Illinois upsets Penn State in nine OTs
The Illini seemed to have been motivated by head coach Bret Bielema's controversial remarks. Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Maybe Bret Bielema knows what he is doing at Illinois much more than his critics think he does.

Bielema’s Illini defeated Penn State 20-18 in nine overtimes on Saturday in Happy Valley. They got the huge win under Bielema days after he called out the roster.

Bielema, who is in his first season as the program’s head coach, effectively said on Monday that he was left with a poor roster. He later defended the remarks and said they did not have proper context.

In his comments, Bielema specifically pointed to the offensive line as a weakness.

Guess what? The line responded by pushing around Penn State for 357 rushing yards in the road win. Bielema even loaded up with jumbo packages to convert in short-yardage situations.

Even though both teams struggled to score in the overtime periods, the Illini finally won when they got a two-point conversion and stopped Penn State. They are now 3-5, while Penn State is 5-2.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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