Junior kicker James McCourt knocked through the game-winning 39-yard field goal as time expired to propel Illinois to the 24-23 victory.
“We look at time here at the University of Illinois, this is our signature win,” said head coach Lovie Smith. “We’ve needed a signature win. Again it’s the number six team in the country and we played them toe to toe. And we saw so much fight. We learned an awful lot about ourselves. We’re pumped up. It’s one of the best wins you could possibly have at this stage of the program.”
“Honestly what was going through my head was some oxygen, because I was passed out at the bottom of the pile, supposedly,” said junior kicker James Mccourt when asked about being lifted up on the field. “Jake [inaudible] said my eyes rolled back in my head. So I got lifted up and I thought I got woken up from a dream or something. It was unbelievable. Seeing everyone around, I can’t even describe it.”
Illinois improves to 3-4 on the season with the win.