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No. 7 Penn State Upset by Illinois in 1st 9OT Game in FBS History

Mike Chiari@@mikechiariFeatured Columnist IVOctober 24, 2021

AP Photo/Barry Reeger

The Illinois Fighting Illini upset the No. 7 Penn State Nittany Lions 20-18 in nine overtimes at Beaver Stadium in University Park, Pennsylvania, on Saturday.

Saturday's game marked the first 9OT contest in the history of the Football Bowl Subdivision.

After stopping a PSU two-point conversion attempt, Illinois put the game away when quarterback Brandon Peters hit Casey Washington on a walk-off two-point conversion:

ESPN @espn

ILLINOIS UPSETS NO. 7 PENN STATE IN THE NINTH OVERTIME‼️<br><br>That’s the most overtimes in FBS history 😳 <a href="https://t.co/uKlOg9Sd6j">pic.twitter.com/uKlOg9Sd6j</a>

Penn State fell to 5-2 overall and 2-2 in Big Ten play this season with the loss, and it figures to experience a significant drop in the rankings. Meanwhile, Illinois improved to 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the conference.

CBS Sports HQ broke down the game's quarter-by-quarter scoring across regulation and all nine overtime periods:

CBS Sports HQ @CBSSportsHQ

Illinois upsets Penn State in the FIRST 9OT game in FBS history! <a href="https://t.co/7d6i9DV9AH">pic.twitter.com/7d6i9DV9AH</a>

College football adopted new overtime rules this season, requiring teams to switch off attempting two-point conversions following the second overtime.

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Illinois and Penn State traded field goals in each of the first two OT periods, failed on five consecutive two-point conversion attempts each and made a two-point conversion attempt each in the eighth OT.

After Illinois stopped Penn State in the ninth overtime, Peters finally managed to end the game.

Michael David Smith of ProFootballTalk and Jemele Hill of The Atlantic were two of the many who cracked jokes about the wild game:

Michael David Smith @MichaelDavSmith

This Penn State-Illinois game is going to make the NCAA try some new overtime rules next year:<br>First OT: Red light green light.<br>Second OT: Cut a shape out of a cookie.<br>Third OT: Tug of war.<br>Fourth OT: Marbles.<br>Fifth OT: Run across panes of glass.

Jemele Hill @jemelehill

The opposite of “refuse to lose” is happening in this Penn State-Illinois game. These two teams refuse to win. My goodness.

Though the overtime was somewhat gimmicky, regulation was a defensive struggle with a focus on old-school football, especially on the part of Illinois.

The Illini overcame a 10-0 deficit thanks largely to their running game, which produced a remarkable 357 yards on the ground.

Running back Chase Brown led the way with 223 yards and one touchdown, and he joined an elite group in the history of Illinois football as well:

ESPN Stats & Info @ESPNStatsInfo

Chase Brown has recorded his 2nd 200-yard rushing game of the season.<br><br>He joins Howard Griffith (1990) and Rashard Mendenhall (2007) as the only players in <a href="https://twitter.com/IlliniFootball?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@IlliniFootball</a> history with multiple 200-yard rushing games in a single season. <a href="https://t.co/LsT8pA0kFt">pic.twitter.com/LsT8pA0kFt</a>

After struggling in a loss to Iowa two weeks ago, Penn State quarterback Sean Clifford had another unspectacular game Saturday, going 19-of-34 passing for 165 yards with one touchdown and no interceptions, plus several failed two-point plays.

The win marked Illinois' sixth in 26 tries against Penn State all-time, and it ended a three-game losing streak against the Nittany Lions.

It won't get any easier for Penn State, as the Nittany Lions will face the No. 5 Ohio State Buckeyes on the road next Saturday, while Illinois will take on Rutgers at home.

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