BLOOMINGTON, Ind. (AP) -- Matt LoVecchio scored on an 8-yard run
with 24 seconds left to snap Indiana's 11-game Big Ten losing
streak with a 17-14 victory over Illinois on Saturday.
With his team trailing 14-10 and time winding down, LoVecchio
took the snap on third-and-goal from the 8. His receivers were
covered, so the quarterback tucked the ball away and ran up the
middle and dived into the end zone for the winning score.
LoVecchio was 5-of-7 for 46 yards on the winning, 66-yard drive
and also rushed for two first downs.
Indiana (2-8, 1-5 Big Ten) got its first league win since a
victory over Wisconsin on Oct. 12, 2002.
Illinois (1-10, 0-7) appeared to be on its way to its first win
in nine games when Christian Morton returned a punt 52 yards for a
score that would have given the Illini a 21-10 lead early in the
fourth. But a holding penalty negated the play.
LoVecchio finished 17-of-24 for 161 yards and also ran 14 times
for 36 yards.
BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 98 yards and the other touchdown
for the Hoosiers, a 1-yarder that came on the game's opening drive.
Coming into the game, both teams had just one win -- against a
Division I-AA opponent. Indiana beat Indiana State and Illinois
beat Illinois State.
Dustin Ward threw for 163 yards, two touchdowns and an
interception for Illinois. Marcus Mason added 102 yards rushing on
Ward hit Eric McGoey on a 6-yard score at the end of the second
quarter, then found Ade Adeyemo on a 34-yard post pattern in the
third to give Illinois a 14-7 lead.
After struggling in last week's 41-10 loss to Iowa, Ward took
advantage of Indiana's 104th-ranked defense.
In the second quarter, the Illini took the ball at their 38 with
just under a minute to play. Ward completed two passes for 19
yards, got a pass interference penalty, then scrambled twice for 11
yards before hitting McGoey on a fade pattern that tied the game at
7 going into halftime.
After an impressive opening drive in which the offensive line
opened huge holes for Green-Ellis and delivered Indiana's first
first-quarter score in seven games, the offense sputtered.
The Hoosiers only managed a 40-yard field goal by Bryan
Robertson between the opening possession and the final drive.