Illinois vs. Arkansas State


Sept. 14, 2002

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Illinois 59, Arkansas State 7

  • Illinois began its 79th season of football at Memorial Stadium, with its fifth-straight home opening win. Illinois improves to 48-27-4 all-time in home openers at Memorial Stadium.

  • In his first start at quarterback for the Illini, Jon Beutjer recorded four touchdown passes. The last time an Illinois quarterback had four TD passes was when Kurt Kittner tossed four TDs vs. Wisconsin last season. Beutjer finished the game 17-for-21 with 266 yards, four touchdowns and a long pass of 45 yards to Brandon Lloyd.

  • In his first action at running back, Morris Virgil had 12 carries for 131 yards and three touchdowns. His three rushing TDs are the most by an Illini since Antoineo Harris rushed for three touchdowns in the 2001 season-opener at Cal. Virgil's 69-yard touchdown run in the third quarter is the longest rushing play by an Illini since Howard Griffith's 78-yard run vs. Utah in 1988.

  • Brian Brosnan blocked a punt by ASU's Mike Alexander with 8:29 left in the second quarter. The block was recovered by Kendrick Jones in the endzone for an Illinois touchdown, and marked the third blocked kick in three games for the Illini. In the season opener vs. Missouri, Illinois blocked a field goal attempt and an extra point attempt.

  • Tight end Kenny Boyle recorded the first catch of his career with a 30-yard reception in the second quarter. Boyle finished the game with two receptions for 68 yards.

  • With his 34-yard TD catch in the third quarter, Brandon Lloyd moves into a tie for second on the Illini career touchdowns list with 15 career TDs. In addition, Walter Young's 18-yard TD catch in the first quarter moves him into a tie for 8th on the same list with 10 career touchdowns. Greg Lewis moves into a tie for 10th on the same list after his 4-yard TD catch in the third quarter gives him 9 TD receptions for his career.

  • With six catches and 119 receiving yards this afternoon, Brandon Lloyd collected his second 100-yard receiving game of the season and the ninth of his career.

  • Illinois scored 59 points in today's win, marking its first 50-point game since a 63-21 win over Virginia in the 1999 Bowl. The last time Illinois scored over 50 points in a regular season game came in 1991 with a 51-10 victory over Houston.

  • Morris Virgil's 69-yard touchdown run ranks as Illinois' longest run and rushing TD of the season. Brandon Lloyd's 45-yard reception from Jon Beutjer is the longest passing play of the season, and the Beutjer-to-Lloyd 34-yard TD strike is the longest touchdown pass of the season.