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Illinois ready for Homecoming, struggling Badgers

Bret Bielema squares off against many familiar faces.

NCAA Football: Charlotte at Illinois Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — The Illini were able to get on track against Charlotte, beating the 49ers 24-14 at Memorial Stadium on Saturday afternoon. Chase Brown put together a day for the record books, tallying 257 yards and a pair of touchdowns on the ground in the Illini’s second win of the season. Offensive Coordinator Tony Petersen, Defensive Coordinator Ryan Walters and head coach Bret Bielema met the media on Monday to discuss the win over Charlotte and preview this week’s homecoming contest against rival Wisconsin.

Here’s what Petersen had to say about:

Chase Brown’s record day

“Everybody bought in to what we were trying to do right there.”

“He (Chase Brown) brings some juice, fresh legs, he’s fast and he’s very physical.”

“I think Chase (Brown) is huge for Josh (McCray).”

The win over Charlotte

“BP (Brandon Peters) did everything we asked him to do.”

Brandon Peters / Other Players

“He (Brandon Peters)’s our starting quarterback right now, and I feel good about where he’s at.”

“I’m excited about Brandon.”

“He’s (Brandon Peters) going to flip the corner on a couple of those big ones soon.”

“He (Vederian Lowe) definitely had his best game of the year.”

“He’s (Casey Washington) our best wide receiver with one-on-one combat.”

“Josh (McCray) is a special freshman.”

This week against Wisconsin

“We have got to find ways to run the football, different ways... at the end of the day we have to be who we are.”

“They’re (Wisconsin) a really good defense.”

Here’s what Walters had to say about:

The win over Charlotte

“I thought they (the defense) played well.”

“The way they (the defense) respond to adversity is special.”

“We have a really smart room. A lot of guys who have coordinated defense.”

“I know we’re playing better since I went down to the sideline.”

“The willingness to make adjustments is just the willingness to put the kids in the best position to be successful.”

“The improvement in tackling is just... guys being in better spots.”


“He’s (Kerby Joseph) just pulling the trigger.”

This week against Wisconsin

“My envision of what a Big Ten offense was before I came here, it is Wisconsin.”

“Because they’ve had sustained success in that program...they’ve got depth [at quarterback.]”

Here’s what Bielema had to say about:

The win over Charlotte

“Obviously Chase Brown was given Big Ten offensive player of the week, but we gave our offensive player of the week to him and Vederian Lowe.”


“Spirit is high.”


“Obviously a team that them (Wisconsin), or Northwestern, have shared the title in the Big Ten west for the last five years.”

“This game is about the University of Illinois football against the University of Wisconsin football.”

“Had this game on the forefront of our guys mind, not because of my past.”

“Paul (Chryst) and I were together for six of my seven years, obviously had a lot of similar thoughts and ideas.”

“Basic core value of run, play action.”

“For us to get to where we want to be, I’ve defined this program (Wisconsin)... as a model for what we’re trying to be.”

“The respect they (Wisconsin) have had is something that we would like to have here.”

“They’re very very stout, they’re very good against the run.”

“To get a win on Saturday is going to do something we strive to do every week.”


“I think they’re (Jake Hansen and Devon Witherspoon) a lot closer this week than they were last week.”

“Seth (Coleman) I would say that he’s a probable for Saturday.”

“IG (Isaiah Gay) was actually cleared to go back into the game Saturday.”


“He (Vederian Lowe) is a professional before making the transition.”

“If the world was full of Vederian Lowes the world would be a much better place.”

“He (Chase Brown) is an extremely gifted football player with an incredibly talented mind.”