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Illinois HC Lovie Smith previews Iowa Hawkeyes during weekly press conference

Here are some quotes from Monday’s media session.

Lovie Smith’s Opening Statement

"It is on to Iowa, a very good football team. If you watched the last game against Michigan you can kind of see what kind of team we're talking about; that we're up against. Excited to play our last home game here, especially for some of our seniors. Senior Day, I mean, that's special. It's a memory that you're going to have of your last time playing out here so we want to send the guys off the right way. In order for that to happen we need to play better football than we did this past week, we understand that. I think we're more of a Michigan State version than last week's game. Wes Lunt, of course, came in the second half. No injuries to report from that game. Hopefully we'll get a couple more guys back, like Jamal Milan, that didn't play this past week."

On QB Wes Lunt's return during the second half of Saturday's Game

"He hadn't played in a while so it was a first time to get back. We'll need to play better this week. As a team we'll need to play better this week. Tough situation, you know, we're down like that but again, you have to have your first time back and he got that out of the way."

On Iowa's Offense

"I think Iowa has an outstanding tailback. They can make you miss in an open field. It seems like each week we've talked about the opponents' tailback, the tailback position and how it's good in the Big Ten; that's definitely the case. I saw commitment to the run; they played hard throughout. Even adversity late in the game, you know, threw a pick at the end of the game, stopped them, made Michigan punt and then got in position to kick the winning field goal."

On Leadership in the Senior Class

"We're appreciative of the senior class as much as anything. The plan was for us to have a better record right now but from what we've gotten from our seniors is what we thought we would get; good leadership. They show up each day, they've allowed us to coach them, wanted to be coached throughout. That's why it's so important that we rise up and play our best ball."

On Looking Ahead

"Where we are right now we can't do much about what's happened in the past but we can play our best ball this week. We're going to do everything possible to see that that happens. You talk each game about finishing strong and that goes with the season too. Whether you're having a great year before or you've been disappointed a little bit in what has happened during the season, you want to finish up a certain way. That's what we have. There's a lot to play for."