Michigan State tops Illinois in Nichol's first start

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Keith Nichol threw for 179 yards in his first start to lead Michigan State to a 24-14 win over Illinois on Saturday.

Larry Caper rushed for 95 yards and a touchdown for Michigan State (3-3, 2-1). Glenn Winston ran for 69 yards and a score in the first half before leaving with a knee injury.

Nichol, a sophomore, started in place of Kirk Cousins, who entered the game later. Nichol was 13-for-25 with an interception.

Illinois (1-4, 0-3) started its homecoming with Eddie McGee at quarterback in place of the benched Juice Williams. But McGee was pulled in the third quarter after completing two of his 11 passes.

Williams was 7-for-17 for 109 yards and a touchdown in relief.