In sports, a few moments can make all the difference.
Illinois was trailing 7-3 and facing 3rd-and-goal at the MSU 1-yard line. The Illini had been moving the ball on MSU's defense, and they were about to take a 10-3 lead. But MSU's defense would stuff two runs up the cut and turn the ball over on downs. The next time Illinois had an opportunity for an offensive drive they were down 21-3.
After the goal-line stand, MSU would drive 99 yards for a (double-deflected) TD, Illinois would throw a hail mary that was intercepted, and MSU would take the opening drive of the second half for a touchdown, crushing the home crowd and all but ending the game.
MSU has already matched the 2012 win total before November, and it came in dominating fashion. Saturday's 42-3 win was one of the best performances in the Mark Dantonio era, as Heck outlined.
MSU got to November without a conference loss, something no other Legends team could do.
Looking back at my three keys to the game.
MSU allowed just 25 yards rushing on 21 carries. The Spartans are the only team in the FBS to not allow a team 100 yards rushing in 2013.— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) October 26, 2013
MSU limited Illinois to just 128 yards of total offense; the Illini were averaging 446.2 yards of offense entering the game.— Spartan Football (@MSU_Football) October 26, 2013
This is the best MSU defense since at least 1999, but their legacy will be determined by where this season finishes.