CHAMPAIGN — After an inconsistent game, Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters led the offense down the field for a game-tying touchdown with 1 minute, 44 seconds left in the game.
But Eastern Michigan responded, marching down the field nearly unimpeded before hitting a game-winning 24-yard field goal to beat the Illini 34-31 on Saturday at Memorial Stadium.
The Illini allowed 480 yards of total offense, including 316 passing yards by Eastern Michigan quarterback Mike Glass III.
Illinois had 464 yards of offense, but failed to score on nine consecutive possessions, from late in the first quarter until late in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Brandon Peters was 22-of-37 for 297 yards, two touchdowns, an interception and a fumble.
Corbin gets Illinois within one possession
Illinois running back Reggie Corbin scored on a 28-yard touchdown run to pull back within seven of Eastern Michigan, 31-24 with 7:46 left in the game.
Corbin has 105 rushing yards so far. The drive was kept alive thanks to a 16-yard run by Brandon Peters on third-and-14. The Illini were behind the Chains after a fumble by Peters tat cost 14 yards, but was recovered by Vederian Lowe.
Eagles build separation
The Illinois defense did its part in the third quarter, forcing three punts and recovering a fumble to give the offense a chance to take the lead. The offense, though, did nothing.
Finally, Eastern Michigan scored in the fourth quarter, the first points of the second half, to take a 31-17 lead on Illinois with 11:20 left in the game.
Illinois' offense has either turned the ball over, punted or ran out of time before halftime on the last nine possessions.
Bad clock management, penalties cost Illinois to close half
The Illini had seven penalties, costing 60 yards in the first half.
After the defense forced an Eastern Michigan punt to give the offense the ball back with 1 minute, 6 seconds left in the half and three timeouts, poor clock management cost Illinois points.
The Illini let nearly 30 seconds of game clock tick off between two plays. Had Illinois called timeouts in a more timely fashion, it could have gotten points on the drive. Instead, Eastern Michigan leads 23-17 at halftime.
The Eagles have 276 yards of offense, compared to 240 from Illinois. Illini QB Brandon Peters has been sacked three times, and EMU quarterback Mike Glass III has evaded sacks. Glass has 183 passing yards, and Peters has 164 yards.
Illini hold EMU to a field goal
The Illinois defense desperately needed to keep Eastern Michigan out of the end zone, and forced a 52-yard field goal from Chad Ryalnd. The Eagles lead 23-17 with 3:52 left in the first half.
Eastern Michigan offense moving down the field with ease
The Eagles capped off a five-play, 70-yard drive with a 30-yard touchdown pass from Mike Glass III to Arthur Jackson III. Eastern Michigan had just one play of less than 10 yards on the drive, which was a nine-yard pass.
Eastern Michigan takes a 20-17 lead with 8:28 left in the first half. The Illinois defense needs to regroup, having allowed 242 yards of offense so far.
Plenty of offense
Illinois answered Eastern Michigan's touchdown with a 6-play, 75-yard drive that ended with a four-yard touchdown run by Ra'Von Bonner. Bonner's run was set up by a 27-yard pass from Brandon Peters to Dominic Stampley.
The Illini lead 17-14 with 1:42 left in the first quarter. The teams have combined for 321 yards of offense.
Eastern Michigan with another big play
Quarterback Mike Glass III put a pass right on the money to receiver Mathew Sexton for a 54-yard touchdown pass with the Illini in man-to-man coverage.
The touchdown gives the Eagles a 14-10 lead with 3:55 left in the first quarter.
Peters leads a touchdown drive
Illinois had first-and-22 from their own 34 yard line before quarterback Brandon Peters delivered a 52-yard pass to Daniel Barker. On the very next play, he found receiver Ricky Smalling in the end zone for a 14-yard touchdown pass.
Smalling won the jump ball in one-on-one coverage against his defender.
The Illini lead 10-7 with 6:52 left in the first quarter.
Eastern Michigan answers back
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Eagles backup quarterback Jarius Grissom broke free for an 47-yard run to set up a 26-yard touchdown pass from Mike Glass III to Arthur Jackson III to give Eastern Michigan a first-quarter lead.
The touchdown pass came on third down. Eastern Michigan leads 7-3 with 8:02 left in the first quarter.
James McCourt with the boot
Illinois kicker James McCourt got Illinois on the board with a 57-yard field goal. It's the longest field goal made by an Illinois kicker in Memorial Stadium history. His kick came after an 8-play, 38-yard drive stalled out.
The Illini lead 3-0 with 9:18 left in the first quarter.
Beck on unofficial
Shelbyville senior Kentrell Beck is on an unofficial visit to Illinois. He loved the new performance center and recently took an unofficial visit to Northern Iowa.
QB — Brandon Peters
RB — Reggie Corbin
WR — Ricky Smalling
WR — Trevon Sidney
WR — Josh Imatorbhebhe
TE — Daniel Barker
LT — Vederian Lowe
LG — Kendrick Green
C — Doug Kramer
RG — Richie Petitbon
RT — Alex Palczewski
DE — Oluwole Betiku Jr.
DT — Jamal Milan
DT — Tymir Oliver
DE — Ayo Shogbonyo
LB — Jake Hansen
LB — Dele Harding
LB — Milo Eifler
CB — Nate Hobbs
CB — Quan MArtin
S — Sydney Brown
S — Kerby Jospeh