Brandon Peters threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Daniel Barker with 5 seconds left, giving the Illini a 37-34 victory over Michigan State on Saturday night. Illinois trailed 28-3 in the second quarter and 31-10 entering the fourth. The Illini had never completed a comeback from more than 20 points behind.
Down 34-30, Illinois (6-4, 4-3 Big Ten) converted fourth-and-17, then drew a pass interference flag in the end zone on another fourth-down pass. It was second-and-goal when Peters patiently rolled out to his right and found Barker open in the back of the end zone.
Peters threw for 369 yards and three touchdowns.
Down 28-3, Illinois began its comeback when Peters threw a 46-yard touchdown pass to Imatorbhebhe on the final play of the first half. Down 31-10, Imatorbhebhe scored on an 83-yard catch-and-run with 14:48 left in the fourth. Then Reggie Corbin scored on a 6-yard run to make it 31-24.
Michigan State’s Matt Coghlin kicked a 46-yard field goal with 3:17 remaining to make it 34-30. Peters completed a 37-yard pass to Imatorbhebhe on fourth-and-17, and before long, it was first-and-goal from the 1.
The Spartans forced Illinois into a fourth-down situation from the 4, and Peters’ pass to Caleb Reams fell incomplete. But Reams and Josh Butler got tangled, and the Michigan State defensive back was called for pass interference. The Illini finally scored with 5 seconds left.