INDIANA HEAD COACH Kevin Wilson Opening Statement:
"Illinois has a nice team. They played well. We held them a little bit in the first half on their run and pass, and I thought our defense battled. But, that's a tough offense. Especially on our offense, we didn't help them out. Quarterback-wise, Ed did practice and he probably could have went, but we think he's 90-95 percent and knew we had to scramble and run around, so our thought was instead we're going to go with Dusty. He did actually get a slight, I don't know if you noticed, but a couple passes kind of fluttered, didn't have a lot of zip, and he said he got kind of rolled up, couldn't push off it. That being said, we went with Tre at the end. It wasn't a battlefield demotion so much as Dusty was a little nicked, couldn't put muscle on the ball. It was nice to see Tre make a few plays. But, again offensively that was two weeks in a row with one touchdown at the end in the fourth quarter. I think our defense is battling, but still we're putting way too much stress on them. Good team, tough loss, same story."
On turning points in the first half:
"We had a nice drive across midfield and we had maximum protection and they brought a blitz and one of our linemen went to it to pick up a guy that wasn't his and didn't stay on his guy. They got a sack and a scoop. In the first half, they got 21 points off of three plays. One's a busted coverage, guy blitzes that shouldn't, just one of the young guys made a mistake and that's going to happen some, but we let the guy go free. Another one is on the scoop and score where we busted the maximum protection with the guy making an error, just messed up, shouldn't have, but did. The last one, they make a nice competitive one-on-one play to a good receiver on a guy that's playing good for us. That's 21 in the first half. The one time I thought we could run it down on the third down if we get it down inside the 1-yard line, I was going to go for it for it on fourth down. We caught a play that wasn't designed to be a quarterback pull play, but Dusty thought he could pull it. I think maybe a little bit of our offensive issues were some guy pressing, trying a little too much, didn't trust themselves, didn't trust the scheme, didn't trust the guy besides them. When you're a little out of sync, and you're a competitor and you're getting a little antsy, you're playing outside the framework of the offense. It wasn't a huge mistake, it was a guy trying to do something well. On the 3-yard line, I thought we could cram it down to the 1-yard line, but we pulled and lost a couple. Maybe not the proper play call, but that was the thought and it imploded."
On the pressure of Illinois' defensive line:
"We have to stay patient, stay with the run. They jumped the ball and got some up field pressure, but they're leading the league in sacks and we have to find ways - move in the pocket, quick protection. We tried some things to slow them down, but they didn't work. We'll continue as we move forward in the week to come. Wisconsin has another outstanding defensive line. We're going to see good defensive lines in this league. We need to get an offensive line that can learn how to match that. The team we played had a nice running game, nice velocity with the backs. I did think Stephen Huston picked up today and was running it behind his pads and took two and three and five yards gains and got some positive plays for us. We need to build that. When you're a one-dimensional team, even if you're really, really, really good, you are going to struggle in pass protection. When you're playing young guys who are not as good as you want, you're going to struggle more. I don't know if we lost the game because of sacks as much as they were going to pressure us. But Wisconsin will do the same deal as will the other teams."
ILLINOIS HEAD COACH RON ZOOK Opening Statement:
"We say it all the time, on any given Saturday, anybody can beat anybody in this league. Obviously, Kevin's doing a great job, their staff's doing a great job and they're getting better and better. If you watched their games, they've gotten better every week and they're going to win some games. I really think they've done a good job. We did the things we had to do to win and as I told our guys, we just need to continue to improve and get better. "
"Games are hard to win. I know a lot of times people don't understand that, but they're hard to win and when you get into the Big Ten they're harder and when you get on the road they're even harder. I'm happy for our guys. They came out and even though at times in the third quarter it looked like we're in control, you can't take your foot off the gas pedal. As I told them, we're a good team, but for us to be a great team, you got to do a lot more."
On going down 10-0 early:
"Our guys don't worry about that stuff. They just keep playing and keep doing the things the coaches coach them to do. I think our coaches did a great job. Defensively they did a great job. There were a couple of times in there where the defense had their backs against the wall. We went in there inside the five yard line and held them to a field goal. That's good ball right there. But, that's what it takes to be a great football team. I think you have to have all three phases and we've got to get all three phases hitting on all cylinders and playing at the same time."
On IU returning opening kickoff for touchdown:
"Number one was the kickoff. Line drive. You can't kick like that and we'll get that fixed. We had a couple guys that didn't get where they got to get."
On Whitney Mercilus:
"He's doing exactly what we thought he was going to do. Like I said earlier in the year, you guys are worrying about who we lost, Whitney was our best defensive end at the end of the year last year and he's continued to improve and get better and he didn't have quite as good a game that he did last week but everyone around him played, but once again he continued to play. I think it's important to him. I think when you get guys where it's important to them, it's important for them to be successful, they listen to the coaching. The one thing I've been asked a couple of times, how I compare this team to the '07 team and if there is one comparison, I think it's that the guys are letting the coaches coach them."