August 27, 2022
(Cover photo courtesy Ron Johnson/USA Today Sports)
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Chase Brown rushed for 151 yards and scored three touchdowns and transfer quarterback Tommy DeVito passed for 194 yards in his Illini debut as Illinois opened the 2022 season with a 38-6 victory over Wyoming.
The 38 points scored represents the second-most points for a Bret Bielema-coached Illini squad. Illinois beat Northwestern 47-14 in their season finale last November. That win over the Wildcats and Saturday's rout marks the first time in 12 years that Illinois recorded consecutive 30-point wins over FBS opponents. The Illini beat Indiana (43-13) and Purdue (44-10) in October, 2010.
The Illini (1-o) came into the game as a 10-point favorite and looked the part in the first half, scoring on a DeVito to Brown 14-yard touchdown pass just 35 seconds into the game. After a Wyoming field goal, Brown scored on an 11-yard run with 8:12 left in the second quarter to give Illinois a 14-3 lead. A Caleb Griffin field goal extended their advantage to 17-3 at halftime.
It was a more productive first half offense than Illinois displayed last year. After averaging 330 yards per game on offense in 2021, Illinois rolled up 262 yards in the first half.
DeVito was solid in his first start in new offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr.'s system. The former Syracuse passer completed 27 of 37 passes with two touchdowns, but more importantly didn't make any mistakes.
Wyoming (0-1) was held to 222 yards and managed to convert just 1-of-12 third downs in the game.
Illinois will hit the road to face Indiana next Friday (7pm CT, FS1).
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