(Indiana 23, Illinois 20 – FINAL) Live Blog and Discussion

Follow along as Indiana opens the 2022 season under the Friday night lights against Illinois. Refresh the page for updates, and join us in the comments below as the Hoosiers are in action.

POSTGAME NOTES (via IU Athletics)

• Indiana improves to 83-45-7 in season openers in program history, including a 16-3 record over the last 19 seasons and 4-2 under head coach Tom Allen.

• Indiana opened the season with a Big Ten game for the third straight season (at Iowa, 2021; Penn State, 2020) and the fourth time in Allen’s six years as head coach (Ohio State, 2017).

• The Hoosiers opened the season against Illinois for the fifth time in program history and first since 1974. The Hoosiers opened the season at home against Illinois for the third time in program history, with the other two meetings coming in 1959 and 1973.

• Indiana is 2-3 all-time against Illinois in season-opening games.

• Though this marks the first meeting since 2017, Indiana has won four straight games over the Illini dating back to 2012.

• Indiana’s captains were AJ Barner, Cam Jones, Devon Matthews, Tiawan Mullen and Jack Tuttle.

• Illinois won the coin toss and elected to receive.

??• Four true freshmen made their collegiate debut for Indiana: Omar Cooper Jr., Nick James, Jaylin Lucas and Dasan McCullough.

• On the night, 15 transfer student-athletes made their Indiana debut: Connor Bazelak, Cam Camper, Jared Casey, Andison Coby, LeDarrius Cox, Parker Hanna, Josh Henderson, Myles Jackson, Bradley Jennings Jr., Brylan Lanier, Patrick Lucas Jr., Louis Moore, Shaun Shivers, Emery Simmons and JH Tevis.

• Two Hoosiers made their collegiate debuts: Kahlil Benson and James Bomba.

• Indiana’s defense forced multiple takeaways in a game for the 26th time under head coach Tom Allen.

• IU’s defense forced four takeaways (1 interception, 3 fumble recoveries), its most since Michigan State (3 interceptions, 1 fumble recovery) in 2020, and for the fifth time in Allen’s tenure.

• Tonight marked Indiana’s first game with two 100-yard receivers (DJ Matthews Jr.; 109 and Cam Camper; 156) since October 6th, 2018 against Ohio State (Nick Westbrook; 109 and J-Shun Harris; 104).

Connor Bazelak | QB | Jr.-R
• Made first career start for Indiana and 21st of his career.
• Passed for 330 yards including a 52-yard touchdown to D.J. Matthews Jr.
• Led 12-play, 75-yard drive in the 4th quarter to set up the game-winning touchdown.
• Posted his 7th-career 300-yard passing game, his first with the Hoosiers.
• First IU quarterback to pass for 300 yards in his debut since Antwaan Randle El threw for 385 against Western Michigan on Sept. 12, 1998.

Matthew Bedford | OL | Sr.
• Made 28th career start to rank No. 2 on the team. It was his ninth start at right tackle.

Alfred Bryant | OLB | Sr.-R+
• Forced third career fumble in the first quarter. Last forced fumble came at Nebraska on Oct. 26, 2019.
• Matched his career high of six tackles, which occurred at Nebraska in 2019.

Charles Campbell | K | Sr.-R
• Is now 28-of-34 on career field goal attempts after going 3-for-3 in the game.
• Produced his fourth career game with at least three field goals: Michigan State (3-for-4; 2021), at Western Kentucky (4-for-4; 2021) and at Rutgers (3-for-3; 2020).

Cam Camper | WR | Jr.
• Posted first career 100-yard receiving game with 156 yards on 11 catches.
• First Hoosier with double-digit receptions since Ty Fryfolge (10) at Western Kentucky on Sept. 25, 2021.

Omar Cooper Jr. | WR | Fr.
• Returned his first career kickoff.

Demarcus Elliott | DL | Sr.+
• Made his team-best 30th career start.

Bryant Fitzgerald | DB | Sr.-R+
• Made his 24th career start, which ranks tied for No. 3 on the team (Devon Matthews).

Nick James | DT | Fr.
• Made two tackles in his collegiate debut.

Bradley Jennings Jr. | LB | Sr.-R+
• Collected fourth career sack and first of his Hoosier career in the second quarter.
• Totaled six tackles and 1.5 tackles for loss

Cam Jones | LB | Sr.+
• Posted a career-high 12 tackles. Had eight stops twice before, last against Minnesota (2021).
• Moved career total to 7.0 sacks with a first-quarter takedown of Tommy DeVito.
• Recovered a first-quarter fumble for his third career fumble recovery and first since the 2021 season opener at Iowa.

Brylan Lanier | DB | Fr.-R
• Made collegiate debut after redshirting his first collegiate season at Alabama.
• Posted four tackles.

D.J. Matthews Jr. | WR | Gr.+
• Brought in his sixth career receiving touchdown and the first of his Indiana career with his 52-yard scoring play in the second quarter.
• Logged third 100-yard receiving game – second as a Hoosier – with 109 yards on seven catches.

Devon Matthews | DB | Sr.+
• Made his 24th career start, which ranks tied for No. 3 on the team (Bryant Fitzgerald).

Donaven McCulley | WR | So.
• Made first career reception for a 1-yard gain in the third quarter.

Dasan McCullough | LB | Fr.
• Posted six tackles in his collegiate debut.

Noah Pierre | DB | Sr.-R
• Forced and recovered a fumble in the third quarter, both are the first of his career.
• Racked up seven tackles in the season opener.

Beau Robbins | DB | Jr.-R
• Posted his first career sack on the final drive of the game.
• Tallied two total tackles.

Josh Sanguinetti | DB | Jr.-R
• Grabbed second career interception in the fourth quarter. Also had an interception against Michigan State in 2021.
• Set a career high with six tackles.

Shaun Shivers | RB | Sr.+
• Scored the game-winning 1-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter, the ninth of his career and first as a Hoosier.

Jaylin Williams | DB | Sr.+
• Recovered first career fumble on the final play of the game to seal the win.


FINAL: Indiana 23, Illinois 20. Hoosiers get their first Big Ten win since 2020.

Illinois picked up a quick first down, but is thin on time now as Beau Robbins sacks Devito. 7 seconds left.

TOUCHDOWN. Shaun Shivers punches it in from the 1 yard line. Campbell drills the extra point. IU leads 23-20 with 23 seconds left. Bazelak made a great play to run it up the middle on 2nd down to get IU to the 1.

IU has 3rd and goal at the 1 yard line. 30 seconds to go.

Hoosiers on the move, into the red zone with around a minute left.

IU has picked up a few quick first downs and is at their own 46 now with 1:44 to play.

Devito completed a short pass on 3rd down, and IU called its last timeout. Jaylin Williams was injured for IU, and walked off the field with trainers. Illinois drilled a 48-yard field goal with 2:16 remaining, making it 20-16 Illinois. The Hoosiers will have a chance to win the game in the 2-minute drill.

Illinois is working the clock now. Indiana’s using its timeouts. Less than three minutes remaining. Illinois will have 3rd and 12 from the IU 33.

Indiana got a first down, and then some extra yardage on a penalty. But then Camper coughed it up, and the Illini recover. The catch would’ve gotten IU to the 45 yard line. But now Illinois gets it back with 4:36 left. Illinois has committed three turnovers, IU has two.

INTERCEPTION. Tommy Devito overthrew Isaiah Williams, and Josh Sanguinetti reels it in on a dive. Indiana will get the ball back at its own 8 yard line with 5:47 to go. Hoosiers have to get their offense going here.

Hoosiers go three and out and have to punt it away. IU’s defense will go back to work, trying to keep this game at 17-16. Illinois gets the ball back with 8:25 to play.

IU comes up with a massive stop after the penalty. Illinois got to the 1 yard line, went for it on fourth down, and JH Tevis and Aaron Casey blew up the play in the backfield. IU takes over deep in its own territory. That sequence might have saved the game.

Illinois got back in the red zone after a few chunk plays by Isaiah Williams. IU put Illinois in 3rd and 13 from the IU 21, but Tiawan Mullen got flagged for pass interference on the incomplete pass.


End Q3: Illinois 17, Indiana 16. Hoosiers will have to punt to start the fourth quarter after Bazelak was sacked for the first time tonight on third and 9 from the 50 yard line.

Quick stats:


Bazelak: 18/37, 239 yards, 1 touchdown, 1 interception

Shivers: 12 carries, 23 yards

Camper: 5 catches, 100 yards

D.J. Matthews: 3 catches, 74 yards, 1 touchdown


Devito: 15/25, 159 yards, 2 touchdowns

Brown: 28 carries, 177 yards

Williams: 5 catches, 52 yards, 1 touchdown

Hightower: 3 catches, 30 yards, 1 touchdown

FUMBLE. Noah Pierre breaks up a swing pass play to Brown and recovers the fumble — a live ball as the pass was backwards. A massive moment for the Hoosiers.

Chase Brown is up to 180 rushing yards on 26 carries. Indiana has had no answers for him on the ground. Illinois is in the red zone.

IU forced a punt after Illinois got two first downs, but then the Hoosiers went three and out and gave it right back to Illinois with 5:36 left in the third quarter.

Cam Jones is back in the game for IU’s defense.

Indiana picked up three first downs and moved into Illinois territory, but the Hoosiers had to punt it away. Connor Bazelak took several big hits on that drive — IU’s offensive line has continued to struggle.

Touchdown Illinois. Illini capitalize on the turnover, taking just five plays to travel the 28 yards to the end zone. Devito hit Tommy Hightower for the score, a 16-yard touchdown pass. Illinois regains the lead, 17-16, with 12:59 left in Q3.

And on the first Illinois play after the turnover, Cam Jones went down and was in clear pain. But he jogs off to the locker room under his own power.

Interception. Bazelak looks to Andison Coby on the second play of the half, and Coby tips the ball into the air. Illini defensive backs pounce.

HALFTIME: Indiana 16, Illinois 10.

Bazelak settled in nicely after a tough start. Indiana’s had a really rough time in the trenches, on both sides. The defensive line played better in the second quarter after the Illini gashed them on the ground in the first quarter. But on the other side, IU’s offensive line was manhandled. Bazelak often had little time to operate in the pocket, and IU couldn’t get anything rolling on the ground.


Hoosiers settle for another field goal. Charles Campbell hits from 43 yards, and he’s 3 for 3 tonight. IU drive: 12 plays, 54 yards. Hoosiers lead 16-10.

Indiana forced a three and out on the ensuing Illinois possession. IU is now driving with halftime approaching. Hoosiers are at the Illinois 25 yard line with 32 second left. Matthew Bedford is hobbling off the field with teammate help. Parker Hanna replaced him on the offensive line.

Charles Campbell kicks a 43 yard field goal with 5:07 left in Q2 to give IU a 13-10 lead. Big play: Connor Bazelak hit Cam Camper (again) for a 39 yard gain to put IU at the Illinois 31. Camper is up to 94 receiving yards on four catches.

Illinois kicks a field goal after a third down halfback pass failed. Chase Brown had Pat Bryant wide open in the end zone, but Brown was pressured while throwing and threw it a little high — but Bryant just dropped it. With 7:01 left in Q2, the game’s tied at 10.

Indiana catches a big break with Illinois in the red zone. Devito’s pass to Tommy Hightower on the left side of the end zone, defended by Josh Sanguinetti, was initially ruled incomplete. But Hightower came away with the ball, and appeared to make the catch cleanly. Play was reviewed but ultimately stood.

TOUCHDOWN INDIANA. On the first play of IU’s drive, D.J. Matthews gets behind the Illinois defense and Bazelak hit him for a 48-yard touchdown. With 10:51 left in Q2, Indiana regains the lead, 10-7.

Bradley Jennings Jr. picks up Indiana’s second sack of the game to force Illinois to bring the punt team in. And Hugh Robertson shanked it again, as this punt only went 23 yards beyond the line of scrimmage.

Indiana went three and out after the fumble, and ended up taking a delay of game penalty on 4th and 5 at the Illinois 39 to get extra room to punt.


End Q1: Illinois 7, Indiana 3.

Indiana stats:

Bazelak: 5/12 for 76 yards

Shivers: leading rusher with 2 yards on 2 carries

Camper: 2 receptions for 50 yards

D.J. Matthews: 2 receptions for 22 yards

Illinois stats:

DeVito: 5/8 for 45 yards and a touchdown

Brown: 13 carries, 81 yards

Williams: 1 catch, 5 yards, touchdown

FUMBLE. DeVito hit an open Luke Ford in the middle of the field, and IU’s Lance Bryant got a helmet on it as he turned around. The ball popped out, and Cam Jones recovered. Play was reviewed and stood.

IU’s second drive lasted 10 plays, but the Hoosiers ultimately had to punt it away after an incompletion on a third and 12 from the Illinois 45.

Shaun Shivers returned to the game for Indiana’s second drive.

Touchdown Illinois. Isaiah Williams scores on a jet sweep. Indiana was flagged for an illegal substitution on the play, which was declined. Illinois drive: 10 plays, 83 yards. With 6:22 left in the opening quarter, Illinois leads 7-3.

Illinois is causing IU a lot of problems in the run game. Chase Brown already has 70 rushing yards, not even at the midway point of the first quarter.

First drive for IU: 8 plays, 39 yards. One pass play accounted for all of it: a 40 yard throw from Bazelak to Cam Camper.

On IU’s first offensive play, RB Shaun Shivers was absolutely lit up by Devon Weatherspoon, and had to come out of the game. Meanwhile, Indiana has moved into the red zone. But IU’s drive stalled there. Charles Campbell came on and nailed a 39 yard field goal for the first points of the season. With 10:03 left in the first quarter, Indiana leads Illinois 3-0.

Connor Bazelak is, indeed the starting quarterback for Indiana.

Illinois crossed the 50 yard line in just three plays on the opening drive. But IU’s defense locked in from there and forced a punt. Cam Jones hit Tommy DeVito while passing on first down, and then sacked him (combined with Dasan McCullough) to end the drive.