The Wisconsin Badgers rolled into Champaign, Illinois on Saturday looking like a juggernaut. They were coming off a 38-0 shutout of Michigan State, their fourth shutout of the season, and had allowed a grand total of 29 points all season long. All eyes were on next week’s epic showdown with the Ohio State Buckeyes that could be a precursor to the Big Ten title.
Turns out, Wisconsin’s eyes might have been too focused on that showdown as well. Instead of rolling in undefeated, they were shocked by 3-4 Illinois in a historic 24-23 upset. Favored by over 30 points, it’s the biggest upset of the season by far and one of the biggest upsets in college football history.
Wisconsin seemed to be cruising along in the 3rd quarter but Illinois refused to go away as Reggie Corbin dashed through the previously unmoveable Badger defense for a touchdown score, putting things at 20-14.
Wisconsin got it’s lead back up to nine and was ahead 23-14 with a little under six minutes left in the game when Illinois struck again. This time, quarterback Brandon Peters (who transferred from Michigan) fired a rocket into the endzone for a touchdown.
Ahead 23-21 with a little over two minutes left, Wisconsin just needed to make some good decisions and get a few more points on the board to avoid the epic upset. Instead, QB Jack Coan threw an interception to Tony Adams, giving Illinois prime field position and a chance to pull off the win.
The Illini drove down the field, setting up a 39-yard field goal for kicker James McCourt with barely any time left on the clock. You know what happened next…
The kick was true, making McKnight an Illinois legend for years to come. Plus, it gave Lovie Smith a remarkable victory he can hang his hat on after three-plus seasons without too many of them in Champaign.
— Alex Aguilera (@alex13aguilera) October 19, 2019
Just how crazy was this upset? There are a lot of stats to show you how…
The last time Illinois beat a ranked Big Ten opponent was in 2007 with their upset of No. 1 Ohio State.
The last time Illinois beat a ranked Big Ten opponent at home?
Oct. 6, 2007.
The opponent? No. 5 Wisconsin.
— Kevin McGuire (@KevinOnCFB) October 19, 2019
One of the biggest upsets in College Football history!
Illinois (+30.5) over Wisconsin 24-23. The Fighting Illini were 25/1 on the money line!
This is the biggest upset involving FBS vs FBS teams since 2015 when New Mexico (+31.5) beat Boise St 31-24.
— Brad Powers (@BradPowers7) October 19, 2019
Illinois was a 30.5 underdog against Wisconsin according to Caesars Sportsbook.
That is the…
– Largest upset so far this season
– 2nd largest upset in a Big Ten game over the last 40 seasons (Northwestern defeated Minnesota in 1982 as 32-point underdogs in that game) pic.twitter.com/fFBJHHiDIx
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 19, 2019
Illinois has the ball for less than 20 minutes and they still win against Wisconsin pic.twitter.com/s9RkjgXfy0
— Abdul Memon (@abdulamemon) October 19, 2019
Wisconsin football looking like the worst cryptocurrency on the market pic.twitter.com/1G4UxIOdwC
— Jon (@BigJon865) October 19, 2019
Congrats, Illini. And as for Wisconsin, good luck getting back on track next week against *checks notes* Ohio State…