Sports NewsWorld News

Illinois forces 5 turnovers in a 41-23 rout of Nebraska for its 2nd straight win — and 1st in Lincoln since 1924 WomensNetworkNews

By Eric Olson

Associated Press

Nov 21, 2020 3:18 PM

LINCOLN, NEB. — Brandon Peters threw for one touchdown and ran for another in his first game in nearly a month, Illinois had two rushers go over 100 yards and the Illini beat turnover-plagued Nebraska 41-23 on Saturday for their second straight win.

The Cornhuskers won at Illinois last year despite committing four turnovers. They couldn’t survive five, though, as Illinois (2-3) won in Lincoln for the first time since 1924.

Luke McCaffrey, making his second start at quarterback, committed the first of his four turnovers on the first play from scrimmage. Wan’Dale Robinson coughed up the ball as the Huskers (1-3) tried to come back in the second half.

Illinois led 28-10 after two quarters, their most first-half points against a conference opponent in 10 years, and was up 41-17 early in the fourth. The Illini won their second road game in as many weeks — they beat Rutgers 23-20 on Nov. 14.

Nebraska linebacker Collin Miller was taken off the field on a stretcher with about 12 minutes to play. He appeared to have been hurt while tackling Mike Epstein.

Nebraska linebacker Collin Miller is taken off the field on a stretcher with about 12 minutes to play Saturday against Illinois in Lincoln, Neb. He appeared to have been hurt while tackling Illini running Mike Epstein.

Nebraska linebacker Collin Miller is taken off the field on a stretcher with about 12 minutes to play Saturday against Illinois in Lincoln, Neb. He appeared to have been hurt while tackling Illini running Mike Epstein. (Nati Harnik/AP)

Medical personnel tended to Miller for several minutes near the south end zone as players from both teams took a knee. He was strapped to a backboard and taken out of the stadium. There was no immediate announcement on his injury.

Peters, who had been out since Oct. 24 because of a COVID-19 outbreak on the team, showed no rust in leading a balanced Illini offense that had 285 yards rushing and 205 passing.

Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters looks to throw during the first half against Nebraska on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.

Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters looks to throw during the first half against Nebraska on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb. (Nati Harnik / AP)

Nebraska entered the game as a 16-point favorite and ran into trouble immediately.

McCaffrey ran 4 yards on the first snap and flung the ball into the turf — what was ruled a lateral instead of an illegal forward pass — and Illini linebacker Jake Hansen recovered at the Huskers 21.

Chicago Tribune Sports Newsletter

Weekdays

A daily sports newsletter delivered to your inbox for your morning commute.

Chase Brown, who ran for 110 yards on 26 carries, scored the first of his two touchdowns three plays later.

Tarique Barnes intercepted a scrambling McCaffrey’s desperation throw along the sideline on a fourth-and-4 play. Peters threw to Josh Imatorbhebhe for a 28-yard touchdown for a 21-7 lead.

Nebraska had a chance to pull within a touchdown when it drove to the 1. But a holding call on center Cam Jurgens nullified Marvin Scott III’s touchdown, and the Huskers had to settle for Connor Culp’s 30-yard field goal.

Illinois added to the lead on Epstein’s 1-yard run two plays after he broke a 58-yarder down the sideline. Epstein finished with 113 yards on 13 carries.

Illinois running back Mike Epstein (26) carries the ball during the first half against Nebraska on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb.

Illinois running back Mike Epstein (26) carries the ball during the first half against Nebraska on Saturday in Lincoln, Neb. (Nati Harnik/AP)

McCaffrey gave way to Adrian Martinez late in the fourth quarter after throwing his third interception.

Promising Illini linebacker Tarique Barnes exited in the second quarter with what appeared to be a left leg injury, and lineman Jer’Zhan Newton went out in the third with an undisclosed injury.

Recommended on Chicago Tribune

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Back to top button
%d bloggers like this: