After the MSU football team solidified a 42-3 thrashing of the Illinois Fighting Ilini Saturday, the Spartans now stand at 7-1 on the season and 4-0 in the Big Ten, giving them sole possession of first place in the Big Ten Legends Division.
Also, for the first time all season, after being unofficially ranked between the 26-30 range all season when deduced from the “others receiving votes,” Michigan State makes their debut this season in the AP Poll (24), USA Today Coaches Poll (24) and BCS Standings (22).
Here’s a few other things to take note of Michigan State’s season thus far and where they are at now after their domination of Illinois on Saturday:
Jeremy Langford, running game continues to shine
At the start of the season, not much was known of the junior running back from Wayne, Michigan. He’s not exactly the workhorse that Le’Veon Bell was a year ago for the Spartans but after reeling off three straight 100 yard rushing games, it appears Langford is the tailback Michigan State was looking for at the start of the season and it looks like they’re going to continue to roll with him.
Langford hasn’t been doing it all alone though, in addition to Langford’s productivity as of late, true freshman tailback Delton Williams has also impressed over the last few weeks.
Connor Cook bounces back with strong showing
Just click here and read this. A week after stinking up the field against Purdue, Connor Cook bounced back and played well at Illinois, completing 15/16 passes for 208 yards and three touchdowns.
However, in the big picture, not much has changed in a week and that article there sums up why there should be no question at the quarterback position and why Cook has to continue to be the guy for Michigan State down the road this season.
Defense continues to dominate
After shutting out Purdue at home the week before, the Michigan State defense followed that showing up by only allowing 128 total yards of offense in its 42-3 victory over Illinois. The Spartan defense now ranks 1st in total defense (215.5 ypg), 1st in rushing defense (54.9 ypg), 3rd in passing defense (160.6 ypg), and 3rd in scoring defense (12.3 ppg).
Up Next, Michigan
Now standing atop the Big Ten Legends Division at 4-0, Michigan State will now begin a crucial part of its schedule. And they’ll start by facing in state rival Michigan (6-1, 2-1).
After Michigan State took four straight match ups between the two, Michigan struck back last year with a 12-10 victory in Ann Arbor. As both teams jostle for position at the top of the Big Ten Legends Division, much more will be on the line this year than just the Paul Bunyan Trophy.
Follow Ryan Squanda on Twitter @squandaryan