The MSU faithful expected this to be the year when the Spartans would return to glory after a disappointing season in 2018, but a amusing thing happened en route to Ann Arbor - State fell apart, encapsulated by Saturday's game, where they blew a 28-3 lead to IL, losing at home 37-34. The previous record was 20 points against MI in 1999. The Spartans dominated the first quarter with 28 points, but, this dominance did not keep up all game. This was the same kind of magic that Lovie conjured up on Saturday night to lead U of I to the monumental win.
After roughly 59 minutes and 50 seconds of this, Peters - a fourth-year former MI quarterback who joined IL as a graduate transfer this spring - took a shotgun snap from the MSU 5-yard line. It wasn't so much a Hail Mary as it was just a long pass to a single-covered receiver deep down the field - the first of several puzzling mistakes by Michigan State.
That field goal to stretch the lead to 21 was the last MSU score before the start of the IL comeback for the ages. Brian Lewerke's third interception of the game was returned 76 yards for a touchdown by Sydney Brown. Down 34-30, they converted fourth-and-17, then drew a pass interference flag in the end zone on another fourth-down pass.
The Illini are now bowl eligible for the first time since 2014.
Saturday's comeback victory over the Spartans was the biggest comeback in program history and has set up the Illini for a great close to their season. U of I's has now rattled off four consecutive wins over No. 6 Wisconsin, Purdue, Rutgers and now MSU.