John Paddock threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Williams in overtime to give Illinois a 48-45 win Saturday over Indiana in a Big Ten game.
After Indiana’s Chris Freeman kicked a 41-yard field goal in OT, Paddock scrambled to his right on third down and connected with Williams.
Paddock threw for 507 yards and four touchdowns in his first start for the Illini since transferring from Ball State. Replacing injured starter Luke Altmyer (concussion), Paddock completed 24 of 36 passes.
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Only Shedeur Sanders, with 510 yards on Sept. 2 vs. TCU, has thrown for more yards in a game this season than Paddock, whose uncle, grandfather and great-grandfather played for Illinois.
“We thought Luke would be cleared to play, but by midweek, we could see it wasn't going to happen,” said Illinois coach Bret Bielema. “He's cleared now. Do we have a quarterback controversy? No, I think we have two good quarterbacks.”
Williams, the Big Ten’s leading receiver, had nine catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns.
Pat Bryant had five catches for 131 yards and a touchdown for the Ilini (5-5, 3-4) before being injured midway through the third quarter and Casey Washington had five catches for 99 yards and a touchdown.
Reggie Love had 24 carries for 140 yards and two touchdowns for Illinois, which ended a four-game losing streak to the Hoosiers that dated to 2012.
“Great late-game win,” Love said. “We did what we practiced all week.”
Brendan Sorsby was 22 for 33 passing for 289 yards and three touchdowns -- he also ran for two touchdowns -- and Donaven McCulley caught 11 passes for 137 yards and two touchdowns for Indiana (3-7, 1-5), which led 27-12 in the second quarter.
Indiana tied the game at 42-42 with 28 seconds left in regulation on a 26-yard touchdown pass from Sorsby to DeQuece Carter and a two-point conversion pass from Sorsby to E.J. Williams Jr.
“What a tough way to lose,” said Indiana coach Tom Allen, his hoarse voice barely audible. “I'm shocked they were able to pass so well against us. We prepared for both quarterbacks. The problem was we didn't put any pressure on (Paddock) and he had a career day,”
It was a penalty-filled, chippy game. Illinois was penalized 14 times for 139 yards and had a player ejected for spitting on an Indiana player, and the Hoosiers had seven penalties for 80 yards.
“A lot of the chippiness goes back to last year when we played Indiana at their place," Bielema said. “Our locker room was 100 degrees and there were a lot of other rinky-dink things they did to us. This was a nice rivalry game.”
After trailing 27-26 at halftime, Illinois took a 33-27 lead on a 42-yard touchdown pass from Paddock to Williams in the third quarter.
The Illini padded their lead in the fourth quarter on a 37-yard touchdown run by Love, but Indiana responded with a 5-yard touchdown run by Sorsby before Illinois' Caleb Griffin kicked a 21-yard field goal.