1. A bowl game was salvaged with this win
Let’s be honest, Michigan State needed to win this if it wanted to make a bowl game at the end of the season. The Spartans were 3-5 on the season and desperately needs to go 3-1 in the final month to become bowl eligible and two of those games are against ranked opponents.
No. 16 Illinois presented a heck of a challenge, but this was a decent matchup for Michigan State because the offense was based around the run game and the defense hadn’t seen receivers like Jayden Reed and Keon Coleman yet this year.
Winning at Penn State in the final week of the season just doesn’t feel likely, but anything can happen in that game. Michigan State needed this one at Illinois.
And it got it. This team showed some serious heart.
After losing a chunk of the team to suspensions stemming from the tunnel incident last week at Michigan, the Spartans stepped up in the face of adversity and played arguably their best game of the Big Ten season.
All the Spartans have to do is take care of Rutgers and Indiana at home to make a bowl. Not easy, but it’s looking very possible.