Illinois defense locks down Virginia for 24-3 victory

‘That was a rough day at the office.’

Illinois quarterback Tommy DeVito (3) carries the ball during the first half of an NCAA college football game against Virginia Saturday, Sept. 10, 2022, in Champaign, Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast) (Charles Rex Arbogast, Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Chase Brown rushed for 146 yards on 20 carries, Tommy DeVito threw for 196 yards and two scores and the Illinois defense stifled Virginia’s once-potent attack to lead the Fighting Illini to a 24-3 victory.

“That was a rough day at the office right there, but hey, you live and you learn and grow, and we’re gonna find a way to get better from it,” said Virginia head coach Tony Elliott.

Things looked dicey for Illinois (2-1, 0-1 Big Ten) after DeVito threw an interception on his first pass attempt of the day and when Brown fumbled after a first-down run. However, a dominant defense cleared the path to victory as the Illini held Virginia (1-1) to 1 of 16 on third-down conversions.

Despite passing for 180 yards, Virginia quarterback Brennan Armstrong threw two interceptions, was sacked five times and held to -9 rushing yards.

“First, for a quarterback, when they [Illinois] have five sacks, you could really tell it was wearing on him as the game went on,” Elliott said. “He didn’t trust his protection, he was moving in the pocket too much, he was throwing off his back foot, he had some wide open guys and, you know, just felt the pressure and never could get settled to be able to go through his progressions. So overall, offensive line wise, I was disappointed in how they played.”

Virginia will return to Charlottesville and prepare for a September 17 matchup with Old Dominion--a 2 p.m. kickoff from Scott Stadium.

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