Mumphery was at the top of this list for me long before the touchdown reception in the fourth quarter to put Michigan State up 35-3. He made a couple nice plays early, one of which was negated by a holding penalty. Also ran a beautiful fade route which Connor Cook delivered on the money.
The touchdown also was a great play. Mumphery hasn't played much of a role this season, but he stepped up bit with Aaron Burbridge out this week and made plays to lead the receiving corps with 77 yards on three receptions, including the 47-yard touchdown.
Rush has been having a relatively quiet season – consistent, but quiet. He was important Saturday, though, as he had a sack and a fumble recovery. The fumble recovery was as big a play as any in the game and gave MSU a shot after turning it over at the goal line.
He also batted down a pass later in the game, which he almost intercepted.
This is Bullough's first appearance on this list all season. Why? Well, he is reliable and steady and that's that. You know what you are getting from the star middle linebacker. Coming off a Big Ten defensive player of the week award, he was a big factor against Illinois.
Early, he stuffed Illini running back Jon Davis at the line on a fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line and MSU drove down the field to take a 14-3 lead before half.
Like Rush, he also batted down a pass later in the game which he almost pulled down for an interception.
After some very strong performances, Kings has been very quiet the past couple weeks. He had a nice 25-yard grab last week and had a 16-yarder this week, but hasn't been the playmaker he was early in the season. That isn't a bad thing for MSU as the ball is being spread around and players are stepping up week to week.
The big reason he is on this list is an almost special teams gaffe. MSU has made its share of errors in the punt return – Andre Sims almost had one against UI – and Kings almost had a ball bounce and hit his leg instead of getting out of the way.
Those little things need to be fixed because until the offense is consistent, there isn't a lot of room for error.