EAST LANSING, Mich. — Illinois football has become bowl eligible for the first time under Lovie Smith following a remarkable win against Michigan State.
Trailing 25 in the second quarter, Illinois completed its largest comeback in program history by scoring 27 points in the fourth quarter. The previous record was 20 points against Michigan in 1999.
With 4:53 left in the fourth, Illini CB Sydney Brown picked off a Brian Lewerke pass and took it to the house. Drama ensued when the PAT was missed, making the game 31-30 Michigan State.
After what seemed like a million plays at the goal line with a minute to play, Illinois was able to score with five seconds left to win 37-34.
It’s been a rollercoaster of a season for Lovie Smith and the Fighting Illini. After starting the season 2-4, they’ve ripped off four Big Ten wins in a row.
Built on signature defense, Illinois now leads the FBS in turnovers with six after Brown’s amazing pick six.
They get a bye week before traveling to No. 18 Iowa on Nov. 23.