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updated: 6/3/2011 7:31 PM

Slaughter to turn former Illini QB loose tonight

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  • Illinois quarterback Juice Williams makes a throw in the second quarter of the Rose Bowl football game against USC in 2008. Williams will start for the Slaughter Saturday night.

      Illinois quarterback Juice Williams makes a throw in the second quarter of the Rose Bowl football game against USC in 2008. Williams will start for the Slaughter Saturday night.
    Associated Press

 
 

Evidently, the Juice is loose in Hoffman Estates.

In the most underpublicized signing of the season, the Slaughter, according to the team's website, earlier this week signed former University of Illinois quarterback Juice Williams and plan to have him start Saturday night in the final regular season home game at the Sears Centre against the Sioux Falls Storm (7:05 p.m.).

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In 2009, Williams topped the 8,000-yard mark in career passing yards, which ranks third on the Illinois all-time list. He's ranked second on the Big Ten career rushing yardage list for a quarterback and ranks sixth in Illinois on the all-time rushing list with 2,557 yards. He is the first non-running back in U of I history to top the 2,000 yard career rushing mark.

Williams will be thrown right into the fire Saturday night when he leads the Slaughter (8-4) against the powerhouse Storm, who are 13-0 and fresh off a 78-16 win over Wichita at home last week.

"It's always fun to go out of division and play top teams," Storm owner Todd Tryon said. "We've never played at Chicago. This is a game we've had circled, and we're excited to go compete against some big city talent."

Rush off to K.C.:

Beating division foes is always central to a strong season, and it's no different for the Chicago Rush (8-3), who are firmly in control in the Central Division and look to make it three straight wins over division rivals when they travel to Kansas City to take on the Command (4-7) Saturday at 1 p.m.

And they'd also like to get some revenge for a Week 7 loss (58-51) to the Command in a turnover-filled affair.

Last week, the Rush needed every possible second on the clock to pull out a 49-48 victory over Tulsa, as quarterback Russ Michna rushed for a TD as time expired.

"We didn't want to try anything funny, we wanted to keep it simple and it paid off," Michna said.

"When you start winning close games like that, it brings teams together," Rush coach Bob McMillen said. "It starts bringing more unity knowing that no matter what, when we get that last possession and we need to do it, we're going to end up putting it in.

"Winning is always critical but especially against divisional opponents. We definitely learned a lot against Kansas City in Week 7, and I am confident we will perform strongly this week."

This week the Rush also signed veteran defensive end Jeremy Geathers (6-2, 256 UNLV) to add more explosiveness to the pass rush. Geathers is the son of New Orleans Saints defender Jumpy Geathers, and he played last season with the Spokane Shock of the AFL and BC Lions of the CFL.

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