Down go the Badgers.
Illinois upset No. 6 Wisconsin on Saturday in Champaign on a 39-yard field goal by James McCourt as time expired. The victory is the first Big 10 win of the season for the Fighting Illini who were a 30.5-point underdog against the Badgers.
The win sparked Illinois fans to rush the field as the team finally got a signature win against a previously undefeated Wisconsin team that got caught looking ahead to their matchup next week against Ohio State.
It’s the biggest upset of the college football season so far and the biggest Big Ten pointspread upset since 1982.
Wisconsin Starts Fast
Wisconsin started the game fast and got off to a 10-0 start before Illinois answered in the second quarter on a 48-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Peters to Donny Navarro. The Badgers normally stout defense looked unusually porous on the play.
Wisconsin led the game 20-7 at in the third quarter and at one point in the second half had a 98.2% win probability according to ESPN’s game predictor.
Illinois Fights Back
The Fighting Illini began their comeback very late in the third quarter on another big play a Reggie Corbin 43-yard touchdown run which brought Illinois within six points of the Badgers.
They key moment in the fourth quarter came on a 3rd and 5 play for Wisconsin at their own 45-yard-line with 2:32 remaining. Badgers QB Jack Coan tried to hit a route on the outside but the pass was intercepted by Tony Adams, setting up the Illini with a chance for the game-winning drive.
Illinois offense was able to move the ball into field goal position, setting up McCourt for the winning boot in the closing seconds.
Lovie Smith Reacts to the Win
Illini Head Coach Lovie Smith spoke on the field after the game and felt his team deserved to win this one.