The Iowa defense is preparing to face multiple quarterbacks this week when they host Illinois. Jeff George junior will get his first start for the Illini after Chayce Crouch started the first four games of the season. Hawkeye linebacker Josey Jewell says while Crouch was more of a running threat George is a classis pocket passer.
“You have to be ready for either one of them”, said Jewell. “With a running quarterback you usually want to keep eyes on him in zone coverage and with a guy that is going to stay and pass you want to keep your eyes out of the wide receivers. You have to be ready for a bunch of different stuff.”
George has played in one game this season. He came on in relief of Crouch in a 47-23 loss at South Florida and completed 12 of 22 passes for 211 yards and two touchdowns. He also had an interception. Iowa linebacker Ben Niemann says the change at quarterback has forced the Hawkeyes to adjust their game plan.
“It changes your preparation”, said Niemann. “I think it is good we found out early in the week versus on game day.”
Illinois coach Lovie Smith hopes the change will jump start an Illinois passing game that managed only 99 yards in a 28-6 loss to Nebraska.
“We are not a passing team but we need to be able to pass the ball”, said Smith. “You need to be able to run the football but there is a reason the forward pass is a part of it and we need to be able to do that.”