Connor Cook threw for three touchdowns and Michigan State's defense locked down Illinois Saturday on the way to a 42-3 win.
The Spartans (7-1, 4-0 Big Ten) used a big defensive stand and a back-breaking drive to crush the Illini, scoring 14 points in the second, third, and fourth quarters.
Illinois (3-4, 0-3) was trailing 7-3 midway through the second quarter when it failed twice to punch the ball in from the Spartans 1-yard line. Michigan State took over and drove 99 yards for a touchdown. Cook found receiver Bennie Fowler from 18 yards for a 14-3 lead.
The Fighting Illini are in the midst of a 17-game losing streak to Big Ten opponents. Despite the lopsided loss, Fighting Illini Coach Tim Beckman said he felt there's a lot left to play for in the 2013 campaign.
"You've got five games left, we're 3-4, we're not 0-7," he said. "(We've) felt success, I believe in every one of these football players that we have, and our job as a coaching staff and as a football team and everybody involved in this family is to move forward and know we've got to get ourselves ready for Penn State (on the road next Saturday.)"
Cook finished an efficient 15-of-16 for 208 yards. Tailback Jeremy Langford had 104 yards on 22 carries and two touchdowns.
The Spartans defense came into the game ranked first in the nation in total defense and held Illinois to just 128 yards. That included 25 on the ground.
Illini quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase was 13-of-21 for 103 yards and an interception.
A group of Hoopeston residents hopes to give the community a sense of how the old downtown movie theater once operated.
The Lorraine Theatre opened its doors in 1922, but closed its doors in March of 2012, suffering the fate of many single auditorium small-town movie houses.
An unnamed buyer recently bought it, and the Lorraine 2, an old store location that was converted in recent years to show movies.
The buyer expects to do some maintenance – then turn both of them over to the Save The Lorraine Foundation in the next few weeks.
Group president and lifelong Hoopeston resident Jim Richards admitted there’s more to be done, namely, raise about $200,000 for maintenance and restoring the Art Deco design.
His memories included a day when vaudeville acts came to town.
"They didn’t have dressing rooms, so what they did, is basically put a ladder – and there’s two tiers on each side, and they went up an built little platforms," he said. "The vaudeville people would walk up the ladder on the side of the thing, go over to the space that they had - which was elevated, above the stage, they would dress in their costumes and change costumes - and walk down and present their program on the stage.”
Richards said his group is open-minded, and needs to rent out the theater for other uses to make ends meet, including theater acts and weddings.
The Save The Lorraine Foundation holds its first fundraiser Sunday, a spaghetti dinner at the Hoopeston’s Fast Lanes Bowling Alley from 12 to 3 p.m.
The Illinois court system will get a new leader next week. On Friday, Thomas Kilbride wraps up his three-year term as chief justice of the Illinois Supreme Court. Then on Monday, Justice Rita Garman of Danville will take over.