CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Brandon Peters has more touchdown passes (7) in two games than AJ Bush Jr. (6) had all of last year. It’s not necessarily fair to compare the two Illini quarterbacks, Bush was run-first while Peters is pass-first, but it goes to show how far the passing game has come in just one season.
Peters threw four touchdown passes in the 8-point win at Connecticut on Saturday, tying for seventh-most in a game in program history. Wes Lunt was the last guy to accomplish that feat back in 2015. Peters did it over the weekend despite throwing an interception that was returned for a touchdown on the opening drive of the game for Illinois.
“I made a mistake early on in the game throwing that pick six and the guys never lost confidence in me,” Peters said. “Like I said, there was no panic and we knew we could find a way to come back in that one.”
One of the biggest differences between Peters and Bush is their demeanor and personality. Peters is more laid back, not showing a lot of emotion. Bush was a rah-rah, play with emotion type of guy. One isn’t right, wrong or indifferent, it’s just how they’re built. It likely helped Peters stay composed after that pick six early against the Huskies.
“When you have somebody like Brandon who is even-keeled, it just allows us to get back into our rhythm,” Illinois junior receiver Josh Imatorbhebhe said about Brandon’s style of play. “He wasn’t getting discouraged, he made that crucial third down conversion to Daniel Barker, which really opened up the game and allowed our wheels to start turning.”
Illinois will need more consistent play from the quarterback in order to beat Eastern Michigan this weekend. If they can walk out of Memorial Stadium with a win, the Illini will be 3-0 to open the season for the first time since 2011 when they won the first six games of the year.