Michigan State vs. Northwestern fearless prediction and game preview.
Michigan State vs. Northwestern Broadcast
Date: Saturday, September 21
Game Time: 12:00 ET
Venue: Ryan Field, Evanston, IL
Michigan State (2-1) vs. Northwestern (1-1) Game Preview
Why Michigan State Will Win
The Michigan State defense is still the Michigan State defense.
And the Arizona State defense is pretty good, too.
Don’t get into a wild twist over what appeared to be the regression of the Spartan O back into late 2018 form. ASU has the guys under Herm Edwards to shut down teams all season long, and Michigan State has the guys – sometimes, 12 of them on the field at the same time … sorry, too soon – to continue to be a rock against mediocre offenses.
The Spartans are only along 23 rushing yards per game, the pass rush has improved over last year, and the offensive side is getting a great start to the season out of the line.
Northwestern was able to run the ball on UNLV last week, but that’s not happening against MSU, which means it’s up to Hunter Johnson and the air show to get things moving. One massive problem – 46%, one touchdown, three picks. That’s what the Northwestern passing game is doing so far.
This isn’t the team you get healthy against.
Why Northwestern Will Win
Northwestern’s defense is a pain in the butt again, too.
It’s got the pass rush to be a nuisance – it sent Stanford’s season into a tailspin after banging up QB KJ Costello for a game – and it’s got the ability to once again lock down against the run.
Northwestern is Northwestern – it bends, but it doesn’t break. So far in the two games, both Stanford and UNLV got into the red zone twice, and only the Cardinal came away with a score. This team just finds a way to D up when it absolutely has to.
MSU was able to run wild on Western Michigan, and the passing attack has been fine, but the ground game got swallowed up by both Tulsa and Arizona State. And that means …
What’s Going To Happen
Brian Lewerke has to be great.
The Spartan quarterback threw for 329 yards and a score in last year’s weird loss to Northwestern, and that was about it – he wasn’t quite right the rest of the season.
The Wildcats found a way to win that week, found a way to win in 2017, and found a way to win in a shootout in 2016. The Spartans have lost four of the last five in the series, but they’ll rebound from last week’s loss to survive Northwestern being Northwestern this week.
The Wildcats just don’t have the offense, and Michigan State isn’t going to screw up and make enough mistakes to matter. That includes making sure the right number of players are on the field for a kick.
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Michigan State vs. Northwestern Prediction, Line
Michigan State 23, Northwestern 16
Line: Michigan State -9.5, o/u: 39.5
ATS Confidence out of 5: 2
Must See Rating: 3.5
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