Michigan St at Northwestern Preview/ Pick

By Ryan Clark

Spread:  Michigan St -9 1/2

O/U:  38

Game Time/ Location:  11 am CT, ABC, Ryan Field, Evanston, IL

Michigan St:  The 2-1 Spartans come into this one 2-1 after last week’s 10-7 loss to Arizona St.  Michigan St nearly had a 2-1 margin over the Sun Devils in total yards and first downs, won the time of possession battle by almost eight minutes, and held them to 4-13 on 3rd down conversions, but somehow lost the game.  Brian Lewerke threw for almost 300 yards, but no TD’s.  The defense was outstanding again, as they held Arizona St to just 206 total yards of offense, while getting four sacks.  In injury news, G Kevin Jarvis is out, while WR Cam Chambers, and WR Jalen Nailor are both questionable.

Northwestern:  The Wildcats come into this one 1-1 after their 30-14 victory over UNLV last week.  Hunter Johnson went 12-25 for 165 yards, one TD, and one INT, good for a QBR of 47.6.  Drake Anderson filled in for the injured Isaiash Bowser rather nicely, as he rushed for 141 yards and a TD.  The defense allowed 330 yards of offense to the Rebels (including 210 on the ground), but got five sacks and three turnovers on the day.  As for injuries, Bowser and fellow RB Jesse Brown are questionable for this game.

Final Analysis & Pick:  Northwestern’s Johnson is about to be in for a long day.  If he couldn’t hit 50% of his passes against UNLV’s 101st-ranked defense, he probably won’t fare too well against Michigan St’s 4th-ranked defense.  The Wildcats’ only chance of winning this game will be if they run it, which they won’t be able to do.  Michigan St is a little banged up on offense, but they’ll be just fine against Northwestern’s 53-ranked defense.  The Spartans are going to come into this one fired up.  Lay the points here, and also take the under.  I just can’t see Northwestern scoring more than a TD.