UNC topples Illinois 48-23

Mike Granse—USA TODAY Sports
Sep 10

Quarterback Mitch Trubisky passed for two touchdowns and ran for two as North Carolina rebounded from a season-opening loss to Georgia with a 48-23 victory over Illinois on Saturday night in Champaign, Illinois.Trubisky was 19-of-24 passing for 265 yards and extended his string of attempts without an interception to 139 as the Tar Heels (1-1) improved to 4-0 against the Fighting Illini. Running back Elijah Hood’s 62-yard touchdown run with 6:49 remaining — his second score of the fourth quarter — gave North Carolina a 45-23 lead.Quarterback Wes Lunt was 17 of 35 for 127 yards and two touchdowns for Illinois (1-1), which fell to 23-3 in August/September home games since 2007. Illini running back Ke’Shawn Vaughn totaled 116 yards on 15 carries and a touchdown.Vaughn sent the Memorial Stadium crowd into a frenzy when he broke through a huge hole on the right side of the line and raced untouched 65 yards for a touchdown on the third play from scrimmage. The Tar Heels responded less than five minutes later with the first of two Trubisky touchdown runs and the junior later threw a 24-yard scoring toss to running back T.J. Logan, helping North Carolina take a 24-16 halftime lead.Trubisky’s pass to wide receiver Mack Hollins was incomplete from the Illinois 2-yard line on the final play of the first half as coach Larry Fedora opted against a short field goal attempt.Tar Heels kicker Nick Weiler missed a 42-yard field goal try to start the second half and after a three-and-out by the Illini, Trubisky connected with Hollins for a 20-yard touchdown. Illinois trimmed the deficit to 31-23 when Lunt threw a 7-yard TD pass to wide receiver Malik Turner on the first play of the fourth quarter.Hood restored North Carolina’s 15-point lead with a 7-yard touchdown run on the ensuing possession before his long jaunt sealed the victory.