How to watch Michigan State vs. Illinois: Preview, TV time, odds and more

Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

Can the Spartans improve to 4-0 in Big Ten play?

Michigan State looks to continue its strong early season form in Big Ten play as it travels to face Illinois. Television coverage begins at 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN 2.

The Spartans started the year 3-0, with non-conference wins over Western Michigan, South Florida and Youngstown State, before a close loss to Notre Dame. In conference play, Michigan State has not really received a challenge, dispatching of Iowa, Indiana and Purdue.

It looks like Illinois will be another easy conference foe for the Spartans -- the Illini are 3-3, and have been blown out by Nebraska and Wisconsin in their last two outings. Washington was their third loss, so they haven't been defeated by anyone surprising, but they only sport wins over Southern Illinois, Cincinnati and Miami (Ohio).

The numbers

Rankings and records: Neither team is ranked. Michigan State is 6-1, with a 3-0 record in conference play, and Illinois is 3-3 with a 0-2 Big Ten record. The Spartans hold a 25-17-2 lead in the all-time series, and have won 11 out of the past 12 games between the two schools.

Vegas: Michigan State is a 10-point favorite, with an over/under of 50 points. OddsShark has more.

Weather: 50s and partly cloudy.

Three names to know

Jeremy Langford. Much of the Spartan offense relies on the ground game, and Langford has run for seven touchdowns so far this year.

Max Bullough. Michigan State's linebacker has 42 tackles, and is one of the top run-stoppers in the nation.

Josh Ferguson. Bullough will be tasked with stopping Ferguson, who is a dual threat out of the backfield. He has run for six yards per carry, but also leads the Illini in receiving.

Two things at stake

A win for Michigan State would keep it on top of the Big Ten Legends standings.

After a poor start to conference play, Illinois is look to turn things around with an important home game.

How to witness

TV: 3:30 p.m. ET on ABC/ESPN2.

Radio: Here's a list of Michigan State affiliates. Here's one for Illinois.

Online streaming: WatchESPN.

Further reading

For more from Michigan State, head to The Only Colors. For the Illinois perspective, check out The Champaign Room.

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