Northwestern and michigan State equally open Big Ten play, with Northwestern appearing to defend its Western Division crown.
The Wildcats have won eight straight regular-season Big Ten matches and 15 of the past 16. They have also beaten Michigan State three years in a row, averaging 40.6 points per game against the Spartans.
Northwestern’s offense is trying to overcome injuries to important players, nevertheless. Quarterback T.J. Green was lost to this season in Northwestern’s opening game loss to Stanford.
Clemson transfer Hunter Johnson shoot at dusk, and he had a last weekend, even passing for 165 yards on passing.
Coach Pat Fitzgerald seems like he’s expecting Johnson for a game supervisor, not the star.
“He took what the defense gave him. He didn’t try anything,” Fitzgerald said in his weekly press conference.
Northwestern is also banged up at running back. Isaiah Bowser suffered a knee injury. He’s been practicing but overlooked the UNLV game.
Jesse Brown went in the UNLV game, leaving the running errands to Drake Anderson, who ran for 141 yards
Even the Spartans come to Evanston with one of the greatest defenses in the country.
Michigan State is letting 23.3 yards per game on the ground, good for the No. 2 rushing defense.
The Spartans would be the No. 3 overall protection, at 216 metres per game allowed.
They are even called in sacks (4.3 per game), twelfth in scoring (11.3 points allowed) and No. 20 in turnovers, with 6.
Head coach Mark Dantonio is not happy, though, saying that the D wants to”be perfect” and criticizing them for allowing a late touchdown drive by Arizona State in last week’s 10-7 loss.
On offense, the Spartans are headed by Brian Lewerke, who ranks second in the Big Ten and receiver Darrell Stewart.
The line is a issue, yet. The Spartans are on their fourth left handle, having lost AJ Arcuri and Cole Chewins earlier in the year.
Kevin Jarvis will miss seven or six months with a knee injury and went .
The line seems sky high for a road team, however, with the offense hobbling and confronting the Spartan D of Northwestern, it is difficult to find the Wildcats putting up enough points to cover. Start Looking for Michigan State to win by double digits.
Free Choice: Michigan State -9.5 (-112) with BetOnline
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