Illini Shuts Out WIU Leathernecks, 44-0
Wes Lunt threw for 316 yards and a touchdown Saturday to lead Illinois to its second-straight blowout win, 44-0 over Western Illinois.
Lunt had 240 yards by halftime and Illinois (2-0) carried a 30-0 lead to the locker room.
Geronimo Allison was Lunt's favorite target with eight catches for 124 yards.
Western Illinois (1-1) was coming off a 35-3 win over fellow Football Championship Subdivision school Eastern Illinois. But the step up to a Big Ten team was a struggle. The Leathernecks finished the day with 141 total yards.
For the first time since 1994, Illinois held opponents without a touchdown for consecutive games.
"We're not the '85 Bears right yet, but we've got some experience," said co-defensive coordinator Tim Banks. "You know that's always been my battle cry. If you guys go back and check the archives you've probably heard me say it 50 million times. I'm a 'ten-thousand hour' guy. And I want to get good and be an expert at what we do. I think our kids understand that and they're out executing it right now."
The win was the second straight for interim coach Bill Cubit after beating Kent State 52-3. Cubit took over after Tim Beckman was fired last month.
The shutout was Illinois' first since a 44-0 win over Charleston Southern in 2012.