It’s been quite the unpredictable season for the Michigan State Spartans as no one thought that one loss to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish could make the difference between a one-loss season and an unbeaten season. Sitting at 9-1, the Spartans have already clinched a share of the Legends Division title.
On the other side of the field, the Northwestern Wildcats began the season off strong with a 4-0 record through four games and people were talking about a possible Rose Bowl However, the Wildcats have since lost six straight and have looked as bad as any team in the Big Ten this season.
Michigan State is coming off a huge win against the Nebraska Cornhuskers in which the Spartans’ offense posted 41 points. Beginning the year as a team that had a hard time putting points on the board, the Spartans have turned it on as of late. Connor Cook has stepped up at quarterback and is adequately leading this team to the next level of play, passing for 1,683 yards and 14 touchdowns while hitting senior wide out Bennie Fowler 28 times for 382 yards and five touchdowns. Jeremy Langford leads the rushing attack with 926 yards and 13 touchdowns for the 48th-best rushing unit in the nation.
Northwestern’s offense hasn’t been as explosive as expected this season with Trevor Siemian at quarterback. While Siemian splits some time with dual-threat Kain Colter, he is still the passing leader with 1,502 yards and seven touchdowns. Colter has 571 yards and four touchdowns through the air and 487 yards and five touchdowns on the ground while struggling with injuries this season. Tony Jones leads all receivers with 43 catches for 527 yards and four touchdowns. Treyvon Green leads all rushers with 642 yards and eight touchdowns but is questionable for this week’s game.
Defensively, the Spartans have the best unit in the nation. Michigan State ranks fourth in points allowed per game while also ranking first in the nation in yards allowed per game with under 240. Northwestern, on the other hand, ranks 61st in points allowed and 73rd in yards allowed per game.
Michigan State will travel to Northwestern to take on the Wildcats at 12 p.m. EST on Saturday, Nov. 23. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN.
PREDICTION: Michigan State 31, Northwestern 14