NCAA Game Summary - Northwestern at Michigan State|
(Saturday, November 17)
Final Score: Northwestern 23, Michigan State 20
East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) - The Northwestern Wildcats notched four
takeaways and a defensive touchdown to top the Michigan State Spartans, 23-20,
in a Big Ten Conference tilt at Spartan Stadium.
The four takeaways (two fumble recoveries, two interceptions) marked the
team's highest total in a game since 2010. Kain Colter threw a third-quarter
touchdown pass and Jeff Budzien kicked three field goals to help the Wildcats
(8-3, 4-3 Big Ten) rebound from last week's overtime loss at Michigan.
The Spartans (5-6, 2-5) have now lost four of their last five contests,
although they can still become bowl eligible with a win at Minnesota next
weekend. Le'Veon Bell ran for 133 yards in a losing effort, while Andrew
Maxwell threw for 297 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions, one of
which was returned the other way for a touchdown.
The Wildcats opened the contest with a 13-play, 68-yard drive that lasted more
than six minutes. However, the drive stalled at the MSU 7 and they had to
settle for a 24-yard field goal from Budzien.
The Spartans made it a 3-2 game later in the opening frame when linebacker Max
Bullough sacked Colter in the end zone for a safety.
The teams traded field goals in the second quarter, as MSU's Dan Conroy kicked
a 35-yarder at the 12:52 mark and Budzien hit from 43 yards in the final
minute of the half to send NU into the locker room with a 6-5 halftime lead.
The Wildcats defense registered the first touchdown of the game in the opening
minute of the second half, as linebacker David Nwabuisi intercepted Maxwell
and returned it 43 yards to the end zone.
Maxwell would answer by engineering an eight-play, 65-yard drive, capped by
his 15-yard scoring strike to Aaron Burbridge. Maxwell hooked up with Keith
Mumphery for the two-point conversion to tie the score at 13 apiece.
NU took a 20-13 lead on the ensuing possession, as Colter found Tim Riley for
a six-yard touchdown pass.
The Spartans knotted the score at 20 apiece on Maxwell's six-yard TD pass to
Tony Lippett at the 9:22 mark of the fourth quarter.
Budzien's 27-yard field goal on the ensuing possession proved to be the game-
winner, as NU would later seal the victory with four consecutive pass breakups
on the Spartans' final drive.
The Wildcats won despite converting only 3-of-14 third downs. MSU made six
trips inside the red zone but came away with only two touchdowns and a field
goal. With the victory, Northwestern snapped a four-game slide in the head-to-
11/17 17:04:10 ET