Illinois trailed Michigan State 28-3 in the second quarter on Saturday. The Fighting Illini were on the road.

They had won their last three games. It was safe to say the magical run Illinois was on had come to an end.

Well, we thought that it would have been safe to say. Was it, though?

Absolutely not.

RELATED: Illinois completes biggest comeback in school history, earns bowl eligibility with win over MSU

Illinois scored 27 points in the fourth quarter to complete an improbable comeback against Michigan State, winning, 37-34. With the win, Illinois moved to 6-4 overall. Six wins means that the Fighting Illini are now bowl eligible.

We didn’t have to tell Lovie Smith that. Here’s the Illini coach after the game:

Like Smith said, for some program, getting to a bowl game isn’t a big deal. In fact, it’s not even mentioned at some places. But for Illinois, it’s different.

Recent history shows that Illinois doesn’t have a good football program. Even Fighting Illini fans would tell you that.

But this year? This year’s different. Smith is leading a different kind of Illinois team. An Illinois team that has a chance to win eight games in the regular season.

That hasn’t happened since 2007 when the team finished 9-4.