CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Illinois 50, Miami (Ohio) 14: Nathan Scheelhaase tossed a career-high five touchdown passes - including a school-record four in the second quarter - as the host Illini breezed past the winless RedHawks in their final non-conference game.
Scheelhaase, who threw for just four scores all of last season, completed 19-of-24 attempts for 278 yards while Matt LaCosse reeled in two scores and Josh Ferguson rolled up 148 total yards (77 receiving, 71 rushing) to go along with a 15-yard touchdown catch for Illinois (3-1), which visits Big Ten-rival Nebraska next week.
Austin Boucher passed for 95 yards and a touchdown and Grant Niemiec added a 1-yard touchdown run for Miami (0-4).
After having two weeks to bristle over their 34-24 loss to Washington, the Illini made short work of Miami and sent it on its way to its eighth straight loss. Scheelhaase capped off Illinois' opening drive with a 2-yard toss to LaCosse before finding his trusty tight end again before the half on a 45-yard score to give the Illini a 36-0 lead with 5:18 left in the second quarter.
Tight ends Evan Wilson and Jon Davis each caught touchdown passes in the decisive 29-point second quarter to put the game out of reach. Devin Church rushed in from 12 yards out in the third quarter and Aaron Bailey added a 6-yard score midway through the fourth.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Illinois' 12 passing touchdowns surpassed last season's total (11). ... Miami freshman RB Austin Gearing eclipsed his season total by rushing for 81 yards. He had 53 yards rushing entering the game. ... Illinois snapped a 10-game losing skid after a bye.