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QUOTABLES: Lovie Smith talks first win, Nebraska week

Can the Illini make it 2-3 this weekend?

NCAA Football: Illinois at Rutgers Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports

The Illini have their first win in over a year, and are looking to make it two in a row against Nebraska this week.

Here’s what head coach Lovie Smith had to say:

On team’s players of the week

  • Isaiah Williams (offense), Jake Hansen (defense) and James McCourt (special teams)
  • It’s nice to see the Big Ten sees it the way we do.

On the quarterback situation

  • What I see is that we have our starting quarterback who’s been out, and he’s available this week.
  • What I also saw is what our other quarterback was able to do this week.
  • I would say we have some good options going in to this week.
  • As a head football coach, all decisions go through me.
  • Brandon (Peters) can practice when the team practices.
  • No one has cycled through quarterbacks more than we have.


  • Will continue to monitor (Alex Palczewski)
  • He’s (Milo Eifler) getting better... we don’t know what his availability will be this week.
  • He (Jamal Woods) is getting better.

On the defense

  • If you take away those plays we did a lot of good things throughout the day.
  • We played hard.
  • We want guys that do have flexibility.
  • It was improved (pass defense)

On individual players

  • Khalan (Tolson) is a smart player with athletic ability
  • We’ve asked him (Tolson) to do a lot.
  • Jake Hansen has played better there (outside linebacker)
  • I think wherever you put him he’s gonna make plays
  • (Chase Brown has) been patient with his entire time here, having to sit out all year last year. You got a chance to see what we’ve seen behind the scenes.
  • Height and weight are overrated.
  • I think it’s a new day of what the quarterback position looks like. Its a smart, athletic guy, who can throw the football but he makes you miss in the open field... And we have a guy.

On the win against Rutgers

  • I think you can say its a turning point when you lose three and then win one on the road when you’re being down 10 points.

On Nebraska

  • It’ll be a big challenge for us this week.
  • They have a good offense that put up a whole lot of yards against us (last year).
  • We have an opportunity to put two wins together.
  • We’re looking to take another step this week, we’ll have to.