Spartans seize momentum heading into UM

With rivalry game now on the clock, MSU gains confidence and gets the ball rolling at Illinois.

Any talk of looking ahead to Michigan can be put in the past now for Michigan State.

After dismantling Illinois, the Wolverines are on the clock, but not until the Spartans enjoy their 42-3 win at Champaign.

"We're 4-0, which is where we wanted to be," coach Mark Dantonio said. "But we'll worry about that tomorrow. All our focus is really on the present. Let's have a good time on the bus and the plan ride home and we'll take care of business tomorrow."

The Spartans, for their part, might have sent a message to anyone from Michigan watching on its bye week. More importantly, they set themselves up with confidence and a 4-0 Big Ten record.

"It feels great," defensive end Marcus Rush said. "I think as a team we all played really good on both sides of the ball and it's a great feeling coming into Michigan."

Senior offensive lineman Dan France said a strong win Saturday sets the Spartans up well heading into next weekend.

"This game was big going into Michigan and it kind of gets the ball rolling," he said. "I feel like the whole team is confident now and hopefully we come out and play well next week. I can't wait."

Quarterback Connor Cook, coming off a record-setting performance at Illinois, said it has been part of building momentum since Big Ten play opened for MSU at Iowa.

"Coming out when we played against Iowa, that propelled us into Indiana," he said. "We played well against Indiana then we came out flat against Purdue.

Anytime you have a game like this heading into a game against Michigan – a big time rivalry game – that always elevates everyone's confidence."

So with Michigan and the rest of a November slate that features road games at Nebraska and Northwestern, the Spartans are sitting 7-1 and undefeated in the conference and success to build on.

"I think we set ourselves up for the quote, unquote hard part of our schedule coming up this last part of the year," senior linebacker Max Bullough said. "We've done what we can do and control at this point. All we gotta do is continue that."

First things first is the Wolverines.

"I don't think you can get too much up for a game like that," Bullough said. "I think they're going to be excited and we're going to be excited."

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