Thanks Tim as always for compiling and posting these.
Postgame Presser Notes: Illinois
Notes from today's postgame. Pictures, etc. coming tomorrow.
On the play where the ball hit the Illinois defender in the back of the head, it popped in the air, and Junior just stayed with the ball.
Everybody excited and smiling in the locker room. Players, coaches, staff, trainers, everybody was happy.
Sense of history with high score? "We really didn't realize it or pay attention. We were just out there playing." Never been part of a game with that level of excitement.
Couldn't really tell what happened to Denard when he went down. "We've got faith in our quarterbacks. Tate came in, he held his own, kept his poise, and drove us into the endzone."
The offense had tension in OT, knowing they didn't have any choice but to score.
Final 2-pointer: "Went inside, broke back out. Tate had me in sight, he threw the ball, and I just caught it." Juggled it a bit, but caught it. Falling down at the end was relief and happiness.
Bowl eligibility? "We didn't really discuss it because we know we've gotta keep going." Each additional win gets them into a better bowl.
On Rountree's day: "I was like 'damn, Roy can we get some?'" Told him to keep doing his thing. It's a team game, and they weren't concerned about him getting all the balls. The players knew from film study that the safeties and corners were going to play a certain way to leave that route open for the slots, and Roundtree took advantage.
When you woke up this morning what did you think? "I'm hungry." Didn't think he'd have a day like this, even though he's been working hard. When the ball comes his way, he has to make the most of his opportunities.
"[The offense] is wide receiver friendly. You know, we all gotta get open." They'll get the ball if they get open. QBs are making the right reads.
First big play: Denard read the safeties, and left him open. The Illini were scared of the run. "Last year, when I got hawked down, I just thought like man, I got the ball, I gotta score. When I saw it wide open like that, I said 'ain't nobody catching me today.'"
On setting a single-game receiving record: "Wow, that's crazy. Just gotta keep working, man. Today was a great day." Not worried about stats. "If we score, we've gotta score again. That's our motto on the offense."
Really not sure how Illinois was playing their D a lot of the time. His covered man was blitzing a lot, giving him 1-on-1s with the safeties.
Was the Illinois defense talking between plays or getting chippy? "We don't really get to hear what they're talking about." The fast tempo offense means no time to listen to the D.
"We can move on anybody. Any quarterback that gets in, that's how it is in practice. We rotate quarterbacks so we get used to all of them. It really wasn't a big deal. Just, if we play like we play, I don't think nobody can stop us."
Proud of the way the guys played. They showed heart and fight with their backs against the wall. "When your back's against the wall, you can go two ways. You can go forward or slump down. I didn't want anybody to slump down, and I don't think anybody did."
Experienced vet of triple OT games. "That's not easy on the heart." Feels good to be up by 8 at the end, but it's hard to make plays on D the longer the game goes. "I've been in triple overtime before. I think it was in the 40s, it wasn't in the 60s." Knew that the team's conditioning and the student section would make the difference at the end.
"We're still growing offensively. Again, we had five turnovers, which usually would kill us." Illinois does a lot of different things defensively, so the O got some new stuff this week. "Sometimes it was a grind, because we didn't get a lot of big runs." The runs helped set up play-action.
Denard was probably hurt on the helmet-to-helmet hit. "Certainly for his safety, you're not gonna put him out there." He had a smile on his face after, but you're going to be careful with a kid going forward. "We'll see where he's at tomorrow and go from there."
WRs made a lot of big plays.
Courtney Avery - "He battled." 3 true freshmen in the secondary, with a redshirt frosh underneath. "That's why I'm so excited about the future. They're playing, the guys that are injured will be back, we're gonna be a whole lot deeper." Glad to see how the young guys played today.
Bowl eligibility - "We talked about it last night." Every win after that elevates bowl status. "Our guys realize that, partilcularly our seniors." Each win going forward is even more important, but "It's been a month or more since we had that good feeling in the locker room."
GERG and Gibby both told him they were bringing the house on the last play. The pressure left a man open for Scheelhasse, but it got to him before he could make a throw. "On that one we sold out. It was a complete sellout and we're fortunate we got some pressure." The defense making a play "that's a perfect ending, in my opinion." Defense won the game for the team at the end.
"It's been a good week. Mr. Brandon and I both talked about that on the way over here. It's been a good week."
When Hemingway caught the tipped pass, Rich thought "we got our lucky break." When Gallon's big gain near the end of regulation was called back, he knew they'd need to catch a break in order to win.
Nothing particular on film they saw that would lead to Roy being open all day. "Last year he caught a long one and got caught." Didn't get caught on the first one today.
"I'm really proud of the way the players have handled everything." They've been ignoring the outside crap, staying focused. Even when they aren't playing the best, they hang together. "That's one of the main reasons we won today, because we talk about being all-in, and our guys are always all-in."
"We came up with some big stops when we had to." Young guys stepped up.
Knowing they had an all-out blitz on the last play, all he thought was "Let's stop 'em. I'll do my part, and I'll trust my teammates to do their part."
They were put in some tough situations defensively, and responded well. "Overall it was a great game on both sides, and we're just excited for the win."
Proud of bowl eligibiity, they were hungry after the past couple years.
On Vinopal's 3rd-and-1 tackle. "Ray. He played a great game. That was a huge stop for us. I was just proud of the way he payed, and same thing with Courtney and all those other young guys." There's still progression being made on D. "Ray's play. That was probably one of the best plays by a safety all year." Courtney had a similar one on the first half.
Huge win, finally bowl eligbilie, still some corrections to be made, but they're continuing to fight. "As long as we continue to fight, we'll be fine."
"The o-line played outstanding. That's one thing, I don't think they've been getting enough credit this year for the way we've been able to run the ball." Mike was just trying to run behind them and make the right reads.
In a game like this "I'm still feeling those hits, but it was well worth it."
Getting the sixth win under their belt allows them to focus on bigger things. It felt good to be able to sing the victors, and to give the home crowd something to cheer for.
At the end, everybody knew the defense was going to be able to get the final stop that they needed.
A triple overtime game is all about will and determination, and the result today just shows how hard they've been working.
When they were turning the ball over during the game, they knew they just had to count on the defense to make the stops (which they did) and be ready to score the next time out.
The team practiced short-yardage situations hard this week, so it was no surprise the defense was able to get the final stop they needed.
This was his first ever overtime game. "It wears on me. I'm a little tired right now."
"That was the craziest game I've ever witnessed, let alone be a part of it."
Being eligible to play in a bowl game: "Oh man. I'm so happy for myself, just to finally get that opportunity, but I've got two more years to still go to more bowl games. I'm more happy for our seniors, they've been fighting so hard."
On his first fumble: "I actually had a touchdown. That's what actually made me mad." His hands were a little sweaty from his handwarmer, and he lost the handle on the ball. He was able to move on though.
Being hit out of bounds in overtime "That hurt. I think I hurt the guy that I hit more than it hurt me though."
The pace of the game made it seem really frantic, even in the overtimes. "We won. You can't be mad about it." Going back and forth so much in overtime keeps you in a rhythm.
"I heard Roy Roundtree had a record day. That's one of my best friends, so I'm real happy for him." Glad that so many different guys got to score today, as well.
Illinois has a very diverse defense. Iowa and Indiana do fewer things, and focus on doing them well, but Illinois throws a lot more at you.
On Hemingway's off-the-helmet catch: "Junior saved me on that one."
Five turnovers are a sign that the team is young. When they start eliminating those mistakes, they'll be a better team for it.
Mike Barwis and his staff do a great job with conditioning. The team's ability to close out in a long game like this one is a credit to those guys.
At the end, "you're just thinking about getting a job done, and winning a football game."
The defensive performance: "We did a lot of different things today that we just put in this week. So the numbers may say otherwise, but guys came out and fought, and we got a win."
Defensive changes "Everybody seemed to take to it fine. You know, if we were playing what we've been playing I still think guys would have taken to it the same way. The coaches obviously felt like we needed to change some things up and they did it, and we got a win today... Just a few schematical changes and moving a couple guys around to different positions, and we had a chance to put a lot more different players in the game this week. Guys took to it."
On Vinopal and Avery: "They played with a lot of confidence, they know that everybody believes in them, and they made some great plays today."
It's great when the defense gets 3-and-outs, but in the end, the win is the most important part.
"This won't be my first bowl, but it's great for the younger guys to experience that, and for me to be here to experience it with them." Every win now is to get to a better bowl. "I felt for the guys the past couple years that couldn't make it."
On the final 2-point conversion, the defensive linemen did a good job flushing the QB out, and Jonas was just there to clean up at the end.
It's great to have Mike Martin contributing again, but Adam Patterson also does his job when he's in there. "Obviously when Mike came back out there he made some plays and he caused some ruckus."
"Mike Barwis and his staff do a great job with conditioning. The team's ability to close out in a long game like this one is a credit to those guys."
When I saw it wide open like that, I said 'ain't nobody catching me today.'
That's my favorite line from the season so far.
Congrats to Coach Rod and all of the Players who have busted their asses during the offseason and all the way up until now. I'm so happy and proud how they have kept fighting, they deserve to go bowling. I'm guessing this gives us some momentum going into the last three games and we will win 2 out of 3, go to a decent bowl and win then big things next year. I love this team!!! Go Blue!
Defense played well in the 2nd half. GO BLUE!
So much humility and looking out for each other. Good for them to earn their way into a bowl.
5 turnovers and we still win. How good can it get. Interesting, that coach says Mr. Brandon. Also, like Tate's confidence about his first play. Man, what a difference one week makes.
He had a right to be confident on that one. Junior was open by 5 yards on Tate's bobbled snap/fumble catastrophy.
Tim, you're the man now, dog.
This team. I love this team. Even in defeat, I love this team. However, life just seems a bit sweeter with a Michigan W on Saturday.
I love this team and their attitude. I just can't wait to see how great they are when their experience and knowledge catches up with their talent and character. This team is going to be deadly!!!
"I was like 'damn, Roy can we get some?'"
"I be like dang, Roy can we get some?"
best postgame quotables ive read in a long long time. goes to prove misery ist always the best fuel for creativity.
Thanks for pulling the graveyard shift to get us the goods, Tim! These guys deserve to win, like Molk said in his rage-fueled presser earlier this week.
should be proud of the way RR is teaching and taking care of them. I know I am. Go Blue!
I thought, "damn, that's the ball game!" SO great that they were able to overcome it and get the signature win.
There were several plays that seemed like "shit, after that we're going to lose, aren't we?" I mean, you're up 38-31 in the fourth quarter of a game that was 31-31 at halftime, you have the ball, should be adding another score, and then bam, no lead. Big play gets called back. Pass gets (seemingly) broken up in end zone. Field goal hooks wide. All these things happen, and yet the team keeps making plays to stay in the game and win.
Maybe they'll "only" be 7-5 or 7-6, but a win like this is still a big win, and you never know what that'll mean for two weeks from now. (I still maintain that Michigan will blow Purdue apart. Yes, they led Wisconsin at halftime, but that's all they had.) If it does go down like that, a two-game winning streak at this point in the season is big, and you never know what'll happen next. There are plenty of examples of that this season already. (Did you know that Texas is currently last in the Big 12 South? Or that only 9 of 66 AQ schools have more losses than Notre Dame?)
And if this team ends up with 8 wins (or maybe even 9), given the way the defense was playing at one point, it'll be pretty damn impressive. I'm not suggesting it'll happen, not until we know the defensive coaching issues have been fixed, but hey, if you'd told me that Illinois would put up 65 today, I would have punched myself in the nuts and burned my DVR. Now I wish I'd added an hour to the game when I set it to record ...
I did the same thing last week, missed the last 8 mins of the game because it stopped recording. I went ahead and added 2hours to this weeks recording just to be safe and I sure as hell am glad I did.
If you go to ESPN3.com, you can see those last 8 minutes -- the entire game can be replayed.
You just never know.
The defense making a play "that's a perfect ending, in my opinion." Defense won the game for the team at the end.
Couldn't agree more. Huge gamble = huge pay-out, and we just about brought the house on that last play. But really, what else could you do? If they make it, then it's 4OT. Still, thank God they didn't. Very ballsy decision, and I loved every second of it.
The RichRod experiment will now live on.
Not too sure about the GERG experiment, but the RichRod experiment will live on.
We can put up 30 points on ANY team (and 60 on some). If we had just a merely bad defense, we're undefeated.
Am I reading too much into this quore or was this the slightest little jab at BK? I don't think it is. I think RR is speaking from the heart, but perhaps the sly dog was quick on his feet......
"Certainly for his safety, you're not gonna put him out there"
you're reading too much into this
RR and BK hate each other, so it's possible. I think it was likely more coach-speak though. Like, "of course you would never endanger a kid with a potential head injury."
That said Crist was freaking concussed and BK putting him out there was irresponsible. If it was a little dig it was justified.
that we have a coach that thinks that way.
Regardless of how they won the game its moments like this that can turn around a season and lets hope they run with this. That was one of the most entertaining games i have been to in years.go blue
This one just felt great on so many levels. Great for the seniors to go bowling after the last two years, great for Tate to come in and do what he did.
I was really happy for the defense and GERG too. I know he gets paid the big bucks so he's open to criticism, but the hate and anger directed his way the last few weeks has got to wear on a guy and his family, whether he reads the internets or not. I don't know whether a different D coordinator would do better with this same group of young guys this year or not but I see a lot of the same types of things on D (young guys getting experience, slowly starting to improve the percentage of plays they can make) as we saw on offense over the last two years. If Robinson or Casteel or someone else is in charge of the defense next year I think they'll have some pieces to work with.
to be able to wake up on Sunday morning and look forward to reading/watching recaps. I particularly enjoy the props given to teammates at the press conference. I love this team.
The game was far from perfect but the defense came out with better intensity the second half and got three consecutive stops (including the missed field goal). They were put in some bad situations with the offense giving it away 5 times, but they held in there, with the final play topping it all off.
I think if we hold on to the faith, we are in for some good thing in years to come.
Clearly a dig at Dantonio. :)
but what makes it funny is that RRod seemed to realize how it would come off and stumbled on his next few words....looked like he was worried about the comment for a second there.
players made plays all day long, which seemed to be lacking in october.
made a great tackle on scheelhefeweizen at about our three (can't recall when) that looked like an easy touchdown. THAT was sideline-to-sideline coverage. He's coming along fast. And something I haven't heard our announcers say all year long that was music to my ears, "Michigan's secondary with good coverage down the field..." Unfreakinbelievable.
Can you imagine if the opposing team didnt start their drives on the 40-50 yd line every drive? Or if we had 0-1 turnover's? We could be dangerous. Let's get it done at Purdon't next week!
That's exactly what I've been thinking. If we didn't have any turnovers, that would eliminate the 10 or 17 points that Illinois had off of ours. And then, what if we actually created some turnovers and got some points off of those. Very dangerous indeed.
that we're going bowling! We also have 2 wins in the Big Ten now, and I would like to end up 4-3 this year. I don't think that OSU or Wisc will be able to score as many points as we can. I think one of those two games will be a loss, but the other we will simply run away with. 9 wins this season would be so big, it's hard to put into words. Hell, even if the wheels come of the car we are still bowling.
This win is also huge, HUGE for recruiting. It will help us fight off all the other teams who will tell players that RR will be gone and they won't be needing a certain type of player any longer. I also think defensive guys will realize they can come right in and start, so that would be a plus. Go Blue!!!
Sorry to rain on your parade. I know it's natural to be excited, because a win is a win, whether it's 67-65, or 7-6 right? But don't yous guys find it a little bit troubling that the offense had to score that many points to win? Yikes! Even 45 all at the end of regulation...
I think RichRod's job is safe after becoming bowl eligible, but do yous guys think Robinson's job is secure?
Yes - bowl eligible keeps him safe this year, we return almost the whole offense next year, plus all freshman seconday + injured players coming back should be better next year, should make bowl eligibility easy next year. M is not the SEC, we give coaches time, remember we gave Amaker 6 years w/o an NCAA bid.
Giving up 45 points is not something to be happy about, but the D overcame alot. 5 turnovers and bad field position on kickoffs are alot to overcome. And if you watched the games this year, the D looked improved over the last couple of weeks. Many new, young players stepped up which leads to the excitement. Can we beat OSU with our D, maybe not, but prior to this week, it was definitely not. Is GERG safe, not so suire.
This is the type of win that can turn a program around. Now with RR's job safe for another year (likely 2+ with the talent returning next year) - the commitments should start flowing in as well.
How much class did RR should in not putting Denard out there with concussion risk? Going with your backup in a critical, close game shows he cares about his kids. Most coaches (esp Dantonio who put kids with actual concussions out there, or B Kelly w/ Crist this year) would not have done that. This does not get called out enough.
I've said it before, for RR to not ride Denard into the ground this year shows his class. That alone is enough reason to bring him back.
Even though I have the game on DVR and have watched it again - i can't wait for the instant classic replay and getting to watch this game re-broadcast years to come. It's amazing what such a win can do to change all of our perspectives! I hope Denard is okay - i think he played a fantastic game even given those misfortunate picks
but I did replay the interviews. So nice to see those guys allowed to smile. While still being Team, happy for their teammates, as are we all. (Okay, maybe I did replay the highlights too.)
But didn't see the Mouton interview. Was it added later? Anyone have the link? Tim? Boyz?
and also that penn state loss is not looking as bad for this defense. matt mcgloin came in against northwestern and was 18 for 29 with 4 TD's in 35 minutes of playing time... Im excited for the future of this program
I'd like to see G. Robinson take a few questions in a press conference. It would be nice to get a sense of what he's thinking, in general... Might even by good for his image if he could come out and gave some clear, level-headed answers about what's going on with the defense.
LOL. Great line. I hope Roundtree wakes up hungry every Saturday this month.