|Score by quarters|
- Nebraska improved to 5-0 for the second time in three seasons and the third time since 2010.
- Senior I-back Terrell Newby carried 16 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns in Nebraska's decisive 21-0 fourth quarter. Newby finished with 27 carries for 140 yards, which both marked the second-highest totals of his career. It was his third career 100-yard rushing game.
- Newby's 63-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter sealed Nebraska's 31-16 win. It was also Nebraska's longest run from scrimmage this season.
- Nebraska totaled 203 rushing yards to improve to 8-0 under Coach Mike Riley when putting up 200 or more yards on the ground.
- Nebraska scored 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to continue its fourth-quarter dominance this season. The Huskers have outscored their first five opponents this season by a combined 78-6 in the fourth quarter.
- Nebraska amassed a season-high 38:01 time of possession against Illinois. It marked the third straight game that the Huskers have totaled more than 35 minutes of possession time.
- Illinois ran just 44 plays from scrimmage against NU, tying the opponent low against a Mike Riley-coached Nebraska team (Iowa, 2015).
- Tommy Armstrong Jr.'s one-yard touchdown run to cap Nebraska's opening drive marked the 20th touchdown run of his career. Armstrong is the seventh quarterback in Nebraska history with 20 rushing TDs.
- Armstrong completed 16-of-23 passes for 220 yards and one touchdown in the game. He owns 7,842 career passing yards and 9,442 total offense yards. He is 791 total yards from Taylor Martinez's career school record (10,233). With 550 career completions, Armstrong needs 25 more to match Martinez's school record (575).
- Nebraska opened the game with a 13-play touchdown drive, tying the Huskers’ longest drive of the season in terms of plays. Nebraska also had 13-play scoring drives against Fresno State (TD) and at Northwestern (FG). The scoring drive marked the first time this season Nebraska has scored on its first drive of the game.
- Senior receiver Jordan Westerkamp had four receptions for 65 yards in the game, marking his 31st consecutive game with at least one reception. Westerkamp now has 142 career receptions, one shy of Johnny Rodgers for third on the NU career chart.
- Nebraska senior tight end Cethan Carter caught one pass before leaving the game with an injury. The catch was the 50th of Carter’s career, making him the eighth NU tight end with 50 career receptions
- Drew Brown missed just short on a 56-yard field goal attempt on the following play, snapping a streak of 13 consecutive made field goals for Brown.
Lincoln - Senior I-back Terrell Newby took over in the fourth quarter, carrying 16 times for 113 yards including a pair of touchdowns to give No. 15 Nebraska a 31-16 win over Illinois on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
With the victory, Nebraska improved to 5-0 overall and 2-0 in the Big Ten. Illinois slipped to 1-3 overall and 0-1 in the conference.
A total of 90,374 fans were on hand for the 351st consecutive sellout at Memorial Stadium in Nebraska's fourth home game of the 2016 season. The Husker faithful celebrated early when NU scored a touchdown on its opening drive of the game to take a 7-0 lead. Nebraska marched 75 yards in 13 plays in 6:30 capped by Tommy Armstrong Jr.'s one-yard plunge for his 20th career rushing touchdown.
From that point, Illinois won much of the next two quarters, taking a 16-10 lead on a Chase McLaughlin 33-yard field goal with 7:40 left in the third quarter. It was McLaughlin's third straight field goal, and despite Nebraska maintaining possession for the rest of the third quarter, the Illini took a six-point lead into the fourth.
But the Big Red have owned the fourth quarter this season, and that trend continued with a 21-0 outburst against the Illini in the final period on Saturday. For the season, the Huskers have outscored their five opponents, 78-6.
Newby carried the load for the Huskers down the stretch. He rammed the ball into the teeth of the Fighting Illini defense on the last five plays of a monumental 18-play, 75-yard drive that consumed 10:42 that gave Nebraska a 17-16 lead with 11:58 left. He put the exclamation point on the defining drive with his powerful three-yard burst to paydirt.
While Newby took over on the offensive side, the Blackshirts shut the door on quarterback Wes Lunt and the Illini offense.
After Nebraska regained the lead, the Blackshirts forced a three-out, setting up an 11-play, 59-yard march that covered 5:49 and resulted in Armstrong's six-yard scoring strike to senior tight end Trey Foster in the heart of the end zone. Newby touched the ball on nine of the first 10 plays on the drive to help give Nebraska 24-16 lead with 4:32 left.
The Blackshirts put the clamps down on the Illini with another three-and-out on the ensuing drive and forced the fourth punt of the game by Illinois. Two plays later, Newby brought the Sea of Red to its feet with his Nebraska season-long 63-yard touchdown run to seal the Huskers' 31-16 win.
Newby finished the day with 27 carries for 140 yards, which both marked the second-highest totals of his Husker career. The 140 yards marked the third career 100-yard rushing day for the senior I-back from Los Angeles.
While Newby did most of the work on offense in the fourth quarter, Armstrong completed all three of his pass attempts and finished the day 16-of-23 for 220 yards and a touchdown through the air. He was intercepted late in the second quarter, marking just his second interception thrown in 129 attempts this season.
The Illini converted that turnover to points and tookk a 13-10 lead in the locker room at the half after trailing 10-7 with just over a minute left in the second quarter. McLaughlin kicked a pair of field goals for the Fighting Illini in the final 1:01 of the first half to give Illinois momentum.
The Huskers committed another turnover deep in Illinois territory early in the third quarter and the Illini converted it to points again to take a 16-10 lead before the late-game dominance by Nebraska.
After McLaughlin's third field goal, Nebraska ran 33 plays for 203 yards over the game's final 22:40, while Illinois ran just 10 plays for 18 yards.
For the game, Nebraska amassed 423 total yards on 72 plays while maintaining possession for a season-high 38:01. It marked the third straight game that the Huskers have totaled more than 35 minutes in time of possession. Nebraska, which rolled up 203 rushing yards, improved to 8-0 under Coach Mike Riley when amassing 200 or more yards on the ground.
Nebraska's offensive line not only got a push up front in the second half for its runners, it also protected Armstrong against an Illini pass rush that entered the game leading the nation with 4.8 sacks per contest. Armstrong was not sacked in the game.
The Blackshirts held the Fighting Illini to just 270 total yards on 44 plays.
Nebraska will enjoy a bye next weekend while preparing for its second road test of the season at Indiana on Saturday, Oct. 15. Kick-off with the Hoosiers in Bloomington is set for 2:30 p.m. (CT) with television information to be announced at a later date.
No. 15 Nebraska 31, Illinois 16
Saturday, Oct. 1, 2016
Memorial Stadium (Lincoln, Neb.)
First Quarter (NEB 7-0)
NEB 8:23 - Tommy Armstrong Jr. 1 run (Drew Brown kick), 13 plays, 75 yards, 6:30, NEB 7-0
Second Quarter (ILL 13-10)
ILL 10:11 - Kendrick Foster 31 run (Chase McLaughlin kick), 8 plays, 60 yards, 3:57, 7-7
NEB 5:59 - Brown 29 FG, 10 plays, 53 yards, 4:12, NEB 10-7
ILL 1:01 - McLaughlin 24 FG, 10 plays, 69 yards, 4:58, 10-10
ILL 0:00 - McLaughlin 43 FG, 3 plays, 21 yards, 0:28, ILL 13-10
Third Quarter (ILL 16-10)
ILL 7:40 - McLaughlin 33 FG, 8 plays, 74 yards, 3:45, ILL 16-10
Fourth Quarter (NEB 31-16)
NEB 11:58 - Terrell Newby 3 run (Brown PAT), 18 plays, 75 yards, 10:42, NEB 17-16
NEB 4:32 - Trey Foster 6 pass from Armstrong (Brown PAT), 11 plays, 59 yards, 5:49, NEB 24-16
NEB 2:03 - Newby 63 run (Brown PAT), 2 plays, 70 yards, 0:54, NEB 31-16
Time of Game: 3:05
Game Start: 2:35 p.m.