Illinois took an early 7–0 lead on a 14-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Jason Verduzco to John Wright. Hawaii responded with a 6-yard touchdown run from running back Travis Sims, tying the game at 7. At the end of the quarter, Illinois' Chris Richardson kicked a 19-yard field goal giving the Illini a 10–7 halftime lead.
In the third quarter, Travis Sims scored on a 1-yard touchdown run putting Hawaii up 14–10. Jason Elam added a 45-yard field goal, to make the score 17-10 at the end of the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, Elam added a 37-yard field goal, and Michael Carter threw a 53-yard bomb to Darrick Branch putting Hawaii up 27–10. Verduzco and Wright connected for the second time of the game, as Illinois made the final score 27–17 Hawaii.