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Illinois Football Sinks PJ Fleck and the Gophers



Illinois Football Sinks PJ Fleck and the Gophers
Sep 16, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini quarterback John Paddock (4) passes the ball against the Penn State Nittany Lions during the second half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Illinois Football Sinks PJ Fleck and the Gophers

Wow! Breath a sigh of relief, Illini fans. Illinois football finally finds a way to pull out a victory. Everyone’s heart is still racing and John Paddock has officially won himself a lifetime gift pass to Legends. Illinois played an outstanding first half, however were hampered by their defense. The defense stepped up in a major way in the second half, however, the offensive started to sputter. It all looked like it was lost. Isaiah Williams fumbled a ball to give Minnesota momentum. Afterwards, Luke Altmyer threw a terrible interception on a potential game-winning drive.

To add to that, it was fourth down and Luke Altmyer could not get in the game due to an injury.

John Paddock, lifelong Illinois Football fan

In comes John Paddock. Paddock gave up his starting job at Ball State University to be a walk-on at the University of Illinois. Paddock came in at points during garbage time this season, however here he is. Thrown into the game cold on a fourth-and-game situation. Paddock converted the fourth down and then went on to make a huge play for a TOUCHDOWN. Illinois could not even settle for a field goal because they were down five.

John Paddock helped defy all odds and saved the Illinois Football season. From the brink of an utter death con moment, Illinois fans rejoice as they finally get back into the winning column.

The stress only begins!

Illinois Football is now two games away from a Bowl game. Despite a tumultuous season, there is still light for Illinois Football to grab on to some momentum. They now host the Indiana Hoosiers for their dad game match. Though, the Hoosiers have some confidence. They also won a huge game today as they handled the Wisconsin Badgers. Despite this, I think Mike Carpenter from the 200 Level says it best. Illinois Football is so much fun even when they are just competent.

Though there are a lot of problems on the macro side of things, this win feels cathartic and fills us with Jubilation. Thank you, John Paddock.

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Alex is the Owner of, your go-to source for in depth coverage of the Illinois Fighting Illini. Alex is also the lead content creator and lead editor of all articles on Armchair Illini. He has had articles featured in top media publications like Bleacher Report, YardBarker, Verbal Commits, CBS Sports and more.