This game was a classic example of the difference a half can make in the game of football, as the Spartans came out very slow and sloppy out of the gate and looked extremely unprepared to play football.
The play that changed the game for the Spartans occurred right before the half. The Spartans led only 7-3, but were in Illini territory when sophomore quarterback Connor Cook rolled out to his right and threw a pass into the end zone that was tipped by two Illinois players before Bennie Fowler brought it in for the score.
From that point on, it was all Michigan State. The defense continued it’s usual crushing of every opponent they face, as the Spartans only gave up 128 yards of total offense on the day, including only 25 on the ground.
Other than the opening drive where Illinois drove down the field and kicked a field goal, the Illini never threatened to score in the game.
The biggest story of the day is the on-going play of the offense, which can be terrible and outstanding all in one game. Today it was all outstanding, and Cook was on fire. He completed 15-of-16 passes for 208 yards and three touchdowns on his way to setting the Michigan State single-game completion percentage record.
The running game continued to prove it’s one of the best in the conference, as the team ran for 269 yards total. Jeremy Langford posted his third-straight 100-yard rushing game with 104 yards and two touchdowns, and freshman Delton Williams had 78 yards and a score.
The Spartans will take all of the positives from this game and use them as motivation as the team prepares for the biggest game of the season when they host the Michigan Wolverines next Saturday.