And Illinois handed the Spartans their first points. Wide receiver Ryan Lankford was hit hard by Spartans defensive end Shilique Calhoun as he tried to pitch to Martize Barr on a double reverse. The other Spartans defensive end, Marcus Bush, recovered the ball at the Illinois 23.

Four plays later, Langford punched the ball in from the Illinois 1-yard line for the first of his touchdowns and a 7-3 lead.