October 16, 2010

Zook says MSU is the best Illini have faced

EAST LANSING - Illinois coach Ron Zook has to be pleased with the way his team is competing through six games in 2010. The Fighting Illini would like to be above the .500 mark, but Illinois players and their head coach can take solace in the fact that their losses have come against three very good opponents in three Top 25 teams that were all unbeaten at the midway point of the 2010 season.

Illinois has lost games to Missouri, Ohio State, and now Michigan State. Heading into the weekend the Buckeyes and Spartans were the highest ranked teams in the Big Ten at No. 1 and No. 11 respectively. Missouri is ranked No. 19.

After losing 26-6 to Illinois, Zook said that Michigan State was the best team his Illini had faced during the 2010 season.

"I don't think we played particularly well enough in the second half to win," said Zook, whose team led 6-3 at halftime. "That's a good football team. Without looking at the tape, to me it is the best team that we have played to date. They are a good football team. We told them that it was going to be a physical football game, which it was. We told them that it was going to be one of those games where you jaw back and forth. I was disappointed in the fact that we retaliated a couple of times, but we will get that corrected. Once again, there were a lot of good things but we weren't able to get anything going in the third quarter."

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