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Stan Becton and Gary Putnik | | October 24, 2021

Illinois upsets No. 7 Penn State in 9OTs, top-10 teams escape with wins in Week 8 action

College football rankings: Alabama jumps Oklahoma; Penn State dips

Although Week 8 didn't have the star power that past weeks had entering the weekend, the action did not disappoint. We saw overtime history, ranked teams escape with wins and more. 

Here's what you need to know from Week 8 of college football.

5 things to know from Week 8 of the college football season

1. Illinois upsets No. 7 Penn State in 9OTs

Illinois and No. 7 Penn State were a part of history on Saturday. It took nine overtime periods for Illinois to pull off a 20-18 upset in State College. This became the first game in FBS history to reach eight and nine overtimes. It also was the sixth time a game went to seven overtimes. 

Illinois ultimately won the game on a walk-off pass from backup QB Brandon Peters to WR Casey Washington. The win marks Illinois' first road win over an AP Top-10 squad as an unranked team since Oct. 23, 1999.

MORE: Illinois stuns No. 7 Penn State, wins first 9OT game in history

2. Top-10 teams escape after close calls

No. 3 Oklahoma came into its game against Kansas expecting to easily take care of business. However, the Jayhawks kept pace with the Sooners, shutting out Oklahoma in the first half for the first time since 2014. Kansas took a 10-0 lead into halftime, but it began to fall apart for Kansas in the fourth quarter when Oklahoma took a 21-17 lead. The Sooners would complete the comeback win 35-23 on the road. 

WATCH: Caleb Williams' ridiculous play helped save undefeated Oklahoma at Kansas

Meanwhile, No. 4 Alabama led Tennessee by just three points entering the fourth quarter. The Crimson Tide pulled away for a 52-24 win, scoring four fourth-quarter touchdowns. No. 6 Michigan was in a close, 10-7 contest against Northwestern at halftime before running away with a 33-7 victory

No. 10 Oregon had a tough road test against UCLA. It came down to the last offensive play of the game when Bruins backup QB Ethan Garbers threw an interception to seal the 34-31 win for the Ducks

One last team with a narrow-road victory was No. 2 Cincinnati against Navy. The Bearcats won 27-20, but it wasn't without its worries. The Midshipmen had a chance to tie the game with less than a minute left after recovering an on-side kick, but Cincinnati's defense came up big, intercepting a pass to remain undefeated. 

3. Undefeated teams fall again

For the second-straight week, two undefeated teams lost as No. 8 Oklahoma State and No. 14 Coastal Carolina lost this week. Oklahoma State lost 24-21 to Iowa State after the Cowboys came inches away from a first down on their final drive. Likewise, Coastal Carolina lost 30-27 as Appalachian State kicked a 24-yard field goal as time expired.

Overall, just nine undefeated teams remain after Week 8's upsets.

UNDEFEATED: Track every remaining undefeated team in the FBS

4. A new era in the ACC?

No. 16 Wake Forest and No. 23 Pittsburgh won in Week 8 to remain in first place of the ACC Atlantic and Coastal divisions, respectively.

Wake Forest won a shootout over Army 70-56. Demon Deacon QB Sam Hartman completed 79.3 percent of his passes for five touchdowns and a career-high 458 yards. Remarkably, Wake Forest's offense scored 63 points in just 17:17 minutes of possession.

Pittsburgh beat Clemson 27-17. Clemson, the six-time defending ACC Champions, had not lost more than one regular-season game since 2014. Yet, Pittsburgh handed Clemson its second conference loss behind Heisman Trophy candidate QB Kenny Pickett's 302 passing yards and two passing touchdowns.

With Wake Forest and Pittsburgh at the top of the ACC, it looks like it's a new era in the conference.

5. Unranked teams make their mark

Week 8 matched a season-high five unranked wins over ranked teams. In addition to Illinois, Iowa State and Appalachian State's victories, Miami and Wisconsin upset ranked opponents. Wisconsin defeated No. 25 Purdue 30-13 while Miami defeated No. 18 NC State 31-30.

Miami's victory over NC State means that the 18th-ranked team in the country has lost for the fifth-consecutive week. See all the losses by No. 18 below.

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