Northwestern and michigan State both open Big Ten and Northwestern play, looking to defend its Western Division crown.
The Wildcats have won eight consecutive regular-season Big Ten matches and 15 of their past 16. They’ve also beaten Michigan State three decades in a row, averaging 40.6 points each game against the Spartans.
Northwestern’s offense is trying to overcome injuries to important players. Quarterback T.J. Green was dropped to the season at Northwestern’s opening game loss to Stanford.
Clemson transfer Hunter Johnson take over at dusk, and he had a last weekend, passing for 165 yards on 12-of-25 passing.
Coach Pat Fitzgerald seems like he’s anticipating Johnson for a game supervisor, not the celebrity.
“He took what the defense gave him. He didn’t try to force anything,” Fitzgerald said in his weekly press conference.
At running back, northwestern is banged up. Isaiah Bowser suffered a knee injury in the opener. He’s been practicing but missed the UNLV game.
Jesse Brown went down in the UNLV game, leaving the chores who ran for 141 yards
Even the Spartans come to Evanston with a few of the greatest defenses in the country.
Michigan State is letting 23.3 yards per game to the ground, good for the No. 2 rushing defense.
The Spartans are the No. 3 overall defense, at 216 metres per game allowed.
They are even fifth in sacks (4.3 per game), twelfth in scoring (11.3 points allowed) and No. 20 in turnovers, with 6.
Head coach Mark Dantonio isn’t happy, however, saying that the D wants to”be perfect” and hammering them for permitting a late touchdown drive by Arizona State in last week’s 10-7 loss.
On offense, Brian Lewerke, who ranks second in the Big Ten in death, and receiver Darrell Stewart, second in the league in catches leads the Spartans.
The line is a problem, however. The Spartans are in their fourth tackle that is left, having lost AJ Arcuri and Cole Chewins in the year.
Kevin Jarvis went down and will miss six or seven weeks with a knee injury.
The line seems skies high for a road group, however with Northwestern’s crime confronting and hobbling the Spartan D, it’s tough to see the Wildcats putting up enough points to pay. Look for Michigan State to win by double digits.
Free Pick: Michigan State -9.5 (-112) with BetOnline

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