CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP/CBS) — James McCourt kicked a 39-yard field as time expired and Illinois pulled off the biggest upset of the college football season, knocking off No. 6 Wisconsin 24-23 on Saturday.
Tony Adams picked off a pass for the Illini (3-5, 1-3 Big Ten), who were 30 1/2-point underdogs, at midfield with 2:33 remaining that led to the winning field goal. Dre Brown’s tackle-breaking 13-yard run got Illinois to the Wisconsin 25 and then the Illini with 34 second left and then set up McCourt to attempt a game-winner.
Wisconsin had not trailed this season and was looking to roll into a showdown with No. 3 Ohio State next week in Columbus. Instead, the Badgers (6-1, 4-1) blew a nine-point lead in the final 9:46 of the fourth quarter.
Heisman Trophy contender Jonathan Taylor rushed 28 times for 132 yards and one touchdown for Wisconsin, but he also had a fumble in Illinois territory in the fourth quarter to help fuel the Illinois comeback.
Head coach Lovie Smith, kicker McCourt and offensive lineman Alex Palczewski spoke to the media after the stunning win.
“This is our signature win. We’ve needed a signature win. It is the No. 6 team in the country and we played them toe-to-toe,” Smith said.
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