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.
Chase Brown entered today's game with 122-combine yards in three games this year. He is now up to 124 yards on 16 carries after tallying 72 yards on 6 carries on the last Illini scoring drive.— Illini Stats & Notes (@IlliniStats) October 2, 2021
YOU GOTTA SEE THIS
Brandon Peters-Daniel Barker Touchdown pic.twitter.com/Pf32ZORF9G— IllinoisLoyalty (@IllinoisLoyalty) October 2, 2021
PLAY OF THE GAME
TWEET OF THE GAME
The color commentator has said “that’s one Brandon is going to want back” on every throw— Bob Zuppke (@BobZuppke) October 2, 2021
The Illini remain in Champaign for the homecoming game against Wisconsin (1-2) next Saturday, Oct. 9 at 2:30 p.m.