Lovie Smith’s Opening Statement
"We were beat by a better football team, we could have played better. We finished the game a lot better than we started it, defensively, the discipline, and gap control, some of those things. Of course, when a team has twice as many plays as you do it's hard to win the football game. We lost to a good football team. It's about moving on, we learn something each week from our ball club. This week, it'll be good to get back and play at home. No major injuries to report from the game, hopefully we'll get the guys that have missed a game, who are continuing to get better, we'll have some of them available. There's nothing to report [injury-wise]. Everybody's getting a little bit better."
On Jeff George, Jr.'s First Start as Illinois QB
"I think it's a typical first game. You know, when you lose a game that way, we didn't have a lot of winning performances. You have to have a first game. Jeff did some good things. We saw a lot of things that we liked. That's a tough environment to have your first start in but if you know him, that's a part of his personality too. He's a confident guy."
On Adapting to Changes in the Offense
"As the offense it's just about doing your job as much as anything. Offensive line, it doesn't matter who the guy is. It's not just the offensive line; it's everybody doing their job. I know it's easier when you have the same group working together but that's not how life normally goes. Just consistent play as a whole, man to man, player to player, that's where we need to do a better job."
On OL Gabe Megginson
"Gabe didn't play last week. We don't base everything on one practice, one game, but we've played enough games now for us to see exactly who our players are. If a guy didn't start the other day, we felt like we had a better option. Connor [Brennan] played pretty good in his spot last week. It's not just Gabe; it's every player. That's what we're going on."
On the Homecoming Game Against Minnesota
"They play good football. Defensively, they play hard. What they do, they do well. Offensively, probably a combination of some of the offenses we've played before, maybe Western Michigan a little bit. They can run a traditional offensive tackle. For us, just knowing what goes into homecoming, what it means, a lot of our people coming back. We as a football team, it'll give us a chance to really see us play. You want to put the best product on the football field as much as anything. We have a lot of distinguished alum and people that really love our university. Part of them, having a successful homecoming weekend, is how their football team performs. That is definitely our plan."