Casey Washington caught a two-point conversion pass from Brandon Peters in relief of an injured Artur Sitkowski to hand Illinois a 20-18 victory over No. 8 Penn State in college football’s first game to go nine overtimes.
The win effectively ended the Nittany Lions’ national championship hopes.
Five games have gone to at least seven OTs since the rule was adopted in 1996, including Texas A&M’s 74-72 seven-OT victory over LSU on Nov. 24, 2018.
Both teams had multiple opportunities to end the game in the extra sessions, with the first three overtimes ending when balls went off receivers’ hands, including Penn State botching a “Philly Special” trick play in the third overtime.
Both teams traded field goals in the first and second overtimes before having to go for two points every time they possessed the ball.
The teams did not convert their two-point tries until the eighth overtime when Isaiah Williams scored, with Penn State’s Noah Cain tying the game at 18 with a touchdown run.
Penn State (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) got the ball first in the ninth overtime, but Sean Clifford’s pass into the end zone was knocked away.
Illinois (3-5, 2-3 Big Ten) controlled the tempo for most of the game, running 67 times for 357 yards. Chase Brown had 32 carries for 223 yards and his second quarter touchdown cut the lead to 10-7 before halftime.
Clifford, who was injured in the 23-20 loss to Iowa on Oct. 9, threw for 165 yards and a touchdown, a 42-yard strike to KeAndre Lambert-Smith in the first quarter to open the scoring.
Follow Scooby Axson on Twitter @ScoobAxson