Cornerback Patrick Nixon-Youman returned an interception 68 yards for a touchdown. A hit by Justin Staples on IU quarterback Ben Chappell set up the play.
Staples, a sophomore from Ohio who plays the bandit linebacker/defensive end hybrid, also forced a fumble by Dusty Kiel that gave Illinois a first down at the Indiana 23. Three plays later, Jarred Fayson caught a 17-yard touchdown pass for a 17-7 Illinois lead.
Safety Tavon Wilson set the tone with an interception on Indiana's third play of the game. That put Illinois in position for a 3-0 lead.
The Illini (3-3, 1-2), were trying to improve to .500 in Big Ten play. Indiana (4-2, 0-2) was looking for its first conference win.
Indiana outgained Illinois in the first half, putting up 227 yards to Illinois' 164 yards. But the turnovers overshadowed IU's offensive effort.