Illinois Beats Michigan State, Bowl Eligible for the First Time in Five Years

By Matthew Filipovits on November 10, 2019 at 4:12 pm
Nov 9, 2019; East Lansing, MI, USA; Illinois Fighting Illini celebrate a win over Michigan State Spartans after a game at Spartan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports
© Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

For the first time since 2014, the Illinois Fighting Illini are bowl eligible.

The Illini mounted a fourth-quarter comeback against the Michigan State Spartans, outscoring Mark Dantonio's team 27-3 in the fourth quarter to improve to 6-4 on the season. 

Illinois went through a tumultuous three seasons to start Love Smith's tenure, going 9-27 overall and 4-23 in Big Ten play. The former Chicago Bears head coach was seen as someone on the hot seat heading into the season until the Illini pulled an improbable upset over a top ten Wisconsin team earlier this year.

The Illini have a chance to win two more games this season when they travel to Iowa City to take on the Hawkeyes and then at home against Northwestern in the regular-season finale.