James McCourt kicked a 39-yard field as time expired and host Illinois pulled off the biggest upset of the college football season, knocking off No. 6 Wisconsin 24-23 on Saturday.
Tony Adams picked off a pass by Jack Coan for the 30½-point underdog Illini (3-5, 1-3 Big Ten) at midfield with 2:33 remaining. Dre Brown’s tackle-breaking 13-yard run got Illinois to the Wisconsin 25, setting up McCourt to attempt the winner. The junior’s kick was down the middle to give coach Lovie Smith the most significant victory of his four-year tenure in Champaign.
“Our program, we needed to get a signature win. I was just hoping today was the day, and the day came,” said Smith, the former Chicago Bears coach who entered the game 11-31 overall and 4-26 in the Big Ten since taking over Illinois in 2016. “Against the No. 6 team in the country, we played them toe-to-toe,” Smith said. “We saw so much fight. We learned an awful lot about ourselves. We’re pumped up. One of the best wins we can possibly have at this stage in our program.”
Wisconsin had not trailed this season and was looking to roll into a showdown with No. 3 Ohio State next week in Columbus. Instead, the Badgers (6-1, 4-1) blew a nine-point lead in the final 9:46 of the fourth quarter.
Illinois beat a ranked team for the first time since 2011 and knocked off a ranked Big Ten team for the first time since 2007, when it beat No. 1 Ohio State on the way to a Rose Bowl appearance.
Photo: Holly Hart / Associated Press
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#1 Alabama 35, Tennessee 13: With Tua Tagovailoa hurt, the Crimson Tide (7-0, 4-0 SEC) turned to the defense and Antioch alum Najee Harris (105 yards, two TDs rushing; four catches for 48 yards) to pull out a victory over Tennessee. Both starting quarterbacks left the game before halftime, and the Volunteers (2-5, 1-3) put up a fight much of the way. Tagovailoa left with an ankle injury in the second quarter, and coach Nick Saban said he is likely to miss the next game against Arkansas.
#2 LSU 36, Mississippi St. 13: Joe Burrow threw for 327 yards and four touchdowns to break the LSU season record with 29. The Tigers (7-0, 3-0 SEC) had 415 yards of total offense and averaged 6.9 yards per play. The Bulldogs (3-4, 1-3) sacked Burrow three times and regularly confounded the Tigers on third down, but LSU managed to score points on every drive of the first half and led 22-7 at the break.
#3 Clemson 45, Louisville 10: Trevor Lawrence overcame two early interceptions to throw three touchdown passes, Travis Etienne ran for 192 yards, and Darien Rencher and Chez Mellusi added rushing TDs for the Tigers (7-0, 5-0 ACC), who won their 22nd straight game. The Tigers also had six sacks and kept Louisville (4-3, 2-2) out of the end zone until Javian Hawkins’ late 3-yard run.
#5 Oklahoma 52, W. Virginia 14: Jalen Hurts passed for 316 yards and three touchdowns and rushed for 75 yards for the host Sooners. Oklahoma (7-0, 4-0) is unbeaten in eight games against West Virginia (3-4, 1-3) since the Mountaineers joined the Big 12 in 2012. The Sooners have won 20 of their past 21 games. Oklahoma, which rolled up 562 yards of offense, has scored at least 34 points in 17 straight games, the second-longest such streak in the Football Bowl Subdivision since 1980.
#7 Penn State 21, #16 Michigan 21: Sean Clifford threw three touchdown passes and ran for another score to lead host Penn State. Clifford hit KJ Hamler on 25- and 53-yard scoring strikes and hooked up with tight end Pat Freiermuth for a 17-yard touchdown pass in a game Penn State (7-0, 4-0 Big Ten) never trailed.
#9 Florida 38, S. Carolina 27: Kyle Trask threw a career-high four touchdown passes, three in the fourth quarter, to help visiting Florida bounce back from its loss at LSU. The Gators (7-1, 4-1 SEC) slogged through a soggy field from Tropical Storm Nestor for much of the game. The rallied past a Gamecocks (3-4, 2-3) team looking to take down a Top 10 opponent for the second straight week after its 20-17 double-overtime win at Georgia. Instead, it was Florida, off its 42-28 defeat at LSU, that kept making plays on the way to its best start since 2015.
#10 Georgia 21, Kentucky 0: D’Andre Swift’s 39-yard touchdown run in the third quarter snapped a scoreless tie as the Bulldogs (6-1, 3-1 SEC) recovered from last week’s loss to South Carolina. Swift, who ran for 179 yards, added a 3-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter against the Wildcats (3-4, 1-4).
#11 Auburn 51, Arkansas 10: Bo Nix passed for three touchdowns and ran for another for the visiting Tigers (6-1, 3-1 SEC). Nix turned a close game into a blowout by throwing two TD passes in 22 seconds in the third quarter against the Razorbacks (2-5, 0-4).
#15 Texas 50, Kansas 48: Cameron Dicker made a 33-yard field goal as time expired and host Texas survived Kansas’ desperate upset bid after the teams exchanged six touchdowns in the fourth quarter. Kansas took a 48-47 lead on Carter Stanley’s 2-point conversion pass to Daylon Charlot with 1:11 to play. Sam Ehlinger then drove the Longhorns into field goal range for Dicker, who calmly drilled the winner. Ehlinger completed two big passes to Collin Johnson to keep the drive going for Texas (5-2, 3-1 Big 12).
#18 Baylor 45, Oklahoma St. 27: Charlie Brewer completed 13 of 17 passes for 312 yards and a touchdown and ran for another score, and JaMycal Hasty rushed for 139 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries and had 66 yards on three receptions for the visiting Bears (7-0, 4-0 Big 12). Josh Fleeks added three receptions for 126 yards and a touchdown, and the Bears had 536 yards of total offense. Chuba Hubbard, the nation’s leading rusher, ran for 171 yards and two touchdowns on 32 carries for the Cowboys (4-3, 1-3).
#19 SMU 45, Temple 21: Shane Buechele set career highs with six touchdown passes and 457 passing yards, and Reggie Roberson Jr. had a career-high 250 receiving yards on eight catches, including touchdowns of 75, 60 and 33 yards, for the host Mustangs (7-0, 3-0 American Athletic).
#20 Minnesota 42, Rutgers 7: Rodney Smith ran for 111 yards and two touchdowns and the Golden Gophers (4-0 Big Ten) improved to 7-0 overall for the first time since winning the national title in 1960. The Scarlet Knights (1-6, 0-5) lost their 17th straight in the Big Ten.
#21 Cincinnati 24, Tulsa 13: Gerrid Doaks ran for a pair of touchdowns and turned a short pass into a 28-yard score, helping the host Bearcats (6-1, 3-0 American Athletic) hold on after losing their top running back. Doaks moved into a bigger role when Michael Warren II left the game twice with leg injuries.
Vanderbilt 21, #22 Missouri 14: Riley Neal came off the bench and threw a 21-yard touchdown to Cam Johnson with 8:57 left, and the host Commodores (2-5, 1-3 SEC) beat the Tigers (5-2, 2-1).
#23 Iowa 26, Purdue 20: Mekhi Sargent scored on a 14-yard run with 2:16 left and Keith Duncan kicked four field goals as the host Hawkeyes (5-2, 2-2 Big Ten) beat the Boilermakers (2-5, 1-3) to snap a two-game losing streak.
#24 Appalachian St. 52, La.-Monroe 7: Zac Thomas threw for 214 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another score as the host Mountaineers (6-0, 3-0 Sun Belt) notched their first victory as a Top 25 team.
Laney-Oakland 13, CCSF 10: KC Onwuemeka kicked a 24-yard, go-ahead field goal with 8:42 remaining for host Laney, which outscored CCSF 10-0 in the fourth quarter late Friday. Laney is 3-3 overall, 1-0 in the Bay 6 Conference; CCSF is 4-2, 0-1.
This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/collegesports/article/Illinois-stuns-No-6-Wisconsin-with-last-second-FG-14547883.php.