Wes Lunt passed for four touchdowns and Illinois routed Kent State 52-3 in the opener for both teams on Saturday, a day after it was re-scheduled due to lightning.
An Illini team looking to bounce back from a season of off-field turmoil took a 38-0 halftime lead Saturday and cruised to the win. Lunt was 11 of 19 for 162 yards before heading to the bench in the third quarter with Illinois comfortably ahead.
The Illini defense held Kent State scoreless until Shayne Hynes hit a 43-yard field goal with 8:30 left in the game.
Golden Flash quarterback Colin Reardon was 15 of 34 for 156 yards and threw three interceptions.
Illinois has faced off-field problems since a former player accused coach Tim Beckman of interfering in medical decisions. Beckman was fired on Aug. 28 after an investigation found evidence that he had. Beckman has denied any wrongdoing.