Lovie Smith’s Opening Statement
"It's good to be back from the bye week. You get to your bye week and have some things you want to get accomplished, I feel like we did that on the practice field. Get guys healing up as much as you possibly can and then try to get things straight based on what had happened in the previous three games. I feel like we were able to touch on that. Recruiting wise, this has been my first chance to actually get out and represent our University so that was all good. You also get refreshed and can't wait to get back on the practice field and get back to playing the game. We're excited about playing a very good, undefeated Nebraska team this week. Of course, they won against the team up north this past weekend. It's a chance for us to go on the road for the first time so there's a lot going on this week with us. I feel like we'll be in pretty good shape injury wise. There are some things that we need to get corrected and just play better football."
On starting the recruiting process later in the season
"You know, I didn't know my wife before I met her and we seemed to click just like that [laughing]. I think there's a special place for everybody whether you've known that for a long period of time or if you get there a little bit later in the game. I think it comes to life as much as anything. This is when we're starting. I think the other part of the message is to be a part of the foundation, the ground floor and we'll go forward. The message is that the University of Illinois is a great place for an athlete to come to school. You get the experience you'll have on our football team, how we do things. Our coaches were out so I feel like we flooded the country as much as we could seeing who will be available for us. As a recruit I think now they at least know what we're going to do, all three phases and see how they would fit into that [1-2 start]. About as good of a response as you would hope you would get is what we did get."
On what the team accomplished during the bye week
"You try to hit on all phases of your game; special teams, of course the offense, defense. We've given up some big plays; we haven't made enough big plays on the other side of the ball. [We're] just really tightening the bolts on who we want to be. Not just in one area, it was all of us looking in the mirror. I think it's pretty obvious on what we need to do better; that's what we concentrated on."
On handling current social issues as a coach
"In society in general, there's things going on always. We address where our players should be as much as anything and what they should do in certain situations. This is what I tell our team as a whole: I want them to be involved in their community and what's going on in their world. If there's something that someone feels strongly about, I assume they will let everyone know that. We're constantly teaching on how we do things, but I don't specifically tell guys what to say and what not to say."