NCAA: Virginia Cavaliers end a 13-game losing streak by beating Illinois Fighting Illini
- The win put an end to Virginia's 13-game losing streak in non-conference games against Power Five opponents
- Brennan Armstrong threw for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the opening quarter
- Justin Duenkel missed a pair of field goals for Virginia
The Virginia Cavaliers rode on Brennan Armstrong's strong performance as the quarterback threw for five touchdowns and became the third player in his position to pass for over 400 yards in program history as the team beat Illinois Fighting Illini 42-14 on Saturday.
The win put an end to Virginia's 13-game losing streak in non-conference games against Power Five opponents.
Armstrong threw for 171 yards and two touchdowns in the opening quarter, passing to tight end Jelani Woods for a 32-yard score and wide receiver Dontayvion Wicks scored from his pass from 28-yards out, for a 14-0 lead while many fans were still filing into the stadium for the unusual 11 am kickoff.
Armstrong went 27 for 36 for 405 yards, joining Kurt Benkert (who did it twice) and Marc Verica as Virginia quarterbacks who surpassed 400 yards in a game.
Wicks finished with a pair of touchdown catches for Virginia (2-0).
Virginia's defense, coming off its first shutout since the 2018 Belk Bowl, sacked quarterback Artur Sitkowski three times.
Wide receiver Deuce Spann caught a 33-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter for the Illini (1-2), and running back Chase Brown capped the opening drive of the second half with a 21-yard scoring run.
The takeaway from the game:
The Cavaliers have taken the step up from FCS to Power Five competition with both hands and scored their most points against a Power Five non-conference opponent since putting up 47 points on Indiana in 2009.
The Illini's season-opening win over Nebraska feels like a distant thing of the past. Brett Bielema's team struggled on offense and defense with a middle-of-the-pack ACC team.
Justin Duenkel missed a pair of field goals for Virginia, going wide right from 31 and 46 yards. Duenkel hit from 25 and 39 yards in the opener against William & Mary.