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Lovie Smith Week Four Quotables

Check out what Lovie had to say ahead of Big Ten Conference play starting

NCAA Football: Eastern Michigan at Illinois Patrick Gorski-USA TODAY Sports

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Eastern Michigan handed Illinois its first loss on Saturday, in a 34-31 contest on Saturday. Lovie Smith met the media Monday afternoon to recap the week three loss, and preview the conference opener against Nebraska this week, here’s what he had to say:

On the loss:

“Disappointment from this last game. no other way to put it. We thought we were ready to take another step... Didn’t really see that coming. Don’t want to say we didn’t see it coming, we knew we were playing a good EMU team.”

“When you score 31 points, that should give you a chance to win the game. Penalties and turnovers hurt. That leads us to the defense. Gave up too many points, too many big plays, particularly the passing game.”

“I thought throughout we were able to move the ball offensively, penalties hurt us.”

“There are a lot of guys to get the ball to.”

“One of the things we did do well this past week was third down defense. It wasn’t perfect.”

“Ricky Smalling played excellent football.”

On the overall record:

“One of our goals was to finish 3-0 in the non-conference schedule. But a 2-1 record says how we played. Played two very good offensive games, two very good defensive games. Which led to this record.”

On the quarterback situation:

“ Brandon’s our quarterback. We weren’t going to put Isaiah in. There are some things that didn’t go the way they wanted to. I like the way Brandon led us back to tie the score to give our team a chance to play.”

“Having a veteran quarterback who has made starts in the Big Ten helps a lot.”

“(Brandon Peters) a Big Ten quarterback and we’re gonna need him to play his best Big Ten game this weekend.”

On Injuries and suspensions:

“Tony Adams is getting better.”

“(Lere Oladipo) is still suspended from the team indefinitely.”

On Big Ten Conference play:

“The real season starts right now, when you get into Big Ten play.”

“Our main goal is to win the Big Ten Championship. That starts this week.”

On Nebraska:

“They beat us pretty good last year, we know they are an outstanding football team. They present a lot of challenges for us.”

“ I can’t say this one (Nebraska) is any different than it was before. The importance of this game was the same as it is now. It is about Big Ten play for us. In an ideal world, you want to open Big Ten play at home.”

“We will have to defend the run just as well as the pass next week.”

“We have a game plan that we feel very confident in.”

“There’s something to be said about primetime and having the opportunity to play in front of more people. Most football players would tell you they love playing primetime games.”