Two Years After 9-OT Showdown, Virginia Tech’s Pry, Purdue’s Walters Running Their Own Programs

Brent Pry and Purdue’s Ryan Walters squared off as defensive coordinators in a nine-overtime game between Penn State and Illinois in 2021. (Ivan Morozov)

Before Virginia Tech’s Brent Pry and Purdue’s Ryan Walters were head coaches about to square off in Lane Stadium this week, they were high-profile defensive coordinators. Nearly two years ago, they played in about the weirdest game possible.

Pry and Walters led their respective sides in a 2021 defensive showdown that ended with Penn State’s unprecedented 20-18 nine-overtime loss to Illinois in Happy Valley. 

The game was tied 10-10 after regulation, featured matching field goals in the first two overtimes, 10 straight failed attempts once it got to the two-point shootout portion, a successful try for both sides and, finally, an ending after the Nittany Lions blinked, misfiring on a pass in the ninth OT before the Illini won it with a conversion of their own — four hours and 11 minutes in.

A box score unlike any you’ll ever see from Penn State’s loss to Illinois in October of 2021.

“I think I just kept hoping, ‘Just get us in there, man! Score one!’” said Pry, who coordinated Penn State’s defense.