Michigan State and Northwestern equally open Big Ten and Northwestern play, looking to defend its Western Division crown.
The Wildcats have won eight straight regular-season Big Ten matches and 15 of their past 16. They have also beaten Michigan State three years in a row, averaging 40.6 points a match against the Spartans.
Northwestern’s offense is struggling to overcome injuries to several important players, nevertheless. Quarterback T.J. Green was missing for this season in Northwestern’s opening match loss to Stanford.
Clemson transfer Hunter Johnson take over at dusk, and he had a strong but far from magnificent match in the win over UNLV last weekend, passing for 165 yards on 12-of-25 passing.
Coach Pat Fitzgerald seems like he is expecting Johnson for a game manager, not the star.
«He took what the defense gave him. He didn’t attempt anything,» Fitzgerald said in his weekly press conference.
At running back northwestern can be banged up. Isaiah Bowser suffered a knee injury in the opener. He’s been practicing but missed the UNLV game.
Jesse Brown went down leaving the conducting chores to Drake Anderson, who ran for 141 yards
Even the Spartans come to Evanston with a few of the best defenses in the country.
Michigan State is allowing 23.3 yards per game on the floor, good for the No. 2 rushing defense.
The Spartans are the No. 3 overall defense, at 216 metres per game allowed.
They’re even called in sacks (4.3 per game), twelfth in scoring (11.3 points permitted ) and No. 20 in turnovers, together with 6.
Head coach Mark Dantonio isn’t happy, however, saying that the D needs to»be perfect» and criticizing them for allowing a late touchdown drive by Arizona State in last week’s 10-7 loss.
On crime, Brian Lewerke, who ranks second in the Big Ten and recipient Darrell Stewart, second at the league in catches leads the Spartans.
The offensive line is a issue. The Spartans are in their tackle that is left, with dropped AJ Arcuri and Cole Chewins in the year.
Kevin Jarvis went and will miss seven or six weeks with a knee injury.
The line appears skies high for a road group, however with Northwestern’s crime already hobbling and confronting the Spartan D, it is tough to see that the Wildcats putting up enough points to cover. Search to win by double digits.
Free Choice: Michigan State -9.5 (-112) together with BetOnline
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