Sept. 4, 2001
Below are quotes from head coach Tom Holmoe from his weekly media luncheon. The Bears return to action this Saturday when they host BYU at 2:30 p.m. in Memorial Stadium.
Looking back at that game (Illinois), it was like it looked. We looked at the film, and there were a long series of dry spells on defense where we didn't make any plays and their execution, from Illinois' perspective on offense, was very good. They just caught us off-balance, and we were reeling, and we didn't recover. Knowing our defense, talking to some of the players, knowing the coaches, listening to some of the coaches talk to the players, I am very confident that we will come back and play closer to the standard of how the defense has played in the past. I think that there were some individual breakdowns, but to go into individual things in a game like that would be ridiculous. It was collectively a poor effort. It surprised me, it surprised our coaches and it surprised our players. I think that is our collective responsibility.
Playing BYU, as daunting as it may be looking at their first two games, it's a great thing for us at this point. Knowing that the same thing could happen if we don't move off of where we were, I think everyone is committed to finding the reasons why - players to play to the standard that they have to, coaches trying everything they can to put our players in a position to be successful. BYU is a team that, offensively in the two games that they have played, has done everything right. They've scored a lot of points, they've scored quickly, and they have a balanced attack. They run the ball, they throw the ball, they run the option, they spread you out and they pound it. They do a little bit of everything. It's a lot of different looks. So it's very challenging for our defense this week. Defensively against Tulane, they gave up quite a few points. Against Nevada, they shut them down. Nevada had a little bit of a one-dimensional situation where they were never really in the game and had to throw the ball almost on every down. BYU figured it out, and shut them down. We have to be able to not let it be a runaway. We have to keep it close. Hopefully, our guys will be able to follow the game plan, and do the things necessary to execute a good day.
On the offense during the Illinois game: Looking back at some of the bright spots from last week, I was very pleased with the way Joe Igber played. He did a terrific job. His backup, Terrell Williams, played very well. We did some good things at the receiver positions, but we need to be a little bit more consistent on the routes. To give them a glowing critique would not be accurate. Kyle (Boller) did some good things. Kyle had a good game in many respects, but there are some things that we need to clean up. Being the guy in control, there are a few things that he missed that could have helped him out. But I think that the offense came away from there realizing that there could have been more. We should have had more yards, we should have had more touchdowns, and we are capable of that. They feel that we have room to grow, and that's good. There's no way that was anywhere near the performance that they believe that they can have.
On the special teams during the Illinois game:
Special teams-wise, the block on the punt was just a one-man show where he missed it, one guy missed a block and it was a disaster. Atari Callen getting hit with the ball and coughing it up was something where he had a pretty nice return on it, but didn't protect the ball, to cover it up. Those are things that we can correct and we'll feel good about that.
On the turnovers during the Illinois game:
I think that we had basically four turnovers on offense, two fumbles and two interceptions. Very rarely are you going to win a game with four. Then you add in two special teams turnovers (one fumble and a blocked punt), that's six turnovers. I think it was tough that we were so far behind that we were really off our game plan. I think that is one of the things that we would like to do, is keep it close so that we can stick to our game plan, or get out ahead to where we can pour it on. But we didn't do that. Offensively, I think that there were a number of plays where some of the efforts weren't great in blocks. Maybe they were just really better than us, I don't know if that's true or not.
On the development of QB Kyle Boller:
A couple of times, Kyle was chased out of the pocket. He made some good decisions. I thought that there was some considerable improvement for him. He felt much more confident. He made some nice throws, and we had some open receivers. Some of the receivers didn't execute the way that they should have to perfection. Otherwise, we would have a couple more completions.
On CB Jemeel Powell:
In this day and age with the offenses all over the field, if you don't have technique, you don't have anything. There are so many different formations and sets and motions and coverages that you have to deal with, (defensive backs) have to be founded in technique. If they don't have it, they're going to have a hard time playing, let alone doing well. I think that that one of the things with Jemeel is that he had missed a lot of spring because of his injury, and he had missed a lot of camp because of his injury. I think maybe he's a little behind, and I think he's maybe a little rusty from missing some practice. He'll be all right. He didn't play real well, our corners just didn't play real well. They'll be back. They are good players.