The Fighting Illini recorded 662 total yards of offense in the win, including over 500 yards through the air, their most since 1980.
Paddock, making his first start with the Orange and Blue, put together one of the greatest passing performances in program history, totaling 507 passing yards and four touchdowns while completing 24 of his 36 pass attempts. Those 507 yards set a Memorial Stadium record and are the second-most in a single game in program history.
Williams marked 200 career receptions and surpassed 2,000 career receiving yards with nine catches and a career-high 200 yards, his ninth game with over 100 yards and the most yards an Illini receiver has recorded in a game since 2014.
Pat Bryant also put together his most productive game of his career, finishing with five catches for 131 yards and a score, his sixth touchdown of the season.
Casey Washington hauled in the first receiving score of his college career, ending his day with five catches for 99 yards and a score.
Reggie Love III made his return from injury and found the end zone twice, tallying 140 yards, a career best, on 24 carries.
The Illini scored every time they entered the red score, finding the end zone six times.
After both teams were forced to punt on their respective opening drives, the Illini began the scoring on their second possession of the game. Consecutive carries from Kaden Feagin gave the Orange and Blue their first first down of the contest before a 33-yard completion to Bryant moved the offense into Hoosier territory. A 23-yard pass to Feagin moved Illinois into the red zone before Caleb Griffin hit a 24-yard field goal to put the Illini in front, 3-0, six minutes into the game.
Indiana took a brief 7-3 advantage, but Illinois did not trail for long. A 67-yard strike to Williams, the team’s longest pass of the season thus far, on the first play of the drive set up an 8-yard Reggie Love III rushing touchdown, his second score of the season. Needing just two plays to find the end zone, the Illini fell behind for only 35 seconds to take a 9-7 lead.
The Hoosiers responded with a touchdown of their own to put the visitors back in front, though the Illini cut into their deficit on their next drive via Griffin’s second field goal of the half, this time from 27 yards out.
Indiana then scored 14 straight points to put the visiting team ahead, 27-12, with just over six minutes to play in the opening half, but Illinois closed the frame on a strong note.
Consecutive completions to Bryant for 19 and 38 yards put the Illini inside Indiana territory before Paddock found Washington in the end zone for the fifth-year wide receiver’s first receiving touchdown of his career. The team’s second touchdown of the half cut the hosts’ deficit to 27-19 with three minutes to play in the half.
The Illini defense made two sacks on the following defensive drive, one apiece from Jer’Zhan Newton and Gabe Jacas, to force a punt and bring the Illini offense back on the field with 92 seconds remaining in the opening half.
Back-to-back strikes to Williams saw the Illini pick up a crucial first down to move the chains. Paddock then found Washington for completions of 23 and 19 yards to move into the red zone before Bryant hauled in his sixth receiving score of the season from 13 yards out. The Illini’s third touchdown of the opening 30 minutes of play cut the Illinois deficit to 27-26 with 18 seconds to play.
The Illini took that same scoreline into the break. Illinois registered 369 total yards of offense in the opening half, including Paddock’s 316 yards through the air. Three different receivers registered over 75 yards through the first two quarters, including a career-high 131 yards on five catches for Bryant.
On Indiana’s first drive of the second half, Newton recovered his third fumble of his career, though the Illinois offense could not capitalize on the takeaway.
After forcing a Hoosier punt, the Illini offense found the end zone for a fourth time. Once Illinois got into Indiana territory, Paddock found Williams for a 42-yard touchdown, marking the third different receiver to find the end zone. The score put the Orange and Blue back in front, 33-27, with over five minutes to play in the contest.
With Indiana inside Illinois territory on its next possession, Mac Resetich came up with the first interception of his college career. The turnover marked the defense’s second takeaway of the third quarter.
The Illini offense took over at their own 19-yard line and immediately went to work. A 15-yard rush from Love opened the drive before a 21-yard completion to Washington moved the chains to midfield. Converting a fourth down, the Illini found the end zone on the next play, a 37-yard rushing score to extend the Illinois lead to 39-27. The touchdown marked Love’s first multi-touchdown game of his career, putting the Orange and Blue ahead by two possessions on the first play of the fourth quarter.
After the Hoosiers cut their deficit to five with 12 minutes to play, the Illini moved into Hoosier territory on completions of 20 and 21 yards. Ultimately getting inside the Indiana 5, Griffin extended the Illini advantage to eight points on his third field goal of the game.
Indiana scored a late touchdown to force overtime, and the Hoosiers took the lead, 45-42, after starting with the ball in the overtime period. Facing a third-and-6, the Illini need at least a field goal to keep the game going. Instead, Paddock found Williams for a 21-yard touchdown, securing the Illini overtime victory.
Illinois (5-5, 3-4 B1G) travels to Iowa next Saturday for its final road game of the regular season. Kickoff from Kinnick Stadium is slated for 2:30 p.m. CT on FS1.
Illinois vs. Indiana: By the numbers
|08:59 – ILL – Griffin,Caleb 24 yd field goal 10 plays, 71 yards, TOP 04:16||0||3|
|03:54 – IND – Howland,Trent 1 yd run (Freeman,Chris kick), 9 plays, 32 yards, TOP 03:40||7||3|
|03:19 – ILL – Love III,Reggie 8 yd run ( ), 2 plays, 75 yards, TOP 00:35||7||9|
|14:32 – IND – McCulley,Donaven 6 yd pass from Sorsby,Brendan (Freeman,Chris kick) 7 plays, 74 yards, TOP 03:41||14||9|
|11:24 – ILL – Griffin,Caleb 27 yd field goal 7 plays, 64 yards, TOP 03:03||14||12|
|08:22 – IND – McCulley,Donaven 6 yd pass from Sorsby,Brendan (Freeman,Chris kick) 6 plays, 69 yards, TOP 02:52||21||12|
|05:44 – IND – Sorsby,Brendan 18 yd run ( ), 4 plays, 52 yards, TOP 02:01||27||12|
|03:05 – ILL – Washington,Casey 20 yd pass from Paddock,John (Griffin,Caleb kick) 5 plays, 92 yards, TOP 02:28||27||19|
|00:18 – ILL – Bryant,Pat 13 yd pass from Paddock,John (Griffin,Caleb kick) 6 plays, 73 yards, TOP 01:14||27||26|
|05:18 – ILL – Williams,Isaiah 42 yd pass from Paddock,John (Griffin,Caleb kick) 5 plays, 86 yards, TOP 02:00||27||33|
|14:53 – ILL – Love III,Reggie 37 yd run ( ), 7 plays, 81 yards, TOP 03:32||27||39|
|12:25 – IND – Sorsby,Brendan 5 yd run (Freeman,Chris kick), 6 plays, 52 yards, TOP 02:17||34||39|
|05:04 – ILL – Griffin,Caleb 21 yd field goal 14 plays, 72 yards, TOP 07:21||34||42|
|00:28 – IND – Carter,Dequece 26 yd pass from Sorsby,Brendan (Williams,E.J. pass) 6 plays, 85 yards, TOP 01:09||42||42|
|00:00 – IND – Freeman,Chris 41 yd field goal 4 plays, 2 yards, TOP 00:00||45||42|
|00:00 – ILL – Williams,Isaiah 21 yd pass from Paddock,John ( ) 3 plays, 25 yards, TOP 00:00||45||48|