Illinois 25

(2-4, 0-3 Big Ten)

Michigan State 38

(3-3, 2-1 Big Ten)

Coverage: ESPN2

12:00 PM ET, October 9, 2004

Spartan Stadium (MI), East Lansing, MI

1 2 3 4 T
ILL 2 7 10 625
MSU 13 10 7 838

Top Performers

Passing: D. Stanton (MSU) - 199 YDS, 3 TD

Rushing: P. Thomas (ILL) - 21 CAR, 188 YDS, 2 TD

Receiving: A. Shabaj (MSU) - 5 REC, 56 YDS, 1 TD

MSU QB Stanton accounts for four TDs

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Drew Stanton threw three touchdown passes and caught another to lead Michigan State to a 38-25 victory over Illinois on Saturday.

The Spartans (3-3, 2-1 Big Ten) have beaten the Illini (2-4, 0-3) eight straight times. Illinois hasn't won in the series since 1992, and hasn't won at Spartan Stadium since 1989.

Pierre Thomas had 188 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries for Illinois, but it wasn't enough to prevent his team's 11th consecutive Big Ten loss.

Illinois scored on a blocked punt to cut a once-commanding Michigan State lead to five at 30-25 with 14:13 left. Kevin Mitchell blocked the punt near the Michigan State 20 and teammate Sharriff Abdullah recovered for an Illini touchdown.

But the Illinois comeback ended there.

DeAndra Cobb capped a 62-yard drive with a 12-yard TD run, and a 2-point conversion gave Michigan State a 38-25 lead with 5:47 remaining. Cobb finished with 93 yards on nine carries.

The Spartans put together their most impressive offensive showing of the season, gaining 253 yards rushing and 234 passing.

Stanton was 21-of-28 for 199 yards and three TDs. He also ran for 37 yards on 11 carries.

The Spartans scored on three straight possessions in the first half to take a 20-2 lead.

Stanton threw his first career touchdown pass in the first quarter, an 11-yard strike to Jerramy Scott. The play capped a 49-yard, nine-play drive.

Stanton and Scott hooked up again -- in reverse -- for Michigan State's next score. Stanton pitched to Scott in the backfield, then slipped down the left sideline to catch an 18-yard TD pass.

But Michigan State botched the extra-point attempt. Holder Brandon Fields fumbled the snap, and Kelvin Hayden recovered for the Illini, returning it for a 2-point conversion.

Stanton's 6-yard touchdown pass to Jason Teague early in the second quarter gave the Spartans their early 20-2 lead.

Agim Shabaj also caught a TD pass for Michigan State.

Illinois starting quarterback Jon Beutjer was pulled at halftime after completing 10-of-14 passes for 96 yards. He was replaced by Chris Pazan, but it was Thomas who sparked the Illini comeback.

Pazan was 5-of-11 for 48 yards.

Michigan State begins the toughest part of its schedule next Saturday, hosting Minnesota. The Spartans also have games remaining with Michigan, Ohio State, Wisconsin, Penn State and Hawaii. Illinois hosts Michigan next week.