CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP)Chase Brown rushed for 257 yards and two touchdowns and Illinois beat Charlotte 24-14 on Saturday.
It stands as the fourth best single-game rushing performance in Illinois history, His 80-yard scoring run as time expired in the third quarter was the longest run of the year for Illinois (2-4). The last Illini to rush for more than 200 yards in a game was Reggie Corbin, who ran for 213 yards against Minnesota in 2018.
Brandon Peters was 10 of 19 passing for 78 yards and one touchdown for the Illini. Josh McCray rushed 16 times for 64 yards, while Daniel Barker caught one pass for a touchdown.
Chris Reynolds was 17 of 23 passing for 191 yards and two touchdowns for Charlotte (3-2).
Calvin Camp rushed seven times for 29 yards for the 49ers. Victor Tucker caught five passes for 55 yards and a touchdown, and Grant DuBose caught four passes for 70 yards. Elijah Spencer caught two passes for 34 yards and a touchdown.
Illinois’ two touchdowns in the second half both were on Brown runs, a 32-yard score midway through the third quarter and his 80-yard scamper as time expired in the third quarter,
Illinois scored first on a 29-yard James McCourt field goal midway through the first quarter after a 17-play opening drive for the Illini. Charlotte answered with a 22-yard touchdown pass from Reynolds to Tucker with 1:31 left in the first quarter.
Illinois scored late in the second quarter with a 10-yard touchdown pass from Peters to Barker to make the score 10-7 Illinois
Charlotte then drove 66 yards on 6 plays and scored on a 22-yard pass from Reynolds to Spencer to lead 14-10 at the half.
Coming into the game, Reynolds had thrown for 9 touchdowns, 16th most in the nation.
Illinois needed a win after a disastrous start to the season. And while it was against a program that didn’t even play football before 2013, Illinois coach Bret Bielema will take it.
Charlotte played with poise against its first ever Big Ten opponent and coach Will Healy has to be proud of his squad for its balanced play .
Charlotte: At FIU on Friday night.
Illinois: Hosts conference rival Wisconsin on Oct. 9.
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