Deuce Spann of Illinois gets past Nebraska safety Marquel Dismuke to catch a 45-yard pass in Champaign, Ill. Illinois won, 30-22. Charles Rex Arbogast/Associated Press

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Under a new coach, with fans packed into the stands for the first time since 2019 and its backup quarterback at the helm, Illinois beat Nebraska 30-22 on Saturday to kick off the 2021 college football season.

The Big Ten conference win didn’t come without a price for the Illini.

Illinois starting quarterback Brandon Peters left the game holding his left (non-throwing) shoulder after being sacked hard near the end of the first quarter. He was 3 of 4 passing for 35 yards. He did not return and was replaced by Artur Sitkowski, a sophomore transfer from Rutgers.

Sitkowski engineered several long scoring drives using a balanced attack under first-year coach Bret Bielema. Sitkowski was 12 of 15 passing for 124 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.

Huskers quarterback Adrian Martinez was impressive, racking up 232 passing yards on 16 completions. He had one passing touchdown and one rushing touchdown. He was also Nebraska’s leading rusher, with 111 yards on 17 carries.

FRESNO STATE 45, UCONN 0: Jake Haener threw for three touchdowns and 331 yards and Fresno State started its 100th year of football with a win over the visiting Huskies.

Haener, a transfer from Washington, threw all his TD passes in the second quarter and had 299 passing yards by halftime. He left the contest on the Bulldogs’ first drive of the second half because of apparent leg cramps as temperatures on the field reached 120 degrees.

UCLA 44, HAWAII 10: Zach Charbonnet rushed for 106 yards and three touchdowns in his UCLA debut as the Bruins rolled to a victory in Pasadena, California.

UCLA scored on its first five possessions as it snapped an eight-game losing streak to teams outside the Pac-12.

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