Illinois' defense buckled down against the Hoosiers' potent offense.
Nov. 4, 2000
By JOHN KELLY
Associated Press Writer
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Kurt Kittner survived a quarterback duel with Antwan Randle El, scoring on a 1-yard sneak with 25 seconds left to give Illinois a 42-35 victory over Indiana on Saturday.
Randle El ran for 209 yards and four touchdowns, and Kittner threw for 277 yards and three TDs.
Randle El took a last swing with a 51-yard bomb that Illinois' Walter Young batted down in the end zone as time ran out.
The Illini (5-4, 2-4 Big Ten) couldn't stop Randle El, or any other Indiana runner. The Hoosiers rushed for 447 yards, including 161 by Levron Williams.
Illinois struck first when freshman Christian Morton returned a punt 80 yards for a touchdown.
But the Hoosiers (3-6, 2-4) put together scoring drives of 72 and 58 yards to go up 14-7. Both touchdowns came on 4-yard runs by Randle El, who threw only one pass during the two drives.
Illinois tied it when Aaron Moorehead caught a short Kittner pass at the 10, broke a tackle and dove into the end zone.
But Indiana just kept running. The Hoosiers drove 75 yards, throwing just one pass to convert on a third-and-8, and De'Wayne Hogan finished it with a 5-yard touchdown run up the middle.
Illinois answered on its next drive, when Kittner hit Moorehead with a 51-yard pass. This time, however, Indiana stopped him at the 1. On the next play, Carey Davis scored on a pass from Kittner.
Eugene Wilson stopped Indiana's next drive with an acrobatic interception at the Illinois 25. The Illini could not move the ball, and gave it back to Indiana near midfield with 21 seconds left in the second quarter.
Randle El broke away on a scramble to set up a 50-yard field goal attempt for Andy Payne, but Fred Wakefield blocked it as time expired in the first half.
Indiana kept running, and Kittner kept throwing deep in the second half. The Illini went up 28-21 on Kittner's 17-yard lob to Moorehead in the crowded end zone.
The Hoosiers then drove to the Illinois 5, where Randle El squirted past the line for what was to be another touchdown late in the third quarter. But Robert Franklin stripped the ball and the Illini's Terrell Washington recovered at the 1.
The Illini seemed to finally come up with a defensive stop with eight minutes left. On fourth-and-14, Randle El stayed in as the punter and completed a long pass for an apparent first down.
The Hoosiers, however, had an ineligible receiver downfield. Randle El did kick the second time, but several seconds after his kick, Illinois' Brandon Moore knocked him five yards back.
The resulting penalty gave the Hoosiers a first down, and several plays later, Randle El spun off three different tacklers for a 5-yard touchdown to tie it at 35 with 5:08 left.
Kittner drove the Illini 78 yards for the final score.