Michigan State (@1.25) vs Northwestern (@3.8)

Our Prediction:

Michigan State will win

Michigan State – Northwestern Match Prediction | 22-09-2019 12:00

Avid Hunter: Johnson took over at QB this season for the graduated Clayton Thorson. He has a strong arm and can use his legs to create. He totaled 220 yards in the win over UNLV, going 12 of 25 for 165 yards, a TD and an interception,and running for 55 yards and another score. A third-year sophomore, Johnson was a 5-star recruit who sat out a year ago after transferring from Clemson.

When Michigan Statehas the ball: Saturdays 10-7 loss to Arizona State showed much of the same offensive inefficiency of the past 15 games. Collins appears to be emerging as the feature back, and his 93.7 yards per gamerushing rank fifth in the Big Ten. However, Connor Heyward and LaDarius Jefferson spelled him on third downs and in short-yardage situations, while Anthony Williams appears ready to contribute more. MSU marched into Sun Devils territory seven times in 10 drives, coming away with one fourth-quarter Elijah Collins touchdown, three missed field goals, a fumble, a drive that ended on a fourth-and-1 stop and a punt.


Dantonio is coming off a game in which he was heavily criticized for decisions made late. He is 5-5 against Northwestern and this will be his 11th game coaching against Pat Fitzgerald. Dantonio has a 109-52 career record in 13 seasons at Michigan State and, with one more victory, he will pass Duffy Daugherty (109-69-5 in 19 seasons from 1954-72) as the winningest coach in program history. He burned his last two timeouts back-to-back before Arizona State converted on fourth-and-13 on its final drive and, after the initial call was to take one last shot at the end zone, he sent the field goal unit scrambling on late in the play clock, resulting in the penalty for 12 men on the field.

Moton ran for 36 yards on 13 carries against U-M in his first career start and has 57 yards on 25 carries with two TDs this season. RB situation: Larkin remains Northwesterns leading rusher with 346 yards and five TDs in his four games. Finding someone to replace that production could take time. The Wildcats used three running backs against Michigan, including converted wide receiver Solomon Vault. He combined with John Moton IV and Isaiah Bowser to average 2.7 yards on 21 combined carries, which totaled56 yards.

The run game was better last week against Central Michigan, with QB Brian Lewerke running more and freshman LaDarius Jefferson emerging as a bigger back who is not afraid of contact. Should Darrell Stewart also sit out again with White, Lewerke will need to find another target so defenses cannot double-team senior Felton Davis III. Still,MSU was missing four of its top six receivers by the end of the CMU win, after Cody White broke his hand. Northwestern ranks 121st out of 129 Football Bowl Subdivision teams in red-zone defense, last in the Big Ten. Northwestern allows 379 yards per game, 142.3 rushing and 236.8 passing. Sophomore LB Paddy Fisher leads the Wildcats with 34 tackles in coach Pat Fitzgeralds 4-3 defense and had 19 tackles against the Spartans last year. When MSU has the ball: The Spartans struggling run game and banged-up offensive line continues to be the story, and mounting injuries at wide receiver are adding to the strain.

3. MSUs response

The Wildcats entered a new era this season after the departure of Clayton Thorson, who set a Big Ten record for starts by a quarterback with 53. Redshirt sophomore Hunter Johnson, a transfer from Clemson, made his first career start in the loss at Stanford and struggled, finishing 6-for-17 passing for just 55 yards, zero touchdowns, two interceptions and a fumble. He was replaced in the first half by TJ Green, who then suffered a season-ending foot injury.

One turnover they appeared to causelate was called off due to a penalty. MSUs defense has come up with six turnovers this season, but didnt come up with any last week against Arizona State. This group knows it. The best thing MSUs defense can do for the cause is to squeeze the life out of Northwestern, while creating a couple turnovers. Most of the questions surrounding MSU heading into this game involve the offense. MSUs offense, special teams and coaching were largely to blame for the defeat. But the Spartans defense could have done more all the waythrough the Sun Devils game-winning drive.

This year, hes scored 20 or more points in four games. Hes likely to be defended by a number MSU players. Law is the sort of long, athletic and versatile wing the Wildcats didnt used to have. Boston College transfer A.J. He doesnt have the length to pester Nick Ward on his own. Turner has been mostly all-or-nothing offensively, more likely to score five points or 20 points than much in between. He will let it fly from long range, having attempted 11 or more 3-pointers in three different games this season. Derek Pardon is a solid big man, with some skill to his game. A big reason Northwestern has an outside chance at another NCAA tournament bid this season is Evansville transfer Ryan Taylor, a 6-foot-6 guard who led the Missouri Valley Conference in scoring last season. About the matchup: MSU is very familiar with Vic Law, who, it seems, has been at Northwestern since 1989. Hell likely be shooting against the defense of Matt McQuaid.

Northwestern vs. Michigan State Fearless Prediction, Game Preview

Northwesterns Daniel Kubiuk is a sixth-year senior and in his first season as the starting punter, averaging 40.0 yards per attempt with a long of 53 and five downed inside the 20-yard line. Riley Lees is averaging 12.3 yards per punt return and 25.0 yards per kickoff return. Charlie Kuhbander is 3-for-4 on field goal attempts this season with a long of 44 yards.

Northwestern is ranked 86th in the nation in rushing defense at 171.0 yards per game allowed and allowed UNLVs Charles Williams to rack up 144 yards and two touchdowns on 16 carries last week. Alex Miller has a team-high 3.5 tackles for a loss while Fisher has 14 stops and two forced fumbles. Gaziano and Samdup Miller are veteran ends who have combined for 20 tackles and four tackles for a loss this season.

Michigan State enters as a decided favorite, but the Spartans have lost three straight to the Wildcats and four of the last five. Matt Charboneau: If you like to wager on games, taking the under might be the play here. Both teams lean on their defenses while both offenses have had their share of troubles finding any consistency putting points on the board. With an offense still struggling to find the end zone, that skid is likely to continue.