Illinois achieved bowl eligibility Saturday evening and did so in record-setting fashion!

For much of the afternoon, it looked like another disappointing loss was in store for the Illini. Illinois allowed 31 points to Michigan State entering the fourth quarter with the Spartans cruising to the finish line.

However, the Illini flipped the script over the final 15 minutes. Lovie Smith and company put up 20-unanswered points and finished the quarter on a 27-3 tear to pull off a remarkable comeback. It was also the biggest comeback in school history.

With the win, Illinois has achieved bowl eligibility and is guaranteed its best season since 2014. It will give the Illini an opportunity to secure their first bowl win since 2011, Ron Zook’s last season with the program.

After Saturday’s big win, Lovie Smith received a bit of a crowd surfing moment as he celebrated with his players. It was a cool and special moment for the coach and Illini after securing the memorable win on the road.