CHAMPAIGN — Chase Brown scored three touchdowns and rushed for 151 yards, and Tommy DeVito completed 27 of 37 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns in his debut as Illinois breezed past Wyoming 38-6 in its season opener Saturday.
Only 41 seconds elapsed before Brown found his way into the end zone, catching a 14-yard pass from DeVito to put the Illini in front.
Brown surpassed 2,000 career rushing yards — including his freshman season at Western Michigan — on an 18-yard run in the second quarter. He followed with an 11-yard scoring run, and kicker Caleb Griffin connected from 27 yards to give Illinois a 17-3 halftime lead.
Wyoming quarterback Andrew Peasley completed just 6 of 21 passes for 40 yards in his debut. Cowboys running back Titus Swen rushed for 98 yards on 17 carries, while Peasley added 76 rushing yards on eight attempts.
The Cowboys converted just 1 of 12 third-down attempts, while the Illini were 7 of 16.
John Hoyland had field goals of 22 yards and 46 yards for the Cowboys’ lone scores.
Chicago Tribune Sports
A daily sports newsletter delivered to your inbox for your morning commute.
Illinois upped its lead to 31-6 early in the fourth quarter when Brown scored on a 5-yard run.
First-year offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr. sped up the tempo at times, regularly going no-huddle in a bid to wear down Wyoming’s defensive front.
Illini cornerback Jartavius Martin made a team-high seven tackles and broke up three passes.
Illinois: DeVito looked confident in his debut, even if there is room for improvement. He connected with a dozen receivers. If Illinois gets steady quarterback play, it could fair well in the Big Ten West thanks to its stingy defense.
Wyoming: The Cowboys look a few steps behind their 2021 team after losing much of their top talent to the transfer portal.
Illinois: The Illini open Big Ten play Friday night at Indiana.
Wyoming: The Cowboys play host Tulsa on Saturday in a nonconference game.