Eventually, the Illini were going to have a bad game. They did: 23-15 loss to Michigan State, though MSU mismanaging the clock with first and goal at the Illini 9 and no time outs (ended up missing a field goal..it was very windy) gave the Illini life..which was extinguished.
A highlight for me: I got their early and walked 3.2 miles to get there (and another 0.8 to get to the car afterward) no pain.
I got 5K prior to leaving for the game due to my having to cut down sagging tree branches.
The game itself:
It was a weird one. It was windy….goal posts shook..kick offs didn’t go far (into the wind)
So, Michigan State got the ball; threw an interception on the very first play. Illinois drove it to the 3 to get first and goal..and got stuffed.
Ok, Michigan State couldn’t move, punted into the wind, and first play on the second drive: touchdown pass to the star wide receiver (mostly on running after the catch). It is 7-0.
But then Michigan State mounts a nice drive of their own (they had several) and drove it close enough for a chip shot field goal.
The second quarter; mostly dominated by the defenses though Michigan State had a nice, long drive with the wind but “doinked” the extra point. It ended 9-7 at the half, though there was more action. Illinois was driving and fumbled. Defense held. Illinois offense drove again but went on 4’th and long at the MSU 30; too windy to kick a field goal in that direction. Note the goal posts.
Second half: exchange of punts, then the second Illini punt of the half was a disaster.
Michigan State converted the short field into a touchdown.
Then on the next series, the Illini go for it on 4’th and short; the keeper play was stuffed..at the Illini 41. Michigan state converts the short field into another touchdown and now it is 23-7.
The Illini managed a touchdown drive to cut it to 23-15, but then excellent punting kept the Illini with bad field position.
Next to final drive: Illini start on their 13 and end up losing 4 yards to turn it over on downs at their own 9; 2:45 was left and the Illini had no time outs.
But Michigan State didn’t move; missed a 3’rd down pass and missed a short field goal on 4’th down.
Just over a minute the Illini have life.. but then:
Oh well. Stats were deceptive. Michigan State’s punting left the Illini with long fields, and they outgained the Spartans 441-294, but the Spartans converted their short field opportunities, and we were 0-4 on 4’th downs.