Illini make a change at QB for Hawkeyes

Illini make a change at QB for Hawkeyes”

IL coach Lovie Smith said today that Jeff George Jr. will start at quarterback against Iowa on Saturday.

The Bears aren't the only ones switching quarterbacks.

George has appeared in one game this season, replacing Crouch in a 47-23 loss at South Florida on September 15. "To take the next step, we do need to make that change". "But in the end, it's about production and what you're doing in the game".

Thomas, a three-star recruit out of Marian Catholic, was suspended for the Nebraska game on Friday for an unspecified violation of team rules.

"It was definitely necessary to give us the best opportunity to push the ball down the field and use all of our weapons, " said IL offensive coordinator Garrick McGee on the quarterback change.

Smith believes George gives the Fighting Illini a chance to complete more plays in the passing game.

"Some positions you try to stay the course as much as you possibly can", Smith said Monday. "We need to be able to do it".

In four starts this season, Crouch was 41-of-77 passing for 427 yards and just 1 touchdown, while in a relief role against South Florida on September 15, George was 12-of-22 for 211 yards and a score.

Crouch was 9 for 15 for 99 yards and an interception. George also quarterbacked IL in a win over Michigan State as well as in losses to Minnesota and at Wisconsin a year ago while completing 38-of-94 passes. So far this season, he only has two 100-yard passing games and hasn't thrown a touchdown since Week One against Ball State.

George will start against an Iowa team that made just one change on its depth chart this week - at second-team center - following a 17-10 loss at Michigan State. "We know we will have to play better football than we've played all year". But we don't have to have it all mapped out from A to Z. The first thing we have to decide is who is leading our team first.

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