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Illinis Almost Through Tough 3-Game Stretch
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (AP) -- Ron Zook sees Saturday road game at Michigan State as an opportunity, the kind the Illini let slip away two weeks ago against Ohio State.

The Buckeyes were then ranked second in the country and undefeated. They pulled out a close win over the Illini (3-2, 1-1 Big Ten). Now Illinois faces the undefeated, 13th-ranked Spartans (6-0, 2-0).

The Illini are two games into a three-game stretch that back in August looked a lot more likely to break their season than make it.

But instead they have the close loss to now-No. 1 Ohio State and a blowout road win at Penn State.

And after Michigan State things should ease up for the Illini. Indiana and Purdue will come to Champaign.

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