Football Topped by Illinois

ILLINOIS 38 (3-2, 1-1), RUTGERS 17 (1-5, 0-3) HIGHPOINT.COM STADIUM • PISCATAWAY, N.J. OCTOBER 6, 2018 • ATTENDANCE: 36,702 PISCATAWAY, N.J. – Rutgers football (1-5, 0-3) was topped by Illinois (3-2, 1-1), 38-17, on Saturday afternoon at Stadium. Freshman quarterback Artur Sitkowski threw for a season-best 267 yards on 29 completions with a touchdown. Graduate running back Jonathan Hilliman added his fifth touchdown of the season, while sophomore tight end Travis Vokolek posted the first score of his career. Defensively, junior safety Damon Hayes paced the team with seven tackles and a sack. Senior linebacker Trevor Morris and fifth-year defensive end Kevin Wilkins followed with six tackles each in the loss. FIRST QUARTER Although Illinois added a field goal on its second drive of the game, Rutgers countered with a touchdown on its following drive to take the lead. Hilliman rushed for 32 yards to give the Scarlet Knights a 7-3 advantage early in the game.

Come for the uniforms, stay for the @thrilliman thrills. 🔥@RFootballscores the first TD of the day and opens up a 7-3 lead over Illinois:

— Rutgers On BTN (@RutgersOnBTN) October 6, 2018

The Fighting Illini flipped the advantage with a 3-yard rushing touchdown at the end of the first quarter. SECOND QUARTER Moving into the second frame, Illinois held onto its momentum with two more rushing touchdowns. With less than a minute to go until halftime, the Scarlet Knights stumped the Fighting Illini run with a touchdown of their own. Sitkowski connected with Vokolek for a 4-yard passing touchdown to cut into the deficit 24-10.

Artie 👏 Party 👏@RFootball finds the end zone to get back in the ball game, as @artursitkowski4 hits Travis Vokolek for the TD:

— Rutgers On BTN (@RutgersOnBTN) October 6, 2018

FOURTH QUARTER Following a scoreless third quarter for either side, Illinois opened the final frame with a touchdown. Sophomore kicker Justin Davidovicz would tack on a 20-yard field goal for RU late in the stanza. The deficit, however, was too large for RU to overcome in the end. UP NEXT Rutgers travels to Maryland on Oct. 13 for a noon matchup in College Park. PARTICIPATION

  • Collegiate debut (1): PK Gavin Haggerty (29th player to make Rutgers debut this season and 26th to see first collegiate action)

  • First career start (1): LG Sam Vretman (11th Rutgers player to make first collegiate start this season)