CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Brandon Peters will start at quarterback this week when Illinois hits the road to face Purdue Saturday afternoon at 2:30 p.m. CT in West Lafayette, Illini head coach Bret Bielema announced on Monday. Peters had a shaky start in his first game back after going down in the season opener against Nebraska with a left, non-throwing shoulder injury. The super-senior completed 10 of his 26 pass attempts against Maryland for 185 yards and an interception.
“He did some really good stuff and he missed a couple reads and by missing a couple reads we left a couple really big plays out on the table that could have made a difference,” Illinois offensive coordinator Tony Petersen said on Monday. “He’s pissed at himself and that’s what I love about him, he’s a competitor. I’m excited where BP is at and excited about him going forward.”
Peters only played 13 snaps against the Huskers, missing the next two games. Friday night was his first full game in Petersen and Bielema’s new system, something both guys emphasized during Monday’s media availability.
“That was his first everything,” Bielema said. “His first end of half, it was his first end of game, it was his first red area possessions, there were a lot of things that were his first. There were some learning moments, just like every starting quarterback. He’s definitely our starting quarterback this week and moving forward hopefully he’s going to continue to improve and get better.”
Peters should get some help against the Boilermakers with the return of offensive linemen Doug Kramer Jr. and guard Julian Pearl. Kramer Jr. did not suit up against the Terps after getting hurt at Virginia but Bielema said he should be back, along with Pearl, who left the Maryland game. Running backs Chase Brown and Josh McCray also left the game Friday night, but both have been cleared, according to Bielema. After getting hurt against UTSA, starting defensive lineman Keith Randolph Jr. could also be lined up for a return at Purdue.