CHAMPAIGN (WCIA) — Illinois football is looking for a bounce back after its first loss in more than two months. The 23rd-ranked Illini (7-2, 4-2 B1G) lost 23-15 to Michigan State on Saturday, the first defeat since Indiana on Sept. 2.

“I didn’t come here to win five games, I made that very clear before it happened and we want to chase a Big Ten championship and fortunately as disappointing as Saturday was because of what we’ve done,” Illinois head coach Bret Bielema said. “Those things are still in front of us and I don’t think you can argue with three games left, that anybody’s going to feel bad about the scenario so we’re not where we need to be but we’re a lot closer than we were a year ago and progress is key and I love the progress we’re on.”

Illinois can no longer clinch a spot in the Big Ten Championship game with a win over Purdue on Saturday. That would have been the case had the Illini beat the Spartans. Now the program needs to win two out of its last three games — either against Purdue, at Michigan or at Northwestern — to land a spot in Indianapolis the first weekend in December. Illinois has never played in the Big Ten title game.

Illinois and Purdue kickoff Saturday at 11 a.m. on ESPN2.