DAVID MERCER, Associated Press
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) — Connor Cook threw for three touchdowns and Michigan State’s defense locked down Illinois Saturday on the way to a 42-3 win.
The Spartans (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) used a big defensive stand and a back-breaking drive to crush the Illini.
Illinois (3-4, 0-3) was trailing 7-3 midway through the second quarter when it failed twice to punch the ball in from the Spartans 1-yard line.
Michigan State took over and drove 99 yards for a touchdown. Cook found receiver Bennie Fowler from 18 yards for a 14-3 lead.
Cook finished an efficient 15-of-16 for 208 yards.
Tailback Jeremy Langford had 104 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns.
The Spartans defense came into the game ranked first in the nation in total defense and held Illinois to just 128 yards. That included 25 on the ground.
Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was 13-of-21 for 103 yards and an interception.
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