CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Isaiah Williams and Kaden Feagin’s career days played big parts to Illinois football’s 27-26 win at Minnesota and both guys received recognition from the Big Ten on Monday for their play. Williams was named the conference’s offensive player of the week, with Feagin earning the league’s freshman of the week.
Williams set a new career best in receptions (13) and receiving yards (131) against the Gophers, tying his personal best for touchdowns in a game with two. The redshirt junior caught the go-ahead and game-winning score on a 46-yard pass from back-up John Paddock with 50 seconds to play.
Williams was also named the East-West Shrine Bowl’s Breakout Offensive Player of the Week. The St. Louis native now leads the B1G in receptions with 59.
Feagin is the Big Ten Freshman of the Week after going for 148 all-purpose yards against the Gophers. The Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond native ran 22 times for 89 yards, while adding a 54-yard touchdown catch, his first receiving touchdown of his career. Feagin was also named the 247Sports National True Freshman of the Week.
The win at Minnesota kickstarted Illinois’ final month of the regular season. They now need to win two out of their final three games to become bowl eligibility. Albeit small, the Illini are also still in contention to win the Big Ten West. After starting the season 2-4, the Illini have won two out of their last three games to make November a whole lot more interesting.
“Our biggest thing is how do we want to finish?” Williams said. “Coach B(ielema) always talks about teams are remembered for what they do in November, you know what I’m saying? So finishing strong, that’s what we all want to go out as.”
“I like the fact that we’re playing better football down the stretch,” Bielema added. “Obviously wish we would have played better in some of those earlier games but I like the direction this team takes, I like their work ethic, I like their attitude. I’m excited for the week to see where we can go.”
Illinois hosts Indiana Saturday at 11 a.m. at Memorial Stadium in a game on Big Ten Network. The Illini lost to the Hoosiers last season in Bloomington.