After a poor, scrutinized passing performance last week in the Spartans’ 14-0 victory over Purdue, Michigan State sophomore quarterback Connor Cook bounced back in Saturday’s 42-3 victory over Illinois as he went 15 of 16 for 208 yards and three touchdowns.
Cook’s .938 completion percentage is a Michigan State single-game record (min. 10 comp) and seventh-best in Big Ten history. He also finished with 11 straight completions; which makes him the he first time a Spartan quarterback has completed 11 straight passes in a game since Kirk Cousins against Notre Dame in 2011.
Cook struggled with accuracy and footwork in the Spartans (7-1, 4-0) victory last week — going 13 of 25 — and it was clear that those two things were a point of emphasis throughout the week in practice.
Michigan State’s defense held the Fighting Illini (3-4, 0-3) to just 128 yards of total offense which marks a season low for a Spartan opponent and the fewest given up by MSU since Minnesota had 96 yards of total offense on Nov. 24, 2012.
The Spartans’ defense held Illinois to just 25 yards rushing on 21 carries. MSU is the only team in the FBS to not allow a team 100 yards rushing in 2013.
The Spartans are now atop the Big Ten Legends Division as the only undefeated team — Ohio State is 4-0 in the Big Ten Leaders Division — and their in-state rival the No. 22-ranked Michigan Wolverines (6-1, 2-1) come into Spartan Stadium next week.