Illinois fends off Nebraska in 30-22 season-opening win


Illinois running back Mike Epstein celebrates his touchdown during the first half of an NCAA college football game against the Nebraska Saturday, Aug. 28, 2021, in Champaign , Ill. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Under a new coach, with fans packed into the stands for the first time since 2019 and its backup quarterback at the helm, Illinois beat Nebraska 30-22 to kick off the 2021 college football season.

Illinois starting quarterback Brandon Peters left the game holding his left (non-throwing) shoulder after being sacked hard near the end of the first quarter and was replaced by Artur Sitkowski.

Sitkowski was 12 of 15 passing for 124 yards and two touchdowns.

Huskers quarterback Adrian Martinez had 232 passing yards on 16 completions and ran for 111 yards on 17 carries.

By TERRY TOWERY, Associated Press

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