Illinois disposed of the Buccaneers from Charleston Southern 44-0 Saturday, thanks to dominating performances on both sides of the ball.
The Illini totaled 479 yards of offense, and quarterback Reilly O'Toole threw for five touchdowns.
The defense limited the Bucs to 125 yards and held on third down 13 times.
The game was over when: When it started. The Illini clearly outclassed the Buccaneers, dominating on both sides of the ball. Linebacker Mason Monheim set the tone early, intercepting a pass on CSU's first possession, which led to the game's first score. Illinois never looked back.
Illinois player of the game: Quarterback Reilly O'Toole. The sophomore bounced back from last weekend's game by setting a school record with his 83.9 completion percentage (26-of-31). O'Toole connected with 10 different targets, throwing for 333 yards and five touchdowns (both career highs).
Stars of the game:
RB Dami Ayoola: 8 carries, 55 yards, 1 TD.
WR Justin Hardee: 5 catches, 99 yards.
Ryan Lankford: 7 catches, 97 yards, 2 TDs.
Stat of the game: First downs: Illinois, 19. CSU, 5. The Illinois offense piled up over 450 total yards, commanding time of possession and converting 5 of 12 third down attempts.
The takeaway: Illinois got a confidence building win after falling flat last weekend at Arizona State. O'Toole played well in place of Scheelhaase, who was able to rest his sprained ankle another week. The defense had the look of the unit we all expected to see, pitching a shutout and looking sharp the entire game. The competition may not have been all that great, but this is exactly the kind of performance the team needed moving into next week's matchup with a better foe in Louisiana Tech.