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Bielema, staff talk getting back on track for Week 2

The Illini are looking to stay above .500 this weekend.

NCAA Football: Texas-San Antonio at Illinois Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

The Illini are no longer undefeated in the Bret Bielema era, falling 37-30 at the hands of UTSA on Saturday night at memorial stadium. Offensive Coordinator Tony Petersen, Defensive Coordinator Ryan Walters and Bielema met the media on Monday to discuss the loss and preview this week’s contest on the road against Virginia.

Here’s what Petersen had to say about:

Last Saturday’s Game

“Any time you lose a football game it hurts.”

The Offensive Performance

“Art played his butt off to be honest with you.”

“I love that kid and the way he plays.”

“I think we’ve got the best punter in the country, and what he does as far as flipping the field for us is unbelievable. “

“We’ve got to get him (Daniel Barker) targets, and Luke Ford is just as equally a special guy... we have two tight ends that we feel are really good tight ends and we need to get them the football.”

“He’s (Deuce Spann) got to get a bigger role every week. The more we have him in the football game, the better off we are.”

“Moving forward, we’ll continue to get him (Josh McCray) the ball.”


“I think at the end of the season Virginia is going to be one of the best three-four defenses we’ll see.”


“Like BP he’s (Chase Brown) progressing well.”

“Brandon is progressing better than we thought he would right now.”

Here’s what Walters had to say about:

Saturday’s loss

“We didn’t execute as well as we would have liked... didn’t play well enough on our side to win the game.”

“Hats off to UTSA, that’s a solid football team.”


“Keith keeps us fresh, energized. It hurts when you lose a guy like that.”

“I thought they [linebackers] did a good job (stepping up for Calvin Hart Jr.)”

Here’s what Bielema had to say about:


“Chase (Brown) will be good to go this week.” Bielema also mentioned that quarterback Brandon Peters would return to practice this week but is not fully cleared for contact and Kieth Randolph is not out for the season.


“I believe Virginia is 18-2 in the last 20 games at home... and this our first time traveling as a staff.”

Performance on Saturday

“James McCourt kicked himself into history.”

“Josh McCray is a guy that showed, even with just five carries...that he can bring some juice.”

“[Julian Pearl] played 17 snaps and had five knockdowns.”

“Now you’re actually in a situation where you have six [runningbacks].”

“Our offensive communication by far was much better than week one in week two.”

“Isaiah is very aware, very present, very in tune with a lot of things that aren’t right in front of him.”