Chase Brown rushed for 257 yards and two touchdowns to fuel Illinois to a 24-14 victory over visiting Charlotte on Saturday afternoon in Champaign, Ill.
Brown’s rushing total was the fourth-best performance in a single game in school history.
The Fighting Illini (2-4) ended a four-game losing streak. Illinois head coach Bret Bielema also earned his 99th career victory.
Illinois’ Brandon Peters did a nice job of managing the offense. He completed 10 of 19 passes for 78 yards with a touchdown and no interceptions.
For Charlotte (3-2), Chase Reynolds finished 17 of 23 for 191 passing yards and two touchdowns with an interception. Victor Tucker had five catches for 55 yards and a touchdown, while Grant DuBose finished with four receptions for 70 yards.
Illinois opened the scoring with a 17 play, 64-yard drive that finished with a James McCourt 29-yard field goal.
However, Charlotte responded with a 10-play, 75-yard drive of its own. The 49ers capped the drive with a 22-yard touchdown reception by Tucker.
Illinois regained the lead on Peters’ first touchdown pass of the season, a 10-yard completion over the middle to tight end Daniel Barker for a score.
However, Charlotte struck again just before the half. Reynolds found freshman receiver Elijah Spencer for a 27-yard score on a fade route with 46 seconds left in the first half, putting the 49ers up 14-10.
After forcing Charlotte to punt to start the second half, Illinois took the lead for good on a 10-play, 94-yard drive. Brown capped the drive with a 31-yard run.
After Charlotte’s Jonathan Cruz missed a 39-yard field goal, Brown extended the Fighting Illini advantage to 24-14 lead with an 80-yard jaunt up the sideline for a score.
–Field Level Media