You know the saying – if you play two quarterbacks, you’re probably grasping at straws in hopes of saving your job.
With starting quarterback Wes Lunt out four-to-six weeks with a leg fracture, Illini head coach Tim Beckman told the Associated Press he expects to play both backups, senior Reilly O’Toole and sophomore Aaron Bailey, Saturday versus Minnesota.
“I think that for them to prepare for two is always a little more challenging than to prepare for one,” Beckman said.
Both quarterbacks played in the Illini’s 38-28 loss to Wisconsin on Oct. 11. O’Toole completed 12-of-19 passes for 96 yards with two touchdowns while adding 29 rushing yards, and Bailey hit 2-of-5 passes for 39 yards with an interception while leading the club with 12 rushes for 75 yards and a score.
Offensive coordinator Bill Cubit sounded very, for you Seinfield fans out there, Krueger-ian about the idea.
“I don’t know. I’ll be honest with you — I’ve never done it before,” Cubit said. “Both guys have pretty good qualities. We’ll figure it out.”
O’Toole has thrown for 524 yards with three touchdowns and four interceptions this season. Bailey had not recorded a statistic this season until entering the Wisconsin loss late in the game.
With Lunt out until mid-November, Beckman has to gamble in hopes of saving his job. The Illi are 3-4 this season (0-3 Big Ten) and are winless against Power Five competition. Their only two FBS wins, over Western Kentucky and Texas State, came by eight and seven points respectively.
Beckman is 9-22 in his third season at Illinois, and 1-18 in Big Ten play.
Illinois will host Minnesota at noon ET on ESPNU.