Coach Hazell spoke with the media today in advance of Saturday's game at Illinois and here are some of the more important quotes from his session:
On the quarterback situation:
"The quarterback situation obviously we struggled, obviously, on Saturday. We admitted it. We see the film. We see some of the things that he has to do better. He's just one of many positions on offense, the quarterback. We didn't do as well as we had been doing on the offensive line, and we dropped a ball or two that could have helped him. But that's a situation that we'll look at again this week. You don't want to keep revisiting that situation. But that's a situation where we're saying, we've got to be productive in every single situation or every single position on offense, and that is one of the positions that we'll take a look at again this week and see how it unfolds."
On Raheem Mostert:
"We're going to put Raheem back into the fold. We had a long staff meeting and talked about personnel yesterday a little longer than usual. Probably just talking about offense for people. He's one of the guys that we talked about getting back into the flow and getting his speed back on the field. He's got to produce more. That is one of the parts of the equation that we need to see more out of him, and that will help us being able to put him and the team back on the field at the same time, and that will be part of the equation as well."
On the offensive line struggling:
"We did struggle on the twist. Some of those sacks were on twists, and those were pretty simplistic twists to pick up. It's just two-man twist games and we need to do a better job of sitting on the same level to be able to pass those twists off. When we get off on level, one guy's on one level, the other guy's on a different level, then you can't exchange the twist. That is some of the things that we have to work on as an offensive line group."
On fixing the offense:
"Oh, there are certainly things that need to be fixed, and we have to be a better third down football team. That's what it really comes down to. That's what we talked about getting more guys on the field. Right before the half, we have a 3rd and 6 and we throw away an underneath out-cut to Posey, and there is nobody there. You're going to run it for 25 yards down the sideline, and that is part of the execution. We have to be able to execute better in those situations, but there are certain things that we can fix. Obviously there are certain things that we have to fix."
On the improvement of Landon Feichter and Sean Robinson:
"I tell you what, those guys have done a great job on that side of the ball flying around and really just leaving it out on the field. You can see them straining. I thought that was the first time since we've been here that you can see almost everybody straining to make their plays on defense. We need to get that on the other side of the ball as well. That's one of the things we talked about. Who are those guys on offense that are going to make those strained plays?"
On Illinois struggling against the run:
"I think the big thing is, without saying too much, and we have to grade our double teams at the point of attack, and they do some things defensively that do allow you to do some things. But if we stay on combination blocks and see ourselves up to the second level, we'll have a chance to run the football. We've got to break tackles. There are going to be opportunities to hit big plays if we can break some of those tackles."
On Frankie Williams:
"He's been amazing. I don't know how you get the 60 production points, but you talk about his interceptions, his two big hits on the quarterbacks, his punt returns, his energy. He got into the offensive huddle at one point in time in the fourth quarter when the game was 17-10 and he was trying to juice the offense up. But just his emotion and passion that he plays through the game, he's pretty special right now."
On the Illinois offense:
"Well, Bill (Cubit) and I worked together at Rutgers, and the offense is very similar to back then. We obviously we played against him at Western Michigan. He was the head coach at Western Michigan. He likes to spread the field. He likes to run zone and draw. He really likes to throw the ball. He does a great job, I think, in terms of figuring out man and zone and calling routes accordingly. So if you're in man coverage, he's got a lot of pick routes and crossing routes and those things. If you're in zone coverage he's got a whole different package that he's signaling in to the quarterback. I think he does a really good job of running the offense."