October 26, 2013

Dantonio: 'Connor got better'

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Michigan State won its second conference road game of the 2013 season and retained its first-place position atop the Big Ten Legends Division with a 42-3 victory at Illinois on Saturday.

"We've played very well away from home really since 2010," said Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio. "You know our guys sort of come together, and we are confident when we go away. It talks to team chemistry I think and good things happen when you have team chemistry. It wasn't as easy as the score would indicate. The first half was definitely in question and you have to credit Illinois with that, too. You know things can flow and momentum has a way of shifting and creating a lot things for a team."

Sophomore quarterback Connor Cook set a Michigan State record for pass efficiency. He was 15-of-16 for 208 yards and three touchdowns.

"Connor got better," said Dantonio. "When you're a young player, you have a chance to sit back, re-group, re-establish yourself and move forward. He has tremendous talent. He was off a little bit throwing the football last week, but you know, he's able to re-group and move forward. That's being young, that's youth and I think that happens sometimes."

Michigan State fell behind 3-0 before recovering a fumble on a botched reverse to set up a second-quarter touchdown. A goal-line stand by the Michigan State defense and subsequent 15-play 99-yard scoring drive gave the Spartans a 14-3 halftime lead and control of the game.

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