Kendrick Foster scored two touchdowns and Darius Mosely returned an interception 75 yards for a touchdown as Illinois snapped a four-game losing streak with a 24-7 victory over mistake-prone Rutgers on Saturday.
Foster ran 5 yards for a touchdown and caught a 5-yard scoring pass from first-time starter Chayce Crouch in helping the Fighting Illini (2-4, 1-2 Big Ten) give coach Lovie Smith his first win since the season opener.
The Illini defense forced five turnovers, recovering four fumbles and getting the game-clinching return in the fourth quarter from Mosely, who also had a fumble recovery.
Gio Rescigno, who replaced Chris Laviano at the start of the second half, threw a 3-yard touchdown pass to Nick Arcidiacono on the first play of the fourth quarter to snap an 11-quarter scoring drought and get Rutgers (2-5, 0-4) within 17-7.
Rescigno had Rutgers at the Illini 25 with a first down on the next series, but Mosely intercepted his short pass to the left side. The clincher came after play was delayed a couple of minutes for an injury Scarlet Knights lineman J.J. Denman.
Crouch played well, starting for the injured Wes Lunt. He was 6 of 14 for 92 yards and ran 11 times for 25. Lunt missed the game with a back injury sustained last week.
The Illini travel to No. 4 Michigan next Saturday.