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Brown has all-time day, Illini run over Charlotte, 24-14

Have a day, Chase Brown

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: OCT 02 Charlotte at Illinois Photo by Michael Allio/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Led by Chase Brown, the Illini beat the Charlotte 49ers, 24-14. Illinois got its win over a Conference USA team, after the brutal loss to UTSA.

With 257 rushing yards on the day, Brown now holds the fourth-best single rushing game in Illinois history. He passed Illini legend Red Grange and others to do so.

Brown scored two touchdowns to put the Illini up by 10. He had 72 yards on the first scoring drive that ended with a 31-yard rush. The second was all Brown, taking the ball 80-yards to the endzone in one play. The touchdown changed the momentum of the game after Kerby Joseph broke up an incomplete pass and Charlotte missed a field goal attempt.

Illinois’ opening drive resulted in a 29-yard field goal by James McCourt to take an early lead. The 17-play, 64-yard drive took half of the first quarter.

Daniel Barker’s first touchdown of the season was one for the record books. His 10th career catch broke the record for Illinois tight ends that was previously held by Ken Dilger. Barker scored the Illini’s first touchdown of the game just before halftime on a 10-yard pass.

One of the game’s most bizarre sequences was when Josh McCray’s touchdown was canceled after Luke Ford was called for holding. The Illini thought they caught a break when Charlotte’s coach was called for unsportsmanlike conduct, but their first down pass attempt was fumbled and recovered by the 49er defense.

Like the offense, the Illinois defense also heated up late in the game. In the middle of the fourth quarter, Owen Carney Jr. had back-to-back sacks. Kerby Joseph and Keith Randolph also had key plays that prevented Charlotte from scoring.

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The Illini remain in Champaign for the homecoming game against Wisconsin (1-2) next Saturday, Oct. 9 at 2:30 p.m.