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Penn State loses 20-18 to Illinois — in NCAA record nine overtimes

UNIVERSITY PARK – Nobody can accuse Illinois of not earning its 20-18 overtime victory over Penn State on Saturday at Beaver Stadium.

The Illini didn’t win in one overtime — it won in nine overtimes, the longest game in NCAA history.

After the teams ended regulation tied at 10-10, each team managed a field goal in the first and second overtimes.

New NCAA rules for the third overtime and beyond gave each team for a single-play 2-point conversion attempt.

That took a total of seven more overtimes to settle the ultimate outcome and Illinois finally – finally – prevailed on a pass from Brandon Peters to Casey Washington.

Peters had replaced starter Artur Sikowski, who was injured in the fourth OT and did not return.

The Illinis, who came into the game as 24-point underdogs, improved to 3-5 overall and 2-3 in the Big Ten.

Penn State, which suffered its second-straight loss, fell to 5-2 and 2-2.

Nittany Lion quarterback Sean Clifford, who was knocked out of the game at Iowa two weeks ago, started and played the entire game. His mobility appeared to be compromised.

Penn State will attempt to regroup in time for next Saturday night’s game at Ohio State.

The Mirror will have a full report and analysis in Monday’s Penn State Extra.

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