Michigan State vs. Northwestern Fearless Prediction & Game Preview
Check out the Michigan State vs. Northwestern fearless prediction and game preview.
Michigan State (6-1) vs. Northwestern (4-3) Game Preview
Broadcast, TV, Game Time
Date: Saturday, October 28th
Game Time: 3:30 pm ET
Venue: Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Alright, Michigan State. Just get through this, and then it’s time to go to work.
You’ll have to forgive the Spartans if they might be looking ahead a bit to the showdowns against Penn State and Ohio State that could make-or-break the season, but first they have to get past a Northwestern team that’s suddenly found itself.
Like last year, it took the Wildcats a while before it got things going. And now, after good wins over Maryland and Iowa, bowl hopes are back on with a relatively light November ahead. Win this, and there’s a shot Northwestern could run the table.
But if Michigan State wins this, there’s a shot to get to the College Football Playoff. All they have to do is beat Northwestern … and Penn State, and then win at Ohio State.
One Reason Why Michigan State Will Win
The defense has become an absolute killer again.
Granted, it helps to play a whole slew of teams that can’t do much of anything offensively, but Notre Dame, Iowa, Michigan and Minnesota all need and want to run the ball, and only the Irish had any luck. Even in the loss, MSU held the high-powered Notre Dame ground game to under 200 yards, with the three Irish rushing touchdowns representing the bulk of the five scores allowed so far.
Northwestern has finally been able to start running again, but it’s been hit-or-miss all season long. The O line isn’t anything special, and now it’s about to deal with a line that’s allowed 102 yards or fewer in all four Big Ten games.
This is an offensively-challenged Northwestern team that has to win by taking advantage of mistakes and opportunities. Against a D that’s allowed 14 points or fewer in five of its seven games, it’s going to be a grind.
One Reason Why Northwestern Will Win
It’s not like Michigan State is lighting up the scoreboard like a Christmas tree.
There is absolutely no margin for error when it comes to how the Spartans are winning. If they start turning the ball over, or if they lose the field position battle, or get down early, forget it.
The passing game doesn’t really work, and if LJ. Scott isn’t being allowed to score – like Indiana had to do late last week to have any hope of coming back – he’s having a hard time finding room.
It’s been really, really hard for Northwestern get out to a good start – it didn’t score in the first half last week – but if it can, and it can force Michigan State to throw, good things will happen.
It’s going to be a fight of a battle that’ll likely come down to converting on every opportunity. So far this season, Northwestern has been brilliant in the red zone, converting 24-of-26 changes, while opponents are coming away empty way too often, only converting 78% of the time inside the 20.
What’s Going To Happen
First team to score wins?
It’s going to be low scoring, it’s going to be a fight, and it’s going to come down to the little mistakes.
Michigan State’s defense is far, far better than Northwestern’s, and it’ll come through when it has to in the second half to pull off another tight win.
Michigan State vs. Northwestern Prediction
Michigan State 17, Northwestern 13
Michigan State -2, o/u: 40.5
5: Dwyane Wade
1: Gabrielle Union … 4
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