“To start off, [Ohio State] is a good football team. No question about it. They’ve got some skilled athletes, very well-coached. I thought our players battled to the dang end; they never came up short, they continued to fight. Probably the last three or four minutes, as I told them, were disappointing times but proud of the way they competed and proud of the way this coaching staff coached it. We’ve got two remaining football games and we want our seniors to leave winners and to win that football game that is necessary for them to get this losing streak done. They’ve worked extremely hard.”
On the overall performance of the offense
“I thought that other than the miscues we had with the interception for a touchdown and the safety, I thought they performed well. Steve Hull and those guys performed well and guys continue to make big plays. Ferguson and all of them. They’ve got good things that they’re doing and they’re giving up those big plays again that just bite us, but I was proud of the way this football team played.”
On what the resilience today showed about the team
“I think they’ve been that way this whole football season and I continue to tell them that and that’s why it’s so disheartening when they don’t get that victory because they’re fighting to the end, there’s no question about that. I tell them that I’m proud of the way they continue to fight because through adversity good things will come, if you continue to fight, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.”
On how he is able to motivate the team during these struggles
“In all honesty, it’s not that hard. It’s because of these seniors and young kids. They’re fighters. Nobody likes to lose. This coaching staff does a great job and these players do a great job and, as I always say, when you come into this facility you get fired up for it because you’ve some great players and great kids and great coaches that surround yourself, so we’ve got to get that win – there’s no question about it – but I’m proud of the way these kids are fighting.”
On the goals for the rest of the season
“I want these seniors [to be] successful and to get that monkey off their back, get that victory, and we still have two opportunities to get that victory. We still have two trophies left to play for and it’s kind of ironic that those things are still left for us to play for and that’s exactly what we’ll play for. We’ll take one at a time and get ourselves ready to go for West Lafayette.”
On the performance of the offensive line
“A couple of sacks here and there, but I thought we ran the ball well. I thought that (Josh) Ferguson and Nathan (Scheelhaase) both had close to 100 yards. We’re continuing to get better. It hurts not having Simon [Cvijanovic], always will, but we have to play who we’ve got. I thought Jake Feldmeyer came in, and I thought Austin Schmidt played well for us, and Joe Spencer. Those were the guys that had to step up for us when we lost Simon. I thought those three stepped in and played well.”
On V’Angelo Bentley’s punt return for a touchdown
“Any time you have a play like that, it’s going to spark what you’re doing.”
All quotes are from fightingillini.com.
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