CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Jon Beutjer is out as
Illinois’ starting quarterback, but who will replace him at
Minnesota Saturday won’t be decided until later in the week,
coach Ron Turner said Monday.

Chris Pazan, Brad Bower and Tim Brasic will compete in practice
for the chance to start against the Gophers, the coach said.

“We just feel they deserve a shot at it,” said
Turner, whose coaching future is the subject of growing

Beutjer, a senior who has started 20 games in three seasons, was
benched after a poor second-half against 14th-ranked Michigan on
Saturday. He led the Illini to two first-half touchdowns, but threw
his first three interceptions of the season as a 17-10 halftime
lead vanished.

“The second half, I feel like offensively we stopped
ourselves. That’s something that really hurt us all
year,” Beutjer said after Saturday’s loss. “I
feel like we’ve stopped ourselves so much.”

Michigan won 30-19, sending the Illini to their fifth loss this
season and running their Big Ten losing streak to 12 games.

“We’ve got to play better at the quarterback
position to win football games consistently,” Turner

Beutjer wasn’t available to comment Monday, the
team’s day off from practice, a team spokesman said. His
telephone number is not listed.

Turner said he told the players of his decision on Sunday.

“Jon was disappointed, of course,” Turner said.
“Hopefully, we’ll make a decision on who gives us the
best chance to win and that young man will go out there and play
great football and we won’t have to talk about this

Beutjer has started six games this season and is 92-for-157 for
926 yards and six touchdowns. He missed the Sept. 18 game after
bruising his sternum against UCLA the preceding week.

Bower, a redshirt freshman, played the second half of the 35-17
loss to UCLA and started against Western Michigan, leading the
Illini to a 30-27 comeback win. Bower also played briefly against
Wisconsin on Oct. 4, and is 24-for-43 for 321 yards and one
touchdown in three games.

Pazan, a sophomore, relieved Bower against Wisconsin and
replaced Beutjer in the third quarter the following week at
Michigan State. He is 12-for-21 for 115 yards and one

“We’ve given them more reps (in practice) the last
couple weeks and it’s really improved how good those guys
are,” Turner said.

Brasic, also a sophomore, has not played this season. He was
0-for-1 in two brief appearances last season.

The quarterback shuffle is “just part of the game,”
said center Duke Preston.

“You’ve got to do your job, and if the job’s
not being done you look other places,” he said.

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