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Oct. 12, 1996

Michigan State Overruns Big Ten Opponent Illinois 42-14

Sedrick Irvin ran for two first-half touchdowns and Todd Schultz threw for 281 yards as Michigan State routed Illinois, 42-14, in a Big Ten Conference clash.

Irvin scored on runs of five and nine yards as the Spartans (3-3, 2-1 Big 10) scored three touchdowns in an 11:04 span bridging the first and second quarters.

Irvin, a cousin of Dallas Cowboys wide receiver Michael Irvin, opened the scoring with a five-yard scamper with 6:24 left in the first quarter. Schultz followed with a 35-yard scoring pass to Octavius Long to make it 14-0 less than four minutes later.

Irvin scored from nine yards out to give the Spartans a 21-0 lead with 10:20 to play. Schultz then dove in from one yard out to stake Michigan State to a 28-0 halftime lead.

Irvin finished with 57 yards on 18 carries while Schultz completed 20-of-25 passes for 281 yards and one interception with one touchdown. Derrick Mason caught five passes for 101 yards.

Duane Goulbourne, who ran for a team-high 144 yards on 31 carries, scored two second-half touchdowns for Michigan State, while Ty Douthard and Robert Holcombe each had two-yard scoring runs for the Fighting Illini. Holcombe rushed for 73 yards.

Scott Weaver completed 16-of-35 passes for 157 yards with two interceptions for the Illini.

Illinois (2-4, 1-2) has been outscored in three road games this season, 103-22. The Fighting Illini lost at Michigan, 20-8, and were decked at Arizona, 41-0. In its four losses, Illinois has been outscored, 158-25.

NCAAF   FINAL               1ST  2ND  3RD  4TH     TOTAL
                            ---  ---  ---  ---     -----
        ILLINOIS              0    0    7    7      14
        MICHIGAN ST          14   14    7    7      42   FINAL
                            (CHRIS GARDNER KICK), 12:32
                            KICK), 13:17
                            KICK), 11:33
NCAAF                 1  2  3  4   F 
                      -  -  -  -  -- 
Illinois              0  0  7  7  14 
Michigan St          14 14  7  7  42  FINAL 
 Michigan St-Irvin 5 run (Gardner kick)
 Michigan St-Long 35 pass from Schultz (Gardner kick)
 Michigan St-Irvin 9 run (Gardner kick)
 Michigan St-Schultz 1 run (Gardner kick)
 Illinois-Douthard 2 run (Rackers kick)
 Michigan St-Goulbourne 4 run (Gardner kick)
 Illinois-Holcombe 2 run (Rackers kick)
 Michigan St-Goulbourne 1 run (Gardner kick)
                       Illinois Michigan St 
First downs                  15          24 
Rushed-yards              32-49      52-205 
Passing yards               157         281 
Sacked-yards lost          4-28         0-0 
Return yards                  4          75 
Passes                  16-35-2     20-25-1 
Punts                    7-39.3      2-40.0 
Fumbles-lost                0-0         5-3 
Penalties-yards            5-27        6-58 
Time of possession        26:57       33:03 

Individual Statistics
RUSHING: Illinois-Holcombe 23-73, Douthard 3-3, Weaver 6-minus 27. Michigan St-Goulbourne 31-144, Irvin 18-57, Schultz 2-5, Burke 1-minus 1.

PASSING: Illinois-Weaver 16-35-2-157. Michigan St-Schultz 20-25-1-281.

RECEIVING: Illinois-Dulick 7-95, Douthard 4-32, Adams 2-18, Mcdonald-ashf 1-5, Majoy 1-4, Holcombe 1-3. Michigan St-D Mason 5-101, Irvin 4-45, Keur 3-36, Scott 3-33, Goulbourne 3-17, Long 2-49.

Att: 71,639

Michigan State Vs. Illinois Postgame Coverage

Quotes From The Players
MSU QB Todd Schultz "I have to say thanks to my line. I was never sacked or knocked down when I threw. And I can hardly remember that feeling. I didn't take a hit in practice either."

(On beating a team from his home state) "Being from Illinois, it's always fun beating up on the in-state Big Ten team. Illinois was going to be one of my top choices."

MSU WR Octavis Long (On QB Todd Schultz) "Man, Todd was great. He has the leadership and the arm we need. He puts the ball where you have to have it. And he knows how to make this offense the best it can be. He showed that today."

(On his 35 yard TD catch) "When I caught the ball and didn't see anyone else, I knew I had the speed to score."

MSU RB Duane Goulbourne "I'm starting to get a little flow of the game and really getting back into it. But there's still a lot of improvement I need to make."

"This is a blessing. Just being out there playing is a thrill. There were times I wondered if I'd ever make it back on the field."

(On rumors that he's played with some of the 1970's players back for the reunion) "This is getting ridiculous. Twenty-three is too young to be a grandfather."

MSU OL Brian Mossallam "Todd Schultz played a heck of a game. I thought he played an almost perfect game."

"We're starting to jell, we're playing up to our capabilities."

(On run blocking) "I personally don't think our blocking on the running game was as good as it should have been, but Illinois put a lot of guys in the box. Maybe we blocked a little better than I thought we did. But you have to give Goldie a lot of credit too."

(On MSU RB Duane Gouldbourne's comeback) "A lot of guys have given up in that situation and just called it quits. Goldie never quit. You could tell he wasn't rehabbing just to be able to walk around in everyday life again. He was rehabbing for days like this."

MSU OL Matt Beard "Our pass protection was the key with Todd coming off an injury, and we took special pride in keeping guys off him. There's a lot involved in that, and Todd helped tremendously by doing a great job getting rid of the ball."

"I think we're making some improvement, but we still have to learn to play for 60 minutes. We need more consistency."

MSU OL Flozell Adams "We're now starting to figure each other out. You have to understand how the other guys work to work well together, and we're reaching that point."

(On the win) "I feel pretty good about it. We didn't break down, and we came off the ball pretty decent."

(On MSU RB Duane Gouldbourne) "Oh, Goldie's back. You can just see it in the way he's exploding to the hole, stutter-stepping and juking out there again. Goldie can dance. Did you see that play where he just jumped over a guy?"

MSU LB Ike Reese "I definately believe we are one of the top three defenses in the Big Ten. The only way to prove it is by doing it on the field every week."

(On the fact that MSU's defense has not allowed one 100 yard rusher all season) "That's something we're trying to build pride out of. In the past three or four years one thing that's been in the press is that Michigan State cannot stop the run. Today was just another test for us and I think we passed."

(On his interception) "I had a chance to score, but I didn't see the lineman coming and he caught me. I'm going to hear about that when we watch it on film."

(On Illinois WR Jason Dullick who danced after each of his catches) "The guy felt he had to do something to keep his offense's spirits going. The only think I did was look at the scoreboard. He can celebrate all he wants to."

(On missing Coach Saban with a post-game bucket of Gatorade) "Had Coach not seen us coming we'd have gotten him. We needed just two more seconds. Coach took off running. He's pretty fast."

MSU DL Robert Newkirk "We wanted to dominate thie whole offensive line, and I think we were pretty successful. We wanted to establish a pass rush toward the end, and I think we did that."

(On the leadership Ike Reese had with Garnett-injured- and Wright-benched- out of the game) "Ike set the tone. When he stepped it up, the whole defense followed."

Illinois QB Scott Weaver "This was you typical rear-end kicking and it doesn't feel good at all."

Quotes From Msu Head Coach Nick Saban
Obviously we were pleased that we were able to win today. I think that it was a good win for us. I think that we played as well as we have as a total team since the first game of the year in terms of the offense, the defense. Special teams were OK in this game and we felt very good for our players who bounced back I think like we would expect a good football team to after a very disappointing loss last week and executed very well.

We were very pleased to have Todd (Schultz) back. I thought he was very effective in the game and obviously his numbers show that but the balance of run and pass is what we've always tried and wanted to achieve here so we were able to build on what we did last week and throw the ball a little more effectively. I think that's going to be a key to our success in the future.

The defense played very well in the game. I thought it was a real key in this game not to let Robert Holcombe gain 100 yards in the game, which he wasn't able to do. And there inability to run the football. We really wanted to make them pass it to beat us, not give them the big play.

I usually don't get hung up in this Homecoming stuff but since they made me ride in the parade last night I really kind of liked it. It was a lot of fun. Kids threw candy at everyone. It makes you realize how many people really are interested in the program. We always like to do well for them.

I think we want to try to accomplish something we haven't been able to do to this point in this season and that's try to put a string of wins together, win two games in a row so that will be our focus for the new week.

(On the second half) I thought we came out flat again in the second half a little bit today. We didn't do anything with the first offensive series, couldn't make a third-and-one to keep it going. Then we came out and played with tempo and got back in the game. We just can't have those lulls in the game but I think we were much better that way and I think it's something we need to continue to work on.

Quotes From Illinois Head Lou Tepper
This is sure one of the toughest days that I have had on the field in a while. To say the least, I was in shock. Michigan State had a very good plan, they took away the running game that we had planned and when we had to throw on their terms instead of mixing the run and pass, that hurt us. Defensively, I thought we had some really good plans for their running game, but we had no effectiveness stopping Schultz throwing the ball. We just were not very dependable in terms of our under coverage. The pass rush obviously is not the same pass rush we had a year ago.

We had too many errors. We did not turn it over in terms of the rushing game, but we had two in the passing game. Not knowing, our plan going in was to try to limit the running game and force Burke to throw the ball. Schultz has some experience on him and was very effective against us.

I think the kids are together. They're as frustrated with today as I was. We'll go back and assess the tapes and see where we are from there.

I really thought that we would be very competitive. I thought we had the opportunity to slow down their running attack and force them to throw, and we did do that. Unfortunately they made far too many of their completions.

Mason has tremendous speed. The long plays that Mason made, we came with a zone blitz, and we made the same mistake three times.

I see an open date next week, and I'm 1ooking forward to it. No matter whether we are a .500 team or a .750 team or a .250 team, it wouldn't matter, we're going to take one game at a time.

Today's Homecoming crowd at MSU was 71,639.

The series is now tied at 16-16-2, 9-7-l in games played at East Lansing. MSU has captured the last two contests of the series.

MSU senior tailback Duane Goulbourne rushed for a season-high 144 yards and two touchdowns in 31 attempts this afternoon. Goulbourne's rushing total represents the best effort by a Spartan back this season and the ninth time in his career that he has rushed for 100 or more yards in a game. In addition, Duane's two rushing TDs boosted his career total to 20, good for a 10th-place tie on the school's all-time list.

MSU quarterback Todd Schultz returned to the lineup in grand style, completing 20 (tying his career high) of 25 pass attempts for a career-high 281 yards. Todd's 46-yard pass completion to Derrick Mason also represented a career-long for him.

Duane Goulbourne's 144 rushigg yards boosted his career total to 2,422 and enabled him to move into sixth place on MSU's all-time ladder.

Derrick Mason caught five passes for 10l yards this afternoon, his second contest of 100-plus receiving yards and fourth of his career. Mason has 87 career receptions for 1,396 yards. Mason moved into 10th place on the school's reception yardage ladder this afternoon.

MSU freshman Sedrick Irvin rushed for 57 yards and two TDs in carries this afternoon. Irvin has 10 TDs this year, tops on the team, including three outings of two or more six-pointers. Irvin also caught four passes this afternoon, increasing his team-leading total to 25. Irvin has TDs in five of the Spartans' six games.

The Spartans rushed for 205 yards this afternoon in 52 attempts, the third straight game that the Spartans have rushed for 200 or more yards. In the last three games, MSU has rushed for a total of 690 yds, {230 yds./gm).

MSU held Illinois to 49 rushing yards this afternoon, the third time this season that the Spartan defense has held the opposition to fever than l00 yards on the ground, and the fifth time that a Saban-coached MSU squad has accomplished that feat.

MSU generated a season-high 486 offensive yards, the third-highest effort by a Saban-coached MSU team.

MSU posted a 14-0 first-quarter advantage over Illinois today and now has outscored the opposition by a 63-7 margin in the first stanza this season. The only team to score vs. MSU in the first quarter this year is Nebraska. The Spartans have shutout four of its six opponents in the first half this year and own a huge 127-37 scoring advantage in the first half.

MSU has scored 40 or more points in a game in '96 on three occasions, the first time a Spartan squad has accomplished that since the 1989 season (49-0 vs. Miami of Ohio, 51-20 vs. Indiana, and 76-14 vs. Northwestern).

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