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Indiana University

vs. Illinois
When: 7 p.m. Saturday
TV: Big Ten Network
Radio: 100.1 FM
Associated Press
Concordia product Bryan Payton, a fifth-year senior, had six carries for 32 yards and scored the only touchdown for IU in last week’s game at Virginia.

Payton ‘always ready’

– There aren’t going to be many positives in a 40-point loss.

But Indiana coach Bill Lynch took the time to praise the effort of Concordia’s Bryan Payton. The running back gained 32 yards on six carries and scored the lone touchdown in the 47-7 loss at Virginia.

“I thought Bryan Payton, a fifth-year senior who played early and hasn’t played too much the last few games, came in and ran like a guy trying to win a job,” Lynch said. “I was proud of him.”

Payton has spent much of the season as the No. 4 back for the Hoosiers. He has rushed for 69 yards on 19 carries. Still, he has been named a team captain for three of the seven weeks, including Saturday’s game against Illinois.

“I always have to be ready to play, no matter what the situation is,” Payton said. “That’s probably the story of my career. You never know when your chance is going to come. I knew no matter what the score was, I was going to fight for my teammates.

“I just want to help the team any way I can. If that’s coming in and playing hard at the end of the game, that’s what it is. If it’s special teams, it’s special teams. I play for my teammates and that’s why I play hard no matter what the score is.”

Preparing for two quarterbacks

Illinois has not named a starting quarterback for Saturday’s game, but the Hoosiers don’t think it’s that much of a difference preparing for either Juice Williams or Eddie McGee.

“They are pretty similar. It’s not like they are going to run a completely different offense,” Lynch said. “They are both athletic. Both of them can run it. It’s not two completely different offenses you have to prepare for.”

Williams started the first four games. He has thrown for 628 passing yards and has two touchdowns and four interceptions. He has completed 54.7 percent of his passes (58 for 106). He’s also rushed for 185 yards and one touchdown.

“He’s a great athlete. He can run the ball, he can pass the ball. It’s similar to (Ohio State quarterback Terrelle) Pryor,” senior defensive end Jammie Kirlew said. “We have to be assignment sound. We learned that against Ohio State. And we have to make tackles. We can’t have missed tackles.”

McGee stared last week in a 24-14 loss to Michigan State. He has appeared in all five games and is completing 51.2 percent of his passes (21 for 41). He has thrown for 242 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

“They do a lot of the same things,” Kirlew said. “Juice is a little more experienced, but both of them are talented and can make plays.”

Homecoming facts, figures

Saturday is homecoming. The Hoosiers are 42-48-6 on homecoming but have won four of the last five. IU is 3-5 all time against Illinois on homecoming.