EAST LANSING — There was no Joe Bachie. At the end, there was no Josiah Scott.
Yet Michigan State football’s defensive collapse Saturday — allowing 27 fourth-quarter points in a 37-34 loss to Illinois — follows the same pattern that has plagued the once-vaunted unit for the past two seasons.
The Spartans’ offense fails to move the ball in final 15 minutes. Their defense wears down as the production withers. Only this time against the Illini, turnovers on offense, busted coverages on defense and pass interference penalties on both sides exacerbated the issues.
“You can’t turn the ball over and give up big plays,” MSU coach Mark Dantonio said. “If you take those two things away, you win the football game and you walk away.”
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The Spartans gave up four touchdowns and 210 yards in the final quarter — minus-5 rushing and 215 passing yards from Illinois quarterback (and Michigan transfer) Brandon Peters.
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