clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Lovie Smith Postgame Press Conference: Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Minnesota Gophers

Here’s what the head coach had to say following Saturday’s 40-17 loss.

Lovie Smith’s Opening Statement

"As far as a great Homecoming weekend as a football team, it’s hard to win when you start off that way. I’m putting a big emphasis on trying to get momentum early on in the game and those turnovers early on, those fumbles, put us in a hole. When you’re not a good football team yet, it’s hard to overcome adversity like that. I think offensively, Jeff did some things better than he did the week before, he was under a lot of pressure. We were never really able to get our running game going, which hurt us. Defensively, the guys played hard. When you’re minus three in the turnover ratio, they got something. 'No takeaways,' is a thing for us, it’s a tough duty to win. Injury wise, it’s always concerning when a player goes off on a cart or stretcher but Malik Turner will be okay, he’s in the locker room right now. We had some other players that went down with injuries; I’ll be able to let you know a little bit more details later in the week. Wes Lunt, questions have been asked about him, he is getting better. He’s dressed so that’s progress. At the same time, you have to give Minnesota a lot of credit. They caused the turnovers early on and hung in there and got a win. Again, we aren’t there yet but we will keep plugging away."

On the injuries this season

"You adjust based on what you have and we realize we have injuries right now."

On younger players playing

"It’s not like we are trying to be in 'play young guys' mode, we are still playing the players we feel give us the best opportunity to win and some freshmen have just got that opportunity."

On what he tells recruits

"I think most recruits are looking at how they fit into the team next year and I think a lot of recruits see that they have an opportunity to play a little bit sooner than they would at other places so hopefully that sells it."