Last-second field goal lifts EMU over Illinois 34-31
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) _ Chad Ryland booted a 24-yard field goal as time expired to give Eastern Michigan a 34-31 win over Illinois on Saturday.
It was the Eagles’ third win over a Big Ten team, following victories against Rutgers in 2017 and Purdue in 2018.
Mike Glass was 23 of 36 for 316 yards and three touchdowns to lead EMU (2-1). Jarius Grissom rushed three times for 52 yards, while Willie Parker had 23 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown.
Brandon Peterson was 22 of 37 for 297 yards passing, two touchdowns and an interception for Illinois (2-1). Reggie Corbin, who sat out the last game with a hip pointer, carried the ball 18 times for 144 yards for the Illini.
In a first-half shoot-out, both teams showed plenty of offense and periods of ineffective defense. The Eagles rushed for 93 yards and Glass was 11 of 20 for 183 yards and three touchdowns, while Illinois rushed for 76 yards and Peters went 13 of 17 for 164 yards and one TD.
EMU: Good win for Chris Creighton’s team, which came in as the underdog and which has a habit of upsetting Power Five teams (Rutgers and Purdue in the past two seasons).
Illinois: Ugly loss for the Illini. The offense played essentially half a game, and the defense was supect all afternoon. Lovie Smith took over as defensive coordinator after Hardy Nickerson left last October, and has said it would be his number-one priority. But there remains considerable work to be done before conference play begins next week in a prime-time game against Nebraska.
EMU: Hosts Central Connecticut State next Saturday.
Illinois: Hosts Nebraska next Saturday to begin Big Ten play.