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Topic: #16 Michigan State (4-1, 6-2) at Northwestern (3-2, 5-3) Post Game

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ELA

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This is the last of an October of toss up games.  Granted @Michigan didn't appear to be one, but Iowa, @Minnesota, Indiana, @Northwestern all did, and MSU has a real shot at getting through those at 5-0.

Then you get a November of games we sure as hell better win (Maryland, @Rutgers), and games most MSU fans in full honesty don't expect to (PSU, @OSU).

This has been a series dominated recently by the road team.  MSU hasn't lost in Evanston since the Miracle on Lake Michigan in 2001, winning 5 in a row starting with the 2006 game that was the greatest comeback in NCAA history.  MSU overcoming a 38-3 3rd quarter deficit to win 41-38.

Flip side, Nirthwestern has won 5 of the last 7 in East Lansing.  So maybe it's good that this is a road game.
« Last Edit: October 30, 2017, 08:43:59 AM by ELA »

nuwildcat

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NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS
Top-14 finish in the conference each year
Stellar 4-10 bowl record

ELA

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Re: #16 Michigan State (4-0, 6-1) at Northwestern (2-2, 4-3) Game Week
« Reply #2 on: October 25, 2017, 01:41:32 PM »
Seemingly every year, partially due to their style of play, Michigan State seems to get a disproportionate number of one score games (2013 historical consistent domination year aside), and while you'd expect the results to even out over time, which they do, anecdotally they seem to all go one way or the other in a given year.  This is appearing to be an "every bounce goes green" kind of year.  Northwestern is probably the best team Michigan State has faced since upsetting Michigan, but as far as matchups go, they appear to be a better matchup than Indiana, who had playmakers on the outside who could expose Michigan State's young cornerbacks in single coverage.  Northwestern, per usual, wants to establish the run, and that plays right into Michigan State's strength, where they are 2nd in the Big Ten in run defense in both yards per play and yards per game.  Where this Spartan defense seems to be excelling where even the fairly talented 2014 and 2015 versions were not, is that they are limiting the big plays, which had always been their Achilles heel (again 2013 aside).  Michigan State has only allowed three runs of 20 yards or more, fewer than all but two FBS teams; and only 17 runs of 10 yards or more, fewer than all but 3 FBS teams.  Point being, if you want to score, you have to sustain drives.  Teams have done that, most notable Michigan's opening drive, but eventually offenses get impatient.  The Spartans' 29.5% opposing third down conversion rate is second to only Michigan in conference play.  So if you don't allow big plays, and you get off the field on 3rd down, that adds up to success.  Northwestern has probably the best QB-RB backfield Michigan State has seen since Notre Dame, but what the Irish have, that Northwestern doesn't, is an offensive line.  Thorson and Jackson don't look like the same players as 2016, but they simply don't have the blocking they had a year ago.  They've surrendered a Big Ten leading 16 sacks through 4 games and their running game is averaging 3.1 ypc, better only than Indiana.  I'm not sure this is the game Michigan State's offense puts it together, but they've done a good job in Big Ten play of reversing the turnover trend from September, and in a big field position game, holding onto ball wil lbe important, and in terms of trench play, I think Michigan State's front seven has a bigger edge over Northwestern's offensive line, than the Wildcats' front has over Michigan State's line.
MICHIGAN STATE 24, NORTHWESTERN 17

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: #16 Michigan State (4-0, 6-1) at Northwestern (2-2, 4-3) Game Week
« Reply #3 on: October 25, 2017, 03:07:59 PM »
This is the type of game that Northwestern often wins. 
1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

nuwildcat

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Re: #16 Michigan State (4-0, 6-1) at Northwestern (2-2, 4-3) Game Week
« Reply #4 on: October 25, 2017, 09:49:14 PM »
This is the type of game that Northwestern often wins.
Iowa was also a 2-point favorite so hopefully that bodes well for us

Really a toss-up between pretty even foes .... could go either way and the loser likely won't be blown out

btw, a win here would make me feel much better about our postseason chances

... other than maybe @ Illinois in the finale, I honestly see no gimmes among @ Nebraska, Purdue and Minnesota

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TresselownsUM

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Re: #16 Michigan State (4-0, 6-1) at Northwestern (2-2, 4-3) Game Week
« Reply #5 on: October 26, 2017, 12:21:16 PM »
can either team score 20 in this one?

Brutus Buckeye

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Re: #16 Michigan State (4-0, 6-1) at Northwestern (2-2, 4-3) Game Week
« Reply #6 on: October 26, 2017, 03:35:25 PM »
can either team score 20 in this one?
The Wildcats might be able to, so long as they come out swingin'



1919, 20, 21, 28, 29, 31, 34, 35, 36, 37, 42, 44
WWH: 1952, 54, 55, 57, 58, 60, 61, 62, 63, 65, 67, 68, 70, 72, 74, 75
1979, 81, 82, 84, 87, 94, 98
2001, 02, 04, 05, 06, 07, 08, 09, 10, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19

nuwildcat

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Re: #16 Michigan State (4-0, 6-1) at Northwestern (2-2, 4-3) Game Week
« Reply #7 on: October 27, 2017, 08:55:27 PM »
NORTHWESTERN WILDCATS
Top-14 finish in the conference each year
Stellar 4-10 bowl record

ELA

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Re: #16 Michigan State (4-0, 6-1) at Northwestern (2-2, 4-3) Game Week
« Reply #8 on: October 27, 2017, 10:26:41 PM »
Apparently MSU had issues with their plane and are bussing in

FearlessF

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Re: #16 Michigan State (4-0, 6-1) at Northwestern (2-2, 4-3) Game Week
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2017, 09:26:35 AM »
gotta root for the west vs the east, but picked Sparty to cover
"Courage; Generosity; Fairness; Honor; In these are the true awards of manly sport."

BuckeyeAvenger

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Re: #16 Michigan State (4-0, 6-1) at Northwestern (2-2, 4-3) Game Week
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2017, 07:21:24 PM »
Nice play by JT and the D-line today. Too many mistakes by the rest of the team.

A tale of two halves. What a finish! What a great game!

Condolences to Penn State fans, I thought you had us beaten.

PortlandSpartan

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Re: #16 Michigan State (4-0, 6-1) at Northwestern (2-2, 4-3) Game Week
« Reply #11 on: October 28, 2017, 07:25:04 PM »
I'm very conflicted on who to blame for this loss. 

Kicker is an easy target. Offense was shit for like 45mins of regulation. Perhaps I'm most disappointed in the defense during OT. Just completely laid down. Put up zero fight. 

pennstate4life

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Re: #16 Michigan State (4-0, 6-1) at Northwestern (2-2, 4-3) Game Week
« Reply #12 on: October 28, 2017, 08:41:39 PM »
Condolences to Penn State fans, I thought you had us beaten.
That's nice of you, but in the end the better team won.  A team that chokes away a two score lead in the 4th is not the better team.
As for the Cats, great win.  It's a real shame you didn't get to play Wiscy later in the season.  You all have really improved over the past several weeks.

ELA

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Re: #16 Michigan State (4-0, 6-1) at Northwestern (2-2, 4-3) Game Week
« Reply #13 on: October 28, 2017, 09:13:59 PM »
I'm very conflicted on who to blame for this loss.

Kicker is an easy target. Offense was shit for like 45mins of regulation. Perhaps I'm most disappointed in the defense during OT. Just completely laid down. Put up zero fight.
All of the long empty drives.  Kicker, fumbles, stupid decisions.  Penalties contributing.

 

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