Terrell Newby ran for 113 of his 140 yards and scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter, and No. 15 Nebraska got a scare from Illinois before winning 31-16 on Saturday.
Newby touched the ball on 18 of Nebraska's last 21 plays from scrimmage and the Cornhuskers (5-0, 2-0 Big Ten) won going away after being down 16-10. They also avenged a 14-13 loss last year in Champaign.
Illinois (1-3, 0-1) got off only 10 offensive plays after taking its six-point lead with 7:40 left in the third quarter. The Illini have lost 14 straight and 23 of 24 against Top 25 opponents.
Nebraska, favored by three touchdowns, fell behind after turning over the ball on back-to-back possessions. But the Illini had to settle for field goals after each takeaway, allowing the Huskers to stay close.
The Huskers went 18 plays in 10:42 to take a one-point lead early in the fourth. Nebraska was able to keep the drive alive because of two huge penalties on the Illini. Chunky Clements had Tommy Armstrong Jr. stopped for a loss on a third-and-12, but he was called for a horse-collar tackle, and Darius Mosley was flagged for pass interference on a fourth-and-4.
The Illini, who have lost three in a row since winning their opener, gave Nebraska all it could handle. They were done in by untimely and bad penalties and by having to settle for field goals instead of touchdowns after Nebraska turnovers.