Bret Bielema was not happy about Michigan State being able to change the penalty conditions of one play late in the first half. After Illinois quarterback Tommy DeVito was sacked, running back Chase Brown was called for an illegal block that Michigan State initially declined.

During the timeout called by Illinois, Michigan State head coach Mel Tucker changed his mind and accepted the penalty to put Illinois out of field goal range. Two plays later, Illinois could not get the first down for a turnover on downs with 33 seconds left at halftime, down 9-7.

According to Bielema, he received an apology from the officials on the changing of penalties.

No. 16 Illinois would go on to lose to Michigan State 23-15 for its second loss in the season, both in B1G play. Illinois did not score at any point during the second and third quarters against the defense of Michigan State.

Illinois accumulated 441 total yards of offense in the loss but came up short on the points multiple times. DeVito completed 25-of-37 of his passes for 288 yards and 2 touchdowns. Brown rushed for 136 yards on 33 carries.