September 11, 2021
Illinois gave up a pair of touchdowns in the first 5:00 of the game and never recovered as Virginia scored the early Saturday rout at home, 42-14.
It was the third start in three games this season that the Illini (1-2) fell behind early. But this time, the Cavaliers didn't let Illinois get back into the game.
Quarterback Artur Sitkowski, making his second start in a row in place of the injured Brandon Peters, got Illinois on the board early in the 2nd quarter with a 33-yard strike to Deuce Spann. It was the second touchdown catch in as many games for the converted quarterback. But that would be Illinois' lone score of the first half as they went into the break down 21-7.
The Illini came out of the halftime locker room with a quick four-play, 75-yard drive capped off by Chase Brown's 21-yard touchdown run to close the gap to 21-14. But it was all Virginia (2-0) the rest of the way, as the Cavaliers closed with 21 unanswered points to hand the Illini their 7th consecutive loss to non-conference Power 5 teams.
Virginia QB Brennan Armstrong set career highs with 405 yards and five touchdowns. Sitkowski finished with 24 completions on 45 attempts for 221 yards and an interception to go with the touchdown.
It was Virginia's first ever win over the Illini after a pair of bowl losses in the series history.
Illinois now gets right back to work on a short prep week as Maryland visits Memorial Stadium Friday night. Former Illinois offensive coordinator Mike Locksley returns as the Terrapins head coach with former Illini head coach Ron Zook on his staff.
7th straight non-conference power 5 loss
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