CHAMPAIGN, Illinois (Ticker) -- Jon Beutjer threw four touchdown passes, leading Illinois to a 49-22 rout of Division I-AA Illinois State.
Beutjer only completed 16-of-23 passes for 207 yards, but made them count. He threw three TD strikes in the first quarter, helping the Fighting Illini (1-1) open a 21-0.
Illinois rebounded from a season-opening 22-15 loss to Mississippi, beating Illinois State in the first meeting between the schools since 1944.
Morris Virgil paced Illinois on the ground, rushing for 84 yards and a touchdown on just nine carries. Pierre Thomas also carried nine times and added 78 yards.
Illinois State (1-1) got no closer than 31-13 on Stephen Carroll's 28-yard field goal with 5:38 left in the third period.
With Illinois State forced to play from behind, Mike Souza passed for 385 yards and two touchdowns. He completed 33-of-56 passes.
Mark Kornfeld, Brad Haywood, Kelvin Hayden and Lonnie Hurat had TD receptions for the Fighting Illini.
Dwayne Smith hauled in 14 receptions for 243 yards and two touchdowns for the Redbirds, including a 74-yarder late in the third period.