Offense struggles against Badgers, Williams gets time in the QB rotation

Sports

(WCIA) — The Illinois offense didn’t score a single point against the Badgers on Friday. Even with 8 returning starters on the offense, and several new weapons, second-year quarterback Brandon Peters completed just 8 of 19 passes.

While Peters led the rushing attack with 75 yards, last year’s leading receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe had just three receptions. Returning tight end Daniel Barker caught one pass. The offense also struggled to keep the ball, their time of possession was 16:38, compared to Wisconsin who had the ball for nearly 45 minutes.

“We never got in a rhythm with our passing game,” says head coach Lovie Smith. “The running game can help that an awful lot, but I thought we had some moments where if we go forward we have to be able to complete more passes than that–simple as that. Josh Imatorbhebhe is a heck of a receiver and we got to get the ball to our tight ends more.”

Redshirt freshman Isaiah Williams also found himself in the quarterback rotation after Peters struggled to move the ball down the field. Williams threw a pick and was 0-for-3, but Peters said he was surprised with the amount of playing time the coaches gave Williams.

“It caught me a little off guard,” says Peters. “Coming into the game, it was only supposed to be like 3-4 plays, but like I said you got to do what the coaches want and roll with the punches.

“Isaiah’s done some good things in practice, and the first game you kind of want to see what you have,” says Smith. “It’s just kind of tough duty when you come in like that. But the first bit of action for him, and that’s a start.”

Next up, the Illini will host Purdue at Memorial Stadium for the home opener. Kickoff is at 11 a.m. CT.

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