TAMPA, Fla. (WAND) -- Close losses have been the story of the 2022 season for the Illini.

And that is exactly how the season ended. Illinois fell to Mississippi State 19-10 in the ReliaQuest Bowl.

Despite some key opt-outs, the Illini defense stood tall for the first three quarters. The Illini had a 10-3 lead going into the fourth. But in that final frame, the defense started to break.

The Bulldogs scored 16 unanswered points including a go-ahead field goal with four seconds left.

Illinois ends the 2022 season with a record of 8-5. Their best finish in 15 years.

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