Reilly O'Toole once again started in place for injured quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase, leading the Illini offense to 20 points in the first half.
O'Toole completed 15-of-18 passes for 150 yards and two scores. His favorite target was junior wideout Ryan Lankford, who caught seven passes for 97 yards and two scores.
Freshman tailback Dami Ayoola scored his first career touchdown, a 28-yard scamper late in the second quarter.
The defense rebounded from last weekend's poor showing, holding the Buccaneers offense to 92 total yards. CSU managed only 2-of-11 passing, with 23 yards through the air.
Freshman linebacker Mason Monheim intercepted the first pass of his career, setting up the first Illini score of the game.
A host of headlining players joined Scheelhaase on the sideline. Graham Pocic, Josh Ferguson, Steve Hull, Houston Bates and Supo Sanni were among those not dressed.
Play of the half: Ayoola's touchdown run late in the second quarter. On fourth and short, Ayoola's second and third effort after taking contact near the line of scrimmage led to the long run and score, extending the lead to 20-0 going into the half. He currently leads the team with 49 yards rushing, averaging 8.3 per carry.
Stat of the half: Time of possession, Illinois - 17:31, CSU - 10:23.
What went right: The short passing game. Quarterback Reilly O'Toole connected with seven different targets in the passing game, running up 150 yards passing. Many of the play calls saw O'Toole rolling out or throwing from a moving pocket, opening up quick passes both short and medium.
What went wrong: Take away Ayoola's 28-yard score and the offense averaged 2.6 yards per carry.