Stymied throughout the second half until the final seconds, Indiana rallied for a 23-20 victory over Illinois on Friday night in Bloomington, Ind.
Shaun Shivers scored on a 1-yard touchdown run with 23 seconds left, capping a 12-play, 75-yard drive that the Hoosiers completed in just under two minutes.
Indiana quarterback Connor Bazelak, who was not announced publicly as the starter until just before game time, threw for 330 yards on 28-of-52 passing. He tossed one touchdown pass and one interception.
Cam Camper caught 11 of those passes for 156 yards, and D.J. Matthews Jr. snagged seven for 109 yards and a touchdown: a 52-yard strike in the second quarter. Bazelak went to those receivers for all eight completions on the game-winning drive.
The Fighting Illini scored early in the third quarter on Brian Hightower’s 16-yard touchdown catch from Tommy DeVito to take a 17-16 lead. Illinois’ Caleb Griffin added a 48-yard field goal with 2:16 left in the game.
DeVito completed 21 of 35 passes for 232 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. Workhorse running back Chase Brown piled up 199 yards on 36 carries, including 107 yards in the second half as Illinois (1-1, 0-1 Big Ten) tried to hold the Hoosiers (1-0, 1-0) at bay in their season opener.
Isaiah Williams also had a scoring catch for Illinois. He finished with 112 yards on nine receptions.
The Illini racked up 448 yards in total offense to 362 for the Hoosiers and led in first downs 29-20.
Illinois staged a nine-play drive to the Indiana 1 early in the fourth quarter, but Brown lost 3 yards on fourth-and-1. The Hoosiers immediately went three-and-out, however.
The Illini were driving again with just under six minutes left in the game, but Josh Sanguinetti picked off DeVito at the 8-yard line. The Hoosiers were unable to capitalize, fumbling the ball away after a completion at their own 45.
Charles Campbell kicked a pair of 43-yard field goals in the last six minutes of the first half as Indiana edged to a 16-10 lead.
Indiana opening the scoring when Campbell booted a 39-yard field goal about five minutes into the game.
Illinois came right back with a 10-play, 83-yard touchdown drive, capped by DeVito’s 5-yard toss to Williams.
Set up by the second consecutive poor punt by Hugh Robertson, this one covering only 23 yards, the Hoosiers needed just one play to score: the strike from Bazelak to Matthews.
–Field Level Media
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