CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WAND) -- Call the "Homecoming Miracle".
Despite being a 31-point underdog on its home field, Illinois stunned the college football world with a 24-23 Homecoming win over Wisconsin on Saturday afternoon at Memorial Stadium.
Kicker James McCourt provided the final blow to Wisconsin with a 39-yard field goal as time expired. Wisconsin had not trailed at any moment this season until that point, and Illinois had never had a kicker win a game as time expired while the team trailed -- never in program history.
Illinois also snapped a nine-game losing streak against Wisconsin that dated back to 2007, which is also the last season Illinois beat a Top 10 team (No. 1 Ohio State).
Save for a 48-yard touchdown catch by walk-on receiver Donny Navarro, the Illini offense was largely stifled by the Badgers' nation-best defense in the first half only to rattle off second half touchdowns from RB Reggie Corbin (43-yard run) and WR Josh Imatorbhebhe (29-yard catch) that put Illinois on the cusp of winning.
As for the push over the cusp, that came on the leg of McCourt in the Homecoming Miracle.