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Mississippi State scores on final play to cover in worst bad beat ever at ReliaQuest Bowl

If you had Illinois, we are so, so, so sorry.

Mississippi State Bulldogs cornerback Marcus Banks and teammates run out of the tunnel prior to the game against the Illinois Fighting Illini in the 2023 ReliaQuest Bowl at Raymond James Stadium. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Illinois Fighting Illini closed as a 3.5 point underdog to the Mississippi State Bulldogs!! AND THIS HAPPENED ON THE LAST PLAY!!

After Mississippi State’s Massimo Biscardi (First Team All-Name Kicker) made a 27-yard chip shot field goal with three seconds remaining to make it 13-10, you had to figure as an Illinois +3.5 bettor that you could safely turn to the Cotton Bowl or another game of your choosing. And if you had Mississippi State, you just have to shrug at the Hand of Variance keeping you a mere half-point from cashing your ticket.

But nay, me hearties! This was a game honoring a pirate in a city founded by pirates playing in front of a pirate ship. And they stole not only the victory, but the craziest cover of the 2022-23 college football season on the last day. That is some kind of plunderin’.

What a game and what a finish in Tampa. Now the ReliaQuest Bowl officially has its own history, and it appears Outback dropped their sponsorship of the former Hall of Fame Bowl a year too soon. Because this finish won’t be forgotten by anyone with a ticket on either side anytime soon.