IL completes largest comeback in program history, beats Michigan State 37-34

Tanya Simon
November 10, 2019

That was the first time in Bears franchise history that they were able to win a game after trailing by at least 20 points in the second half. This set up the stage for Illini quarterback Brandon Peters, who threw two touchdowns in the final frame, including the game-winning five-yard strike to Daniel Barker.

IL football has become bowl eligible for the first time under Lovie Smith following a remarkable win against Michigan State. Noise from Michigan State's defense, but also from fans in the Spartan Stadium stands behind the IL sideline.

IL converted a fourth-and-17 with 1:55 remaining in the game on a 37-yard deep shot to Josh Imatorbhebhe.

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Can the Spartans take care of a suddenly red-hot IL team which has a win over Wisconsin this season or will the Illini pull off the road victory and drop Michigan State to 4-5 on the year? A minute later, IL had six first-and-goal plays from inside the 4-yard line, aided by two Michigan State time outs and a pass interference flag on fourth-and-goal by cornerback Josh Butler.

Lewerke remained in the game and threw an interception that was returned 76 yards for a touchdown on the following play, making it 31-30. The Illini finally scored with 5 seconds left. They turned the ball over and allowed long passes in situations when only a long pass could really hurt them.

Next week, Michigan State takes on interstate rival University of Michigan.

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