CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters is back at practice and has been ‘full go’ according to head coach Lovie Smith. The senior has missed the past three games due to a positive COVID-19 test. Peters hasn’t played since the season opener against Wisconsin on Oct. 23, leaving the quarterback position up for grabs. Four different players have started under center in the team’s four games so far. Following redshirt freshman Isaiah Williams’ record breaking performance at Rutgers on Saturday, rushing for a program quarterback record 192 yards, is there a competition for the starting spot at Nebraska?
“What I see is that we have our starting quarterback that’s been out and he’s available this week,” Smith said. “That’s a good option. What I also saw is what our other quarterback was able to do this week. Of course, I’m not gonna say what our game plan will be. I would say that we have some good options going into this week.”
Could that mean Peters gets the start and Williams doesn’t play? Do they split reps or alternate series’? All good questions with no clear answer heading into the 11 a.m. game at the other Memorial Stadium in Lincoln.
Adjusting to different quarterbacks has been the norm for the Illini receivers. Sophomore Casey Washington led the Illini in receiving against the Scarlet Knights in a run-dominated game. Washington had three catches for 52 yards.
“It’s just a mindset really,” Washington said about playing in a run-dominated game. “Just before the game, knowing that even the ball’s not coming to you, it’s your turn to help someone else out. Just being out there and being gritty throughout the game and putting a hat on a hat. Just helping your teammate out so you can win, that’s the goal.”
The Illini rushed for 338 yards at Rutgers, the most in a game since 2018 against Nebraska.