CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — In its first road game under head coach Tony Elliott, Virginia lost 24-3 to Illinois on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.

The Cavaliers (1-1) were coming off an opener in which they scored 34 points. That was against Richmond, which competes in the Football Championship Subdivision. Against Illinois (2-1), from the Big Ten Conference, UVA mustered only 222 yards.

Sixty-two of those yards came on one play: a completion from quarterback Brennan Armstrong to wide receiver Lavel Davis Jr. The Fighting Illini sacked Armstrong five times and harassed him on countless other plays.

At Scott Stadium last season, the Wahoos routed the Illini 42-14, totaling 556 yards of offense, but the rematch bore no resemblance to that game. The Hoos’ defense forced four turnovers Saturday, but their offense was unable to capitalize on those takeaways or generate any momentum.

Virginia finished 1-for-16 on third-down conversions and 1-for-4 on fourth down.

Special teams were an issue for the Cavaliers, too. UVA led 3-0 in the first quarter when, after fielding an Illinois punt, Billy Kemp IV tried to run. Kemp fumbled at the Cavaliers’ 6-yard line, and the Illini recovered in the end zone for a touchdown that put them ahead to stay.

Virginia, which finished with 13 first downs, had only four through three quarters.

This marked the second time in the past two seasons that UVA has failed to score a touchdown in a game. In the first, though, a 28-3 loss to Notre Dame at Scott Stadium, Armstrong was out with an injury. Armstrong played Saturday, but his inexperienced offensive line gave him little protection and opened few holes for the Cavaliers’ running backs.

UVA gained only 42 yards on the ground. Armstrong finished 13-of-32 passing for 180 yards, with two interceptions.

Virginia hosts Old Dominion next Saturday at Scott Stadium. The 2 p.m. game will air on ACC Network.

Postgame Notes

Team Notes

  • Virginia drops to is 1-3 all-time against Illinois.
  • UVA is 8-12 all-time in games against active members of the Big Ten and falls for only the third time in the last eight matchups against Big Ten foes.
  • The Virginia defense forced four turnovers – three forced fumbles and an interception. Two of the turnovers came on the first two Illinois’ drives.
  • The three fumble recoveries were the most in a game since being credited with three against Duke on Oct. 19, 2019.
  • The Cavaliers finished with 222 yards of total offense (42 rush, 180 pass) in the contest, their lowest output since compiling 191 against Virginia Tech in 2017. Including today, UVA has amassed 300 or more yards in all but eight games since the 2017 season, a span of 64 games.

Player Notes

  • Cornerback Anthony Johnson picked off the game’s first pass, his sixth career interception and fourth at UVA (three in 2021).

  • Antonio Clary, Jonas Sanker and Kam Butler each were credited with forced fumbles. It marked the first time Clary and Sanker forced a fumble in their careers.
  • Butler recorded his fourth career forced fumble on a strip sack in the second quarter. It was his 16th career sack. He had three forced fumbles last season playing for Miami (OH) and 15 career sacks with the Redhawks.
  • Long led the team with 13 tackles (eight solo and five assisted), only his second multiple tackle game of his career. He had two in the season opener against William & Mary last season.
  • Nick Jackson (6.5 career), Chico Bennett Jr. (1.5 career) and Kam Butler(16 career) each recorded their first sacks of the 2022 season.
  • Long made his first collegiate starts in the contest and Bennett made his first start in a Cavalier uniform (started two games while at Georgia Tech in 202
  • Lavel Davis Jr. 62-yard reception in the second quarter was the 13th catch of 20 or more yards in his career. He has 26 career receptions.
  • Jay Woolfolk’s 31-yard rush late in the fourth quarter was the longest rush of his career.
  • Keytaon Thompson led all Cavaliers with five receptions, the fifth time in the last six games he’s caught five or more passes. He finished with 62 yards receiving
  • Wide receiver Billy Kemp IV was held without a catch for the first time since Nov. 2, 2019, snapping a 28-game receptions streak, tied for the second-longest active streak in college football going into the game.
  • Quarterback Brennan Armstrong did not record a touchdown pass in the contest, snapping a school-record streak of 18 games.