Sept. 24, 2005
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) - Drew Stanton set a school record with five touchdown passes and No. 17 Michigan State scored on six of eight first-half possessions in a 61-14 romp over Illinois in the Big Ten opener for both schools Saturday.
Michigan State (4-0, 1-0), which entered the game with the fourth-ranked offense in the nation, rolled up 705 yards. Illinois (2-2, 0-1) gave up 381 yards before halftime as Stanton did as he pleased during a 28-point second quarter.
Stanton tied the school record, held by seven others, by halftime and broke it with a 2-yard toss to Kellen Davis on the Spartans' first possession of the second half. Stanton's second pass of the day was a 75-yard TD strike to Kyle Brown, and he hit Dwayne Holmes, Jerramy Scott and Matt Trannon for scores in the second quarter.
Scott also scored on a 10-yard run with 22 seconds left in the first half as the Spartans took a 38-7 lead to the locker room, and Javon Ringer rushed for 194 yards on 13 carries.
Michigan State's offensive output set a Memorial Stadium record for total yards by an Illinois opponent. The 61 points was the most scored by the Spartans since they scored 76 against Northwestern in 1989.
Stanton, who left the game early in the third quarter, finished 20-of-26 for 259 yards. He was 11-of-14 for 107 yards in that deciding second quarter.
Brian Hoyer finished the game and was 6-of-8 for 70 yards, including a 30-yard TD pass to Kerry Reed in the fourth quarter.
Illinois advanced past Michigan State's 20-yard line only twice, but scored both times. Tim Brasic hit Pierre Thomas from 11 yards out on Illinois' second possession and hit Rashard Mendenhall with a 5-yard pass with 9:16 left in the game.
Brasic finished 16-of-30 for 148 yards and was the team's leading rusher with 56 yards. Illinois had 254 yards of offense.
The Spartans, who last opened a season with four wins in 1999, also scored a safety late in the game and burned the Illini defense with the same trick on two consecutive plays.
With just under two minutes remaining in the half and the ball at Illinois' 26, Stanton went in motion and Scott moved behind center to take the snap and ran around left end for 16 yards. On the next play, Scott took the snap again and ran untouched up the middle for a touchdown that gave the Spartans a 31-7 lead.
Brasic fumbled on the next series and Stanton threw his fourth TD pass of the half on the next play, 29 yards to Trannon.