Illinois football got stampeded by the No. 22 South Florida Bulls in a game Friday night that was most likely the worst-case scenario for Illinois.
Coach Lovie Smith’s team was gored by the Bulls for 680 total yards, and, to add insult to injury, was flagged 15 times for 138 yards.
Here’s what Smith said after the game:
On the game overall
“You have a game like this where nothing goes as planned. First off, you have to give South Florida a lot of credit. They played well; they were as good as advertised. We played better than that, though. And that’s what’s disappointing, that we didn’t give them a better game.
“Of course, the execution wasn’t what we wanted it to be. Defensively, tackling, [we] just couldn’t make any plays offensively. It’s tough when you can’t sustain drives.”
On the South Florida offense
“[The Bulls] were moving the ball all night. That was just a part of our problem. Even early on, we were hanging in there but weren’t able to stop them.”
On whether youth factored into the big loss
“We’ve had youth for the other 2 wins that we had. You can look to some of our upperclassmen who didn’t play well. Again, this was a team effort. We didn’t show up [Friday night].”
On the decision to replace Chayce Crouch with Jeff George Jr.
“We needed a spark. Simple as that. When you get into a position where we pass the ball, you go with the guy that has a good arm, that’s maybe the best passer of the group.”
On a possible quarterback controversy
“We’re just looking at what happened [Friday night]. No one played as well as we needed to. You make decisions on what you think gives you the best chance to have success.
“With the bye week coming up, we’ll evaluate everything, which was the plan anyway.”
Below is a video of Smith’s comments in full, taken by Scout.com Illinois beat writer Jeremy Werner after the 47-23 loss.