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Miles Scott’s interception turned the tide against Toledo



Miles Scott
Sep 2, 2023; Champaign, Illinois, USA; Toledo Rockets running back Jacauez Stuart (0) puts a hand to Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Miles Scott (10) during the first half at Memorial Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Ron Johnson-USA TODAY Sports

Miles Scott returned an interception 48 yards for a touchdown against Toledo.

Is momentum real? That question has been debated across sports since the beginning of time. No matter where you land on the debate, it is clear that Miles Scott’s pick-six turned the tide of the football game against Toledo:

Illinois opened the game with a touchdown drive, and it seemed like they would have their way with the Rockets. Illinois would not score again until the third quarter. Toledo took advantage of Illinois’s lack of discipline on both sides of the ball. The Illini could not stop the Toledo running game, and the Rockets built a 19-7 lead in the third quarter.

Illinois would not score again until Miles Scott ran an interception back 48 yards for a touchdown. The Rockets did not score on its subsequent two drives, but Illinois scored on its next two drives after the pick-six. The Illini would outscore Toledo 23-9 from that point.

Illinois sputtered for much of the game to that point. They had nine first-half penalties but only one in the second half. The offense came alive as well. Luke Altmyer made several big throws, including two touchdown passes to wide receiver Pat Bryant. Toldeo added two scores to take a one-point lead late in the game.

Luke Atlmyer threw a 33-yard pass to Casey Washington on fourth and four to keep the drive alive. Altmyer had a hand in his face, and Washington made an acrobatic catch in tight coverage. Illinois ran five times for 21 yards to get in field goal range for kicker Caleb Griffin. With the ball placed in the middle of the field, Griffin kicked the game-winning field goal.

Does that happen without Scott’s interception? Maybe it does, maybe it does not. The momentum that pick-six brought didn’t hurt one bit, however.

Armchair Illini is a comprehensive site dedicated to covering University of Illinois Athletics owned and operated by Alex Kyi. Dante Pryor has been writing about College Football for years on Saturday Blitz and is now the Lead Football Author for Armchair Illini.