Ticket sales are down and it appears that some of the seniors are starting to somewhat doubt themselves, but the lone bright spot in the program is media and fan favorite - freshman quarterback Isiah Williams. Sure it was against Syracuse, but his fourth quarter heroics gave fans something to look forward to and some are talking about making the trip to Memorial Stadium to see Williams play again. "Yes, my adrenaline was pumping. I thought the call for me to get in the game would come a little earlier. Obviously Coach made a good decision - there's a purpose for everything he does. He didn't put me in until the second half and I trust his judgment," said Williams.
Don't get me wrong here. When Juice was making the plays and throws I was looking all over the field for the yellow flags and I think it's safe to say so were a few other people. "I think I did okay. I mean, there's always room for improvement." When the crafty QB ran out of the pocket and put the ball on the money to sophomore RB Rashard Mendenhall, it gave the fans a glimpse of the future.
Williams doesn't make a great deal of starting this weekend vs. the 14th ranked Iowa Hawkeyes. "I will prepare and to me it's about preparation; it's not about starting. I will push myself throughout the whole week and try to be excellent on every play. Starting the game is just about the same - just means you play earlier," said Williams.
Crazy as this may sound Illini Nation, this weekend when the Hawkeyes pay a visit I would start senior QB Tim Brasic. Don't fall off your computer chair while reading this. Here's why: starting right now is not an issue for Williams, and the Iowa defense will be much better than Syracuse. Let's face it - we all know Williams is the better player at this point and getting Williams rattled and ruining his confidence now could be the worst thing to happen to the program. On a side note, having said that, I wouldn't wait until the fourth quarter to play him. He would and should be in during the first period this weekend. Go see how it goes.
For now, if fans are ever going to "belIeve" in Illinois football again, it's safe to say Williams will be the key.