MSU 42, ILL 3: Rapid Reaction

Illinois lost it's 17th consecutive conference game Saturday, falling to Michigan State 42-3 in Memorial Stadium.

CHAMPAIGN - Illinois lost it's 17th consecutive conference game Saturday, falling to Michigan State 42-3 in Memorial Stadium.

It was over when: Spartans running back Jeremy Langford scored a 7-yard rushing touchdown with less than three minutes left in the third quarter. Langford's second score of the game put Michigan State up 28-3.

Player of the game: Connor Cook. The Spartans quarterback finished 15 of 16 with 208 yards and three touchdowns. The sophomore now has 12 touchdown passes to only two interceptions on the season.

Stat of the game: Third down efficiency. The Spartans converted 14 of 16 times on third down. While the Illini defense couldn't end drives, the Illinois offense couldn't sustain them either. The Illini were 3-for-10.

The takeaway: The Spartans entered nearly a 10-point favorite, but this game was cited by some as a potential upset pick due to Michigan State's recent look in ugly wins against Purdue and Indiana. The Spartans didn't mess around with the Illini, though. The defense had a better look at times, but the failure to get off the field on third down killed any chance for success. A fluke catch for a touchdown near the end of the first half gave the Spartans a two-score advantage and put the Illini in all-out catch up mode. The offense couldn't answer. The line was no match for the Spartans defense. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase faced heavy pressure and the Illini averaged 1.2 yards per rush. There really isn't much I need to say, the score and stats pretty much cover it. There were positive moments in the losses against Washington, Nebraska and Wisconsin. Against Michigan State, no so much.


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