“Again, as I start off as I always do, credit goes to Michigan State. I think Coach Dantonio has got a very good football team, very good defense. I’ve been around college ball a long time and they have got a very, very good defense personnel and do a great job with their defense. I’m disappointed, no question. One, it was Homecoming. I think we started out fast but we, again, didn’t capitalize on some of the things that we needed to. Of course, if you look at the first quarter, the things like the turnover were huge in the first quarter for us. We had a holding on a touchdown that was called back. Again, you can’t do those types of things when you’re playing people like that. I was proud of the goal-line fumble recovery by our defense. You go into the second quarter, they’ve got the ball on the inch-yard line. We’ve got to score, we don’t score, and then they drive it 99-and-a-half yards for a touchdown. We’ve got a couple third-down situations that we get out of if we don’t get a penalty. We have a penalty and they end up scoring on a tipped ball. I think it was tipped twice, at least. But we came out in the second half and didn’t play the way that I really believe we’re capable of playing. I said to this football team, I brought the seniors out to the middle, and said that we’re going to do whatever’s possible among this football family that we have to make sure that these seniors leave these last five football games proud of what they’ve accomplished. We’re 3-4 right now. We’re 0-1 in the third quarter. We’ve got two games that are on the road against Penn State and Indiana and we better be ready to play against a good Penn State football team.”
On the play at the end of the first half:
“Because of the maturity of the football team, being a young football team, it took a little breath out of them, but the game is 60 minutes and four quarters. We did not play well for four quarters, especially in the second half.”
Where do you go from here?:
“You’ve got five games left. We’re 3-4; we’re not 0-7. We’ve felt success. I believe in every one of these football players that we have. Our job as a coaching staff and as a football team and everyone involved in this family is to move forward and know we’ve got ourselves getting ready for a Penn State football team.”
Is there anything positive you can take away from this game?:
“The second half, no, probably not much out of the second half, to be honest with you. The first half, you have to score. We can’t have a penalty to negate a score. You can’t not score when the ball is inside the 5 yard line. You’ve got to score touchdowns. We have got to do that as an offensive football team. We can’t let teams drive 99 yards and have stupid penalties. You just can’t do that. The last three teams (we’ve played) have only lost one Big Ten game. They’re pretty good football teams. When you’re playing that caliber, you have got to be striking on all chords.”
On Ryan Lankford:
“Honestly, I think he’s probably out for the season (shoulder). We are not for sure right now. To be honest with you, after seeing it, he’s probably gone for the year.”
“I think he will be a big loss. He’s one of our true deep threats. I know how Ryan is and I know what Ryan’s beliefs are for this football team and he’ll have to lead us now by not playing. He’ll still be there; he’ll still be getting the guys ready. It’s tough anytime you lose a starter like that, but that’s football. The next guy has got to step up and be ready to go. Just as we lost Bentley, Dunlap has got to step up. That’s just the game of football.
How do you keep a game like this from happening again next week?:
“You have to be positive. I made the team promise the seniors to do everything that they could do to get better and that’s all you ask. We made some silly mistakes at the corner position. I know just from watching those corners play. They’re young and they have got to have this experience. We need to take the next challenge and move forward and that’s just not the game of football, that’s everything.”
All quotes are from fightingillini.com.
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