On Saturday, Illinois lost 14 players due to Covid-19 tests and contact tracing, and then lost to Purdue 31-24.
Here’s what head coach Lovie Smith had to say:
- We don’t have a whole lot of positives but we have enough with contact tracing to hurt our team a little bit.
- The players we missed this week will be out this weekend as well.
- No more positive tests for us.
- We can’t afford another group of players to go out.
- No symptoms really (For Illini who are positive).
- I think there are three total right now that are [COVID] positive.
On the offense:
- We had a lot of yards.
On Coran Taylor:
- I thought Coran [Taylor] came in and did some good football.
- Forth team quarterback doesn’t get any (Reps)
- If you talk to Coran, you know he has confidence in himself. Now it is about correcting the mistakes he made.
On the defense:
- There were some good things, but not good enough.
- Defensively, I thought we did some things better ... we have to play better pass defense than that.
- I thought we defended the run well.
- We liked a lot of things (from the D-line).
- We took the balls away a couple of times, had a fourth down stop...there is hope, we did some good things.
- I saw improvement from game one to game two.
- We haven’t played well. Expect to see those guys play better this week, and they will. (Secondary)
On the election/ having practice cancelled to vote:
- All of our guys who haven’t voted yet, will be voting tomorrow.
- I think it is something that is long overdue. What is more important than the presidential election? Along with other things being voted on tomorrow.
On individual players:
- Jake Hansen forced the offense to turn the ball over.
- Owen Carney had three sacks and should’ve had two others.
- He (Carney) had the best game of his career thus far.
- If Jamal Woods can’t go this week, we feel comfortable going with Newton.
- We loved Johnny Newton when we were recruiting him. When you put an athlete like that at the defensive tackle position like that, you get excited about that.
- Matt [Robinson] is getting better.
- Rod Perry has played good football for us.
- Chase Brown got some more carries.
On this weekend’s game against Minnesota:
- Tough loss but a lot to build on this week.
- We are doing anything we can to win this football game.