Nov. 20, 2001
Below are selected quotes from Tom Holmoe's weekly press conference. The Bears conclude the season Friday when they visit Rutgers. Game time is 10 a.m. PT.
On playing the Rutgers game this week:
I think that it's appropriate that, considering the season, why this game was rescheduled, because of the tragedy and the terrorist activities, we definitely need to finish this game. People can scoff and laugh and be cynical about it, but it's college football. It's kind of ironic that (Rutgers) played that very, very first game (in college football history) and they're struggling right now in college football. And we are (struggling), equal if not worse, but we're going to go back and play hard.
We had a really good practice yesterday. I think the players after that Stanford game, they realize that we played together as a team. It's too bad that we didn't do it all year, but we did. Better late than never. We want to win, we want to win the game.
On the injury situation:
Now we've got a couple of injuries, and they don't help. Certainly, Rutgers has their fair share of injuries, too. I think every team in the country, when you get to this time of the season, is really thin. We're going back there, and I think we're healthy enough to go back there and play a good, hard, well-executed game, and that's what we're focusing on. So, to go back however many miles it is over Thanksgiving, and under the circumstances, it is odd, it's very odd. It's strange the way it happened. But it is the way that it is. I think that it would be in our best interest to go play great and finish up together and be thankful on Thanksgiving that we made it this far and just hung together and came away with a win.
Marcus Fields is out. He has a torn MCL knee ligament. We will probably do a scope on him Friday or Monday. So it would be after the game, regardless. He might have it Friday, so for him to fly back and forth would not be in his best interests.
(Josh) Gustaveson is out. He didn't play last week, either. He has a stinger, and the nerve conduction test (shows) that he's not getting his strength back. So he won't play. We've had a couple of those in the past. He's shown progress, which is a good sign. Some of these guys, you go four or five weeks and there's no improvement. Now you're really concerned about that. But I think that he's had these stingers over the course of the year, and now I think it's at the point that he can't continue with the limited amount of time that we have left. But, it's getting better. Hopefully, he will recuperate fully and be ready for spring ball.
On the importance of winning this game:
It's very important (to win). That would be nice, because the alternative is that you just don't get a game. You don't win, and then the last game, you lose. I still am in it for the kids. It's not just about me, but quite frankly, it is my last game and I would like to go out on a winning note, as anybody would in any profession, in any job, anywhere. But the players, considering that we haven't won, that would be something special. I really want it for them to say, hey, we won.