Brown, DeVito lead Illinois past Wyoming 38-6 in opener

Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
0 Comments

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. – Chase Brown scored three touchdowns and rushed for 151 yards and Tommy DeVito completed 27 of 37 passes for 192 yards and two scores in his debut as Illinois breezed past Wyoming 38-6 in a season-opener on Saturday.

Only 41 seconds elapsed before Brown found his way into the end zone, latching on to a 14-yard pass from DeVito to put Illinois in front.

“I thought Tommy really showed great composure,” Illinois coach Bret Bielema said. “He’s a very accurate passer. He had some glitches today, but things we can definitely clean up.”

Brown surpassed 2,000 career rushing yards – including his freshman season at Western Michigan – on an 18-yard run in the second quarter. Brown followed with an 11-yard TD run and kicker Caleb Griffin connected from 27 yards out to give Illinois a 17-3 halftime lead.

“A lot of times, running backs jump the gun on their keys and their reads, and he’s just really patient and I think playing at a high level,” Bielema said.

Brown is the 19th Illinois running back to hit the 2,000-yard career mark.

“We’ve got to be better going into Big Ten play to really make a statement,” Brown said. “We did what we were supposed to today. We all knew that we would win this game, but it’s going in there next week against Indiana where we can really make a statement.”

Wyoming quarterback Andrew Peasley completed just six of 21 passes for 40 yards in his debut.

Cowboys running back Titus Swen rushed for 98 yards on 17 carries, while Peasley added 76 rushing yards on eight attempts.

“Our guys are trying. We just didn’t play very well and we didn’t coach very well,” Wyoming coach Craig Bohl said.

Swen left the game with what Bohl said could be a rib injury after a 6-yard run in the fourth.

The Cowboys converted just 1 of 12 third-down attempts, while the Illini were successful on 7 of 16.

John Hoyland had field goals of 22 and 46 yards for the Cowboys.

“It’s hard right now, but I do know this, we’ve got a lot of resolve in the locker room,” Bohl said. “(We have) coaches that want to work hard, and we’re going to come back. But yeah, it’s real frustrating.”

Illinois upped its lead to 31-6 early in the fourth quarter when Brown scored on a 5-yard run. Reggie Love tacked on late score with a 33-yard rush after he narrowly stayed on his feet and avoided the sideline.

DeVito, who transferred to Illinois from Syracuse, said he had enough time in the pocket to sift through his third and fourth options on certain passing downs.

“I’m not taking any shots here, but I think this is the first game that I’ve been in where I did not get sacked,” DeVito said. “Am I fair to say that?”

Sixth-year offensive tackle Alex Palczewski made his program record 53rd career start to break a tie with former teammate and current Minnesota Vikings tackle Vederian Lowe.

First-year offensive coordinator Barry Lunney Jr. sped up the tempo at times, regularly going no-huddle in a bid to wear down Wyoming’s defensive front.

“We’re a no-huddle team now, there’s a lot of things that go into that,” Bielema said. “Barry is just extremely gifted in the way he thinks and communicates with our players. I think that definitely showed up today with the number of guys that played.”

Illini cornerback Jartavius Martin made a team-high seven tackles and broke up three passes.

THE TAKEAWAY

DeVito looked confident in his debut, even if there is room for improvement, connecting with a dozen different receivers. If Illinois gets steady quarterback play, it could fair well in the Big Ten West thanks to its stingy defense.

The Cowboys look a few steps behind 2021 after losing much of their top talent to the portal.

“If you want to play against these type of opponents, then you’ve got to perform,” Bohl said. “Maybe the want-to was there, but the competency as a whole wasn’t.”

UP NEXT

Illinois: The Illini open Big Ten Conference play on Friday night when they travel to Indiana to take on the Hoosiers.

Wyoming: The Cowboys will host Tulsa next Saturday in a nonconference match-up.

Clemson gives raises, contract extensions to staff

Ken Ruinard/USA TODAY NETWORK
0 Comments

CLEMSON, S.C. — Clemson’s board of trustees approved raises for special teams coordinator and cornerbacks coach Mike Reed and defensive tackles coach Nick Eason.

Reed and Eason also received one-year extensions keeping them tied to the Tigers through Jan. 31, 2026.

Reed, who’s been with the Tigers since 2013, had his yearly salary increased $50,000 to $800,000. Eason, the former Clemson standout defensive lineman, joined the staff this past season. He also had his compensation upped by $50,000 to $800,000.

Seven other assistants were given one-year extensions by the trustees’ compensation committee, but without a raise in salary.

Co-defensive coordinators Wes Goodwin and Mickey Conn had their contracts extended through Jan. 31, 2026.

Defensive ends coach Lemanski Hall, tight ends coach Kyle Richardson, offensive line coach Thomas Austin, running backs coach C.J. Spiller and wide receivers coach Tyler Grisham all got one-year extensions through Jan. 31, 2025.

New offensive coordinator Garrett Riley last month received a three-year contract at $1.75 million per season.

Clemson will pay its 10 on-field assistants $7.475 million this season, an increase of $925,000 from the total for 2022.

The Tigers went 11-3 last season, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference title for the seventh time in the past eight seasons.

South Carolina’s Beamer suspends three freshmen from program

south carolina basketball
Corey Perrine/USA TODAY NETWORK
0 Comments

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina coach Shane Beamer said freshmen Monteque Rhames II, Anthony Rose and Cameron Upshaw were suspended from the football program.

There was no reason given for the suspensions in the school’s statement Friday. Online records showed Rhames, 18, was booked last night and was being held at the Alvin S. Glenn Detention Center on charges of carrying weapons on school property and obstructing justice.

“Our student-athletes know what is expected of them,” Beamer said. “They know that both the university and the football program will hold them accountable for their actions and decisions.”

None of the three have played for the Gamecocks.

Rose is a 6-foot-1, 190-pound defensive back from Miami who enrolled in January 2022 and redshirted this season. Rhames and Upshaw were part of South Carolina’s latest recruiting class and enrolled last month.

Rhames is a 6-5, 235-pound defensive lineman from Sumter and Upshaw is a 6-2, 193-pound safety from Perry, Florida.