GAMEDAY College Football

Illinois 31, Chattanooga 0

By GAVIN GOOD
Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Chase Brown became the first Illinois running back to rush for 100-plus yards in five straight games, Tommy DeVito passed for 329 yards and three touchdowns and the Fighting Illini blanked Chattanooga 31-0.

Illinois improved to 3-1 and is off to its best start since 2015.

Brown capped a five-play, 64-yard scoring drive with a 9-yard touchdown run after the defense forced Chattanooga (3-1) into a three-and-out on its first drive.

He finished with 108 rushing yards on 20 carries and currently leads all FBS rushers with 604 yards through four games.

The closest the Mocs came to scoring came early in the second quarter when they drove to the Illinois 16-yard line. Jartavius Martin picked off a Preston Hutchinson pass in the end zone to end the Mocs' threat.

The Illini recorded their first shutout since a 2015 win over Western Illinois.

Chattanooga went just 4 of 14 on third downs and gained 142 total yards. Illinois piled up 502 yards of offense.

Hutchinson was sacked four times and completed just 6 of 18 passes for 49 yards with two interceptions.

Illinois nearly quadrupled Chattanooga's total first-half yardage, 332 yards to 84 yards, and led 24-0 at intermission.

Thursday night marked the first time in Illinois football history that two receivers tallied more than 100 receiving yards and a running back ran for more than 100 yards in the same game. Pat Bryant caught six passes for 112 yards and a touchdown, while Isaiah Williams hauled in nine passes for 103 yards and a score.

Williams' 63-yard touchdown off a screen pass made it 31-0 with 4:56 left in the third.

DeVito became the first Illinois quarterback to pass for more than 300 yards in a game since Brandon Peters threw for 369 yards at Michigan State in 2019.

Ailym Ford rattled off runs of 39 and 32 yards for the Mocs' biggest gains of the night. He finished with 93 yards on 17 carries.

Andrew Southard missed a 43-yard field-goal attempt early in the third quarter after Ford's 32-yard run took the Mocs into Illini territory.

Caleb Griffin kicked a 34-yard field goal to put Illinois up 10-0 in the first quarter.

THE TAKEAWAY

Illinois: The Illini prepared well for a better-than-usual FCS opponent and dominated accordingly to set themselves up in good position to make a bowl appearance with two-thirds of the schedule left. Illinois is a step or two away from contending in a wide-open Big Ten West thanks to stellar defense and a much improved passing attack with new offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr. making the calls.

Chattanooga: The Mocs can chalk this one up to talent differential and short rest after a strong start to their campaign. Rusty Wright's group could be in the mix for the Southern Conference title in November.


Scoring Summary
First Quarter ChatIll
Ill TD 12:15 Chase Brown 9 yard TD run (Caleb Griffin Extra Point) 0 7
Ill FG 2:39 Caleb Griffin 34 yard field goal 0 10
Second Quarter ChatIll
Ill TD 9:14 Michael Marchese 25 yard TD pass from Tommy DeVito (Caleb Griffin Extra Point) 0 17
Ill TD 5:52 Pat Bryant 17 yard TD pass from Tommy DeVito (Caleb Griffin Extra Point) 0 24
Third Quarter ChatIll
Ill TD 4:56 Isaiah Williams 63 yard TD pass from Tommy DeVito (Caleb Griffin Extra Point) 0 31
Team Stats
  Chattanooga Illinois
First downs 7 22
  Rushing 4 6
  Passing 3 14
  Penalty 0 2
3rd Down Efficiency 4-14, 29% 7-15, 47%
4th down efficiency 0-0, -% 0-2, 0%
Rushes-Yards 34-88 37-167
Passing Yards 49 335
Return Yards 0 35
Completions-Attempts-Int 6-18-1 25-34-0
Sacks-Yards Lost 4-27 3-14
Punts 9 5
Fumbles Lost 1-1 1-1
Penalties - Yards 1-15 2-25
Chattanooga Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
P. Hutchinson 6 17 49 0 1
C. Copeland 0 1 0 0 0
Illinois Passing
Player Cmp Att Yds TDs Int
T. DeVito 23 31 329 3 0
A. Sitkowski 2 3 6 0 0
Chattanooga Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
A. Ford 17 93 5.5 0
G. Appleberry 11 34 3.1 0
P. Hutchinson 6 -39 -6.5 0
Illinois Rushing
Player Carries Yds Avg TDs
C. Brown 20 108 5.4 1
R. Love III 4 35 8.8 0
C. Hayden 4 23 5.8 0
A. Laughery 3 9 3.0 0
A. Sitkowski 1 3 3.0 0
P. Bryant 1 3 3.0 0
T. DeVito 4 -14 -3.5 0
Chattanooga Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
T. Arnett 3 32 10.7 0
J. Gibson 2 10 5.0 0
J. Whatley 1 7 7.0 0
Illinois Receiving
Player Rec Yds Avg TDs
P. Bryant 6 112 18.7 1
I. Williams 9 103 11.4 1
B. Hightower 2 32 16.0 0
M. Marchese 1 25 25.0 1
M. Scott 1 19 19.0 0
J. Morris 1 16 16.0 0
C. Washington 1 15 15.0 0
C. Brown 2 6 3.0 0
L. Ford 1 6 6.0 0
T. Reiman 1 1 1.0 0
Chattanooga Interceptions
Player Int Yards
Illinois Interceptions
Player Int Yards
J. Martin 1 0
Chattanooga Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
G. Boring 8 336 42.0
J. Pierce 1 30 30.0
Illinois Punting
Player Punts Yards Avg
H. Robertson 5 157 31.4
Chattanooga Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Illinois Punt Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
M. Scott 2 9 4.5
I. Williams 1 -4 -4.0
Chattanooga Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
Illinois Kick Returns
Player Ret Yards Average
P. Vining 1 30 30.0
Chattanooga Missed FG
Player Length
A. Southard 43
Illinois Missed FG
Player Length




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