Illinois had its first game canceled this season on Saturday, a bout with No. 3 Ohio State. This week the Illini host Iowa, a team that beat them 63-0 the last time they come to Champaign.
Here’s what Lovie Smith had to say:
On Saturday’s Cancelation:
- Once the decision was made by the league we moved on quickly to, Iowa and that’s exactly where we are right now.
- As we went into this football season, we knew that we would need to be flexible and that things could change quickly. We were really excited about playing one of the best teams in the country.
On the Iowa game:
- Hopefully the week off helps us get healthier. We need all hands on deck this week. Iowa has won four in a row and is playing their best football. Last time out [at Nebraska] we played our best football.
- (Iowa) embarrassed us the last time we played at home.
- We’re on a two game winning streak and were excited about the possibility of getting a third win.
- It doesn’t take to much for us to get excited about playing the Hawkeyes. They embarrassed us here (Memorial Stadium) last time we played.
On the season in general:
- We’re getting a lot. We’re able to play football this season. Not as many games but we’re playing football we’re practicing football just like we would be any other season.
- Alex Palczewski will have season-ending surgery.
- Tarique Barnes also had season-ending surgery last week.
On Sarah Fuller’s historic weekend
- We’re always looking to improve our ball club... it’s just a matter of time
- I have four granddaughters, they're all athletes... I’m sure they liked to see somebody that looked like them in a male-dominated sport.
On this season’s seniors (senior day/homecoming is this weekend)
- They set the tone for Illinois football for a long period of time.
- Our next two opponents we haven’t beaten in our time here.
- It absolutely is a day that can be emotional.