“We have some good options,” coaches weigh in on quarterback situation


(WCIA) — Will the Illini play Brandon Peters or Isaiah Williams against Nebraska on Saturday? It was the question that went answered during Monday’s press conference, but the Illinois coaching staff hinted at maybe playing them both.

“We have some good options,” said head coach Lovie Smith.

Brandon Peters will be eligible to return to the field this week, after missing the last three games. Peters tested positive for COVID-19, and had to sit out for 21 days per Big Ten protocol. Peters appears to be the likely starter–he started in the first game of the season against Wisconsin.

Williams made his first career start against Rutgers on Saturday. He led Illinois to their first win of the season, and he was named the Big Ten Freshman of the week after his 192-rushing yards broke a single-game program record.

“You can play one at a time, you can play two at a time, I think it all depends. Depends on the situation, depends on the flow of the game–all those type of things,” says offensive coordinator Rod Smith. “When you get your opportunity you have to make the most of it. Isaiah made the most of his opportunity Saturday.”

Smith didn’t officially name a starting quarterback for week five, but Williams says he’s staying ready.

“Whatever the coaches want, I will ride with it,” said Williams. “I know where my heart’s at, and I know what I want to do and what I’m going to keep getting better at, but at any time if they need me to make a play for the team I’m willing to do it.”

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