CHAMPAIGN, Ill. — Illinois quarterback John Paddock has been named the Big Ten Offensive Player of the Week, the conference office announced Monday. Paddock is the second Illini to win the award in as many weeks, following wide receiver Isaiah Williams earning the honor last week.
In his first start at Illinois, Paddock went 24-for-36 passing for 507 yards and four touchdowns against Indiana in one of the greatest passing performances in Illinois history. He set the Illini’s Memorial Stadium record for passing yards, had the second-most passing yards in Illinois history, and won the game with a walk-off 21-yard touchdown pass to Williams to beat Indiana in overtime.
“If I got the opportunity in a full game, I was just going to let it rip,” said Paddock, who has been Illinois’ backup quarterback, to Big Ten Network. “Hold nothing back. I’m a sixth year, I’m a walk-on, I was just like, ‘Let’s go. I’ve got nothing to lose. Let’s just have fun with it.'”
Illinois’ last two games have featured incredible performances from Paddock, a fourth-generation Illini football player. After starter Luke Altmyer left the game at Minnesota with 1:25 left in the fourth quarter, Paddock has gone 27-for-39 passing for 592 yards and five touchdown passes – including two game-winning touchdown passes – in Illinois’ wins against Minnesota and Indiana. Paddock is following in the footsteps of his great grandfather, grandfather, and uncle, who have all worn the Orange and Blue.
Illinois is back in action on Saturday at Iowa. Kickoff is scheduled for 2:30 p.m. CT on FS1.
ILLINOIS WINS IT IN OT??
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) November 11, 2023
?? Legendary performance
?? Legendary interview
— Big Ten Network (@BigTenNetwork) November 12, 2023