Armstrong-led Virginia out to beat Illinois 2nd year in row

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Virginia Cavaliers: Full Highlights (1:44)

Illinois Fighting Illini vs. Virginia Cavaliers: Full Highlights (1:44)

Virginia (1-0) at Illinois (1-1), Saturday, 4 p.m. ET (ESPNU)

Line: Illinois by 4 1/2, according to

Series record: Illinois leads 2-1.


First-year coach Tony Elliott is looking to get the Cavaliers out to a 2-0 start for the second straight year and seventh time since 2000. Virginia brushed off a slow start against FCS opponent Richmond to win 34-17 last week. Illinois will try to rebound after blowing a late lead in a 23-20 loss at Indiana.


Cavaliers QB Brennan Armstrong vs. Illinois defense. Armstrong threw for 405 yards and five touchdowns in a 42-14 win over the Illini last year, and last week he became Virginia's all-time leader in total offense as he threw for more than 200 yards and ran for more than 100 against Richmond. Illinois gave up 330 passing yards to Indiana.


Illinois: RB Chase Brown became the first Illinois running back since at least 1942 to rush 150 yards in back-to-back games to start the season. Brown ran 36 times for 199 yards against Indiana and he's averaging 6.4 yards per carry through two games.

Virginia: Armstrong threw for 4,449 yards with 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions in 2021 and carved up the Illini in last year's blowup. He appears to have made a smooth adjustment to a new offensive coordinator who runs a pro-style system with the quarterback taking snaps from under center.


The Cavaliers are 7-13 all-time against Big Ten teams, with road wins at Penn State in 1989 and at Indiana in 2011. ... The Illini have not beaten a current ACC opponent since a 63-21 bowl win over Virginia in 1999. Illinois beat Syracuse, then in the Big East, in 2007. ... The Cavaliers compiled 505 total yards of offense in the season-opening win over Richmond.