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Unbeaten Spartans Hope to Avoid Letdown vs. Illinois
(AP) -- Fresh off victories over Wisconsin and Michigan, 13th-ranked Michigan State hosts Illinois on Saturday in East Lansing.

The Spartans (6-0, 2-0 Big Ten) haven't started 7-0 since 1966, but after beating the Wolverines 34-17 last weekend, they suddenly find themselves in the middle of the conference title race with a chance to play in a prestigious bowl if they keep winning.

That would be quite a way to end a turbulent year that included coach Mark Dantonio's mild heart attack Sept. 19. The Michigan game was his first game back, and he coached from a box high above the field.

Dantonio said Tuesday he'd need to show he can walk through a full practice before returning to the sideline. He had a blood clot in his leg following surgery for the heart problem.

(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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