RB Jason Ford's status:
"Jason, Jason, he practiced - did everything - today, we kind of kept him away from contact and people running into him, but now he's going to have to have contact tomorrow. He's, you know, I said something to him during stretch this morning and he said, `I'll be fine.' So, I mean, he feels like he's OK."