Illinois quarterback Brandon Peters very nearly had his head ripped off on Friday night during a game against Maryland.

During the first quarter of a 20-17 loss, Peters dropped back to pass as Terrapins defensive back Lavonte Gater bore down on the quarterback. But rather than ease up as Peters let the ball fly, Gater left his feet and connected with the quarterback, helmet-to-helmet.

Making matters worse, Gater appeared to grab Peters’ helmet briefly on the way to the ground, twisting the quarterback to the grass.