Spartans open up a can on Illinois; 61-14

All talk of a let down for Michigan State went out the window as the Spartans opened up a can on rival Illinois 61-14. Quarterback Drew Stanton threw for FIVE touchdowns, reserve Brian Hoyer threw two more and freshman Javon Ringer had his coming out party, rushing for 194 yards on just 13 carries.

Drew Stanton threw five touchdowns for 259 yards and freshman Javon Ringer ran all over the Illinois (2-2, 0-1) defense with 194 yards on just 13 carries, as #17 Michigan State (4-0, 1-0) silenced thoughts of a letdown by pounding the Fighting Illini 61-14.

Stanton connected with five different Spartan receivers for a school record and the 705 offensive yards also tied a Big Ten record.

Backup quarterback Brian Hoyer even got into the act, replacing Stanton in the fourth quarter and adding two more touchdown throws. Receivers Matt Trannon, Kyle Brown, Dwayne Holmes (2), Kellen Davis, Jerramy Scott, and Kerry Reed all grabbed TD throws for the Spartans.

Illinois head coach Ron Zook wanted to slow down the Michigan State running game or else, he said it would be a long day for the Fighting Illini and his words turned out to be prophetic. The Spartans established a running game behind freshman Javon Ringer who is quickly turning heads and opening eyes with his moves and speed.

"I apologize to all the Illini fans," Illinois Zook said following the rout. "That's not the football team we're going to be. That's not the football team we've been the last three weeks. I don't have an answer why. But we didn't coach very well, and we didn't play very well. And that's my responsibility." The freshman Ringer's 194 effort was amazing as he continually slashed his way through the Illini defense forcing them to at time put as many as nine men in the box. That allowed Stanton to then pick appart the overmatched secondary unit.

The Spartans opened the game scoring with a quick strike from Drew Stanton to Kyle Brown for 75 yards. That set the tone for the entire game as Illinois' defense seemed to break instantly, allowing the Spartans to move the ball at will all afternoon.

After Illinois tied the game at 7, the Spartans scored the next 31 points in the first half on way to a rout. The game was 38-7 at halftime and was practically out of reach.

The defense showed up strong only allowing 123 rushing yards. The Illini leading rusher was quarterback Tim Brasic with 57 yards.

The largest play yards wise for the Illini was a 22-yard reception by Franklin Payne. The Michigan State defense also forced a safety late in the game. Junior college transfers had a big day for MSU. Defensive end Jonal St. Dic grabbed his first sack for the safety and corner Demond Williams grabbed his first MSU interception.

# 17 Michigan State improves to 1-0 in Big Ten conference play and will likely move up in the AP rankings on Monday with the loss of #11 Purdue (3-1) to Minnesota (4-0).

The Spartans, the roles are reversed heading into the "backyard brawl" against formerly #14 Michigan who could drop completely out of the polls after a disappointing loss to Wisconsin over night. The Wolverines now find themselves in the unfamiliar role of spoilers and will no doubt be a dangerous opponent for State next Saturday.

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