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Instant Reactions: Eastern Michigan @ No. 11 Michigan State

Spartans score early and often in cruising to an easy win over Eastern Michigan.

Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports

Given it was just over a 45-point favorite over Eastern Michigan on Saturday, No. 11 Michigan State was widely expected to do what it did amidst its 73-14 win.

But its performance goes beyond the anticipated lopsided final score.

Taking the field for the first time since losing 46-27 at third-ranked Oregon two weeks ago, Saturday was about trying to clean up the defensive issues that harmed the Spartans late against Oregon while spreading the wealth in terms of playing time.

The Spartans' defense held the Eagles' offense to one total yard in the first half, without a first down until midway through the third quarter and off the scoreboard until midway through the third, one can consider that mission accomplished for the most part.

Meanwhile, scoring six touchdowns on their first seven possessions of the game, the Michigan State offense found the immediate rhythm it couldn't reclaim late in the second half of the Oregon loss as five different players rushed for a touchdown.

Junior QB Connor Cook misfired on only one pass and accounted for three TDs in the first half, including a pair of TD tosses to Tony Lippett as the Spartans raced out to a 49-0 halftime lead.

Delton Williams' 103 yards and three touchdowns certainly is a good sign as production at running back behind workhorse Jeremy Langford.

For all three phases, Saturday was just what the doctor ordered after the Oregon loss and the bye week following the trip out to Eugene, Ore.

The Spartans' special teams recovered a pair of muffed punts as part of forcing six Eastern Michigan turnovers, which included a R.J. Williamson interception that set up a R.J. Shelton six-yard TD run.

Mark Dantonio said he wanted to get a lot of different players some playing time and a 28-point first quarter allowed that to happen.

Damion Terry and Tyler O'Connor also saw extensive action at quarterback, which could bode very well going forward when considering Cook's possible NFL future after this season.

With Wyoming standing as the last nonconference foe for Michigan State before it opens up Big Ten play under the Spartan Stadium lights in two weeks against Nebraska, the more players that see time on the field in game situations will only help build depth going forward.