Tim Beckman met with media on Monday.
Nov. 18, 2013
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.
"When you're playing the No. 3 football team, you can't fall down like we did, but we did fall down and that's the fact, and we all saw it as a fact. But what this team did do is they got back up and continued to fight and fight enough that with four minutes and fifty-three seconds left in the game, we were only down 12 points. And they were fighting back from trainers to managers to coaches to players; everyone on the sidelines including former players who were on that sideline and were very into that football game and trying to do whatever they could to make it a success for the Fighting Illini. I am very proud of the fact that this coaching staff, this football team and everyone involved in this program is fighting and the words Fighting Illini come about every time we step out on the field. That is one thing I want to stress, no it's not a win, and we're battling, and we're trying, and we're doing everything we can to get these seniors to experience a victory in the Big Ten. We've got two opportunities left and that's exactly how we're looking at it. We have one this weekend in West Lafayette against Purdue and then, of course, we have the rivalry down here at Memorial Stadium. Our players are very excited about moving this program forward; I think we have and I think we will fight and strive to get that first win in the Big Ten."
On whether there is a different set of expectations when playing Purdue as opposed to Ohio State:
"It has nothing else to do with anything other than doing what we need to do to be successful. Our team has not experienced that yet and that's something that you, as a coach, continue to push on them. If we do what we can control we'll have a chance to win a football game."
On the media noticing Illinois' improvement this year:
"I hope so. On behalf of this coaching staff and football team, what they've done to make this program better. We are competitive. It comes down to winning and losing, we all know that, but this football team has become competitive and they're competitive in everything they do. It's not about first downs and touchdowns; it's about everything they do. It's amazing, there are some things that you guys don't even know about that this football team is doing to make sure this family is as close as it can be. It's about possibly bringing a father up for a football game that hasn't seen his son play that we're not allowed to do, but our players are. So it's their willingness to help the family and go to the help of others. It's amazing to be around these kids. They are very resilient and they are very dedicated to the process and to the team."
On his relationship with Purdue head coach Darrell Hazell:
"A great relationship. Darrell [Hazell] coached the wide receivers and I coached the defensive backs (at Ohio State in 2005 and 2006), so you can imagine how that went everyday doing the one-on-one drills together. Just an outstanding person, outstanding human being, a great coach, did a great job at Kent State and reestablishing that program so my hat goes off to Darrell; Darrell is a great guy."
On the possibility of Steve Hull making it in the NFL:
"Steve Hull is a very determined individual. I know this, that the intelligence that you need to play on the defensive side of the ball for so many years and then move to the offense and be able to rout-run. Everybody takes for granted [the ability] to go run a 10-yard speed-out. That just doesn't come about all the time. That shows some things for a young man. I sure hope he gets the opportunity. He's going to have to stay healthy, that is his biggest fault, but if he does that, why wouldn't you give a young man like that an opportunity."
On his assessment of the offensive line against Ohio State:
"As a group, we gave up too many sacks no, no question about that, but to play against the likes that they've played against this year with the way Ohio State is playing defense, the way Michigan State is playing defense, and now the way Wisconsin is playing defense, I think they've really stepped up their game. You can see a remarkable difference. A.J. Ricker has done a phenomenal job. And then guys have stepped in. Jake Feldmeyer, to come in and be involved with that type of defense and to do what he did, did an awesome job to come in and replace a hurt Simon [Cvijanovic]."
On the defensive progression:
"We're getting better, but the numbers aren't anywhere (near where) you want them to be. There were things that were happen. On the last two plays they scored on us, we were trying to do too much. They see something and instead of staying in their gap, they try to overmatch the play and we end up getting hurt on it. That happened on those two 50-yard runs that [Carlos Hyde] had."