Lovie Smith’s Opening Statement:
"It's a lot harder coming here after a loss than a win but there's a lot of football left in the season. We, like most people, set up our season by the quarters. We have a chance to finish up 2-1 in the first quarter and we have to get back to that. We didn't play well enough this past Saturday to win, simple as that. We had a perfect stage to take a step, maybe a little bit quicker than we were ready to take but we will learn from this video. We already have things we have to improve. We'll get back on this situation and be able to handle it a lot better. We get that opportunity right away. Western Michigan is a good football team; a good, undefeated football team that has beaten a Big Ten opponent. They put a lot of points on the board last week. Again, looking at our schedule before the season started, you knew that this would be one of those games, which will truly measure how far we've come, and that will be the case."
"We did have a couple injuries from the game; the guys are getting better. Just as a general rule I won't be talking about injuries early in the week. You know, all of our players are getting better. It's simple as that. Our best players had to play that week, that way each game we play. Some of our role players have to take on their roles a little bit better but, again, as I said, we'll move on from that game. We learned an awful lot."
On Western Michigan's offense:
"I think offensively they have a system that they believe in and I saw them running that system [against Northwestern]. Part of their system, of course, there's option involved. They have excellent running backs. They have great skill at the wide receiver position. When you have all that you can end up having 70 points on the board any given Saturday so it'll be a big challenge for our defense."
How collegiate players deal with a loss compared to NFL players:
"I don't think there is a difference. I think that when you're there at the moment loss is a loss. NFL losses feel a certain way for NFL players when you all are there; college losses feel the same way. Believe me, I've experienced losing at all different levels and they feel the same. Our guys were disappointed. I think after loss you can't wait to watch the video, get back on the practice field and then play another game."
On fixing penalties:
"First you identify it [what was done wrong]; show them the reasons why you can't. Most of the time guys see why they can't afterwards. Very few guys don't feel bad about a mistake they've made costing the team through a penalty."
On what is motivating the team going into Saturday's game:
"We don't need a lot of motivation. We lost this past week and that's the motivation enough for us to play a better game. I don't see the University of Illinois being underdogs to many people here at home."