WNUR’s Predictions of Northwestern versus Michigan State

The WNUR Sports staff weighs in with their predictions for this Saturday’s football game between the Northwestern Wildcats and the Michigan State Spartans. If you want in on the action, simply leave your prediction in the comments below, or you can tweet them @WNURSports.

Kain Colter NorthwesternJoe Misulonas (@jmisulonas): Northwestern beats Michigan State, 21-17. Michigan State walks into Ryan Field and the pressure of a possible Big Ten Championship berth becomes too much to handle. Their offense shows the utter incompetence from earlier this season, and the Wildcats eke out a narrow victory and bowl eligibility stays alive. TONIGHT THE WILDCATS WILL DINE IN HELL! Player to Watch: Sparty. When his team has 80 total offensive yards at halftime, he’s going to be feeling the cold weather in his skirt.

Zach Kisfalusi (@zKisfalusi): MSU 20 – NU 7. Defense wins championship and it will help the Spartans win this game. Could be worse offensively than last week. Player to watch: Max Bullough.

Christian Flores (@Mr_C_G_Flores): Northwestern 6, MSU 2. Another offensive slugfest, but this time NU seals the deal. MSU just cant get anything going, but neither can the ‘Cats. MSU’s only score comes from a safety, because that sounds about right. Player to watch: Chi Chi Ariguzo. He gets 2 interceptions and 13 tackles.

Tralon Williams (@itsyaboytray): Michigan State – 24 NU – 12. The play-calling seems to be in such a way that the goal is get Budzein as many short field goals as possible. And MSUs defense will be content. The Spartan offense will get TDs where the Cats get field goals and overall the game will appear much closer (in score) than what shows up on the field. Two of Budzien’s field goals will be of 30 yards or less. Player to Watch – Conner Cook. The RS sophomore has revitalized the MSU offense, see if he keeps it up leading into the B1G title game.

Cameron Songer (@CameronSonger): Michigan State 17, Northwestern 6. Expect a slow, defensive battle on a cold, windy day. The Spartans can save everyone some collective high blood pressure issues by jumping out in front early. Player to Watch: Connor Cook, Michigan State. The conventional wisdom says that the run game is more important in bad weather, but a strong game for the young signal-caller will go a long way for Michigan State.

Jeffrey Eisenband (@JeffEisenband): 16-13, Northwestern. I swore I’d never pick Northwestern again last weekend. Then I thought about the do or die mentality for the ‘Cats and the near-clinched mentality of Michigan State. This will be an emotional senior day that will see NU veterans step up for a bowl-saving victory. Player to Watch: Rashad Lawrence.

Ben Goren: Michigan St. 10 Northwestern 3. An homage to the early days of the conference, the first team that gets into the endzone will win the game. If Trevor Siemian gets time to throw, NU may have a chance.

Nick Scoliard: Michigan St 17 Northwestern 13 – This will be a defensive battle as one of the best defenses in college football comes to Evanston. Northwestern’s offense will only score 2 FGs and the defense will score a TD, outscoring the offense. Player to Watch: Connor Cook. The Spartans D will shut down the ‘Cats so it’s up to Maxwell to get enough points for the win.

Kevin Harris (@kevingoescats): 23 – 10, Michigan State. Don’t expect Northwestern to ever hold a lead in this one at all as Michigan St. eyes the Big Ten Championship. Northwestern has to once again rely on its defense (and the turnover margin) as they continue to look for answers on the other side of the ball. Coach to Watch: Offensive Coordinator Mike McCall – at this point he’s fighting for his job and needs to take some creative risks

Jason Dorow (@jasondorow): Michigan State, 20-12. The Wildcats struggle to get much going against the stout Spartan defense and are forced to settle for field goals. Michigan State clinches a trip to the B1G Championship Game. Player to Watch: Jeff Budzien. The NU kicker needs another big performance to put himself in the mix for the Lou Groza award.

Ryan Fish (@TheFishTweets): Michigan State 24, Northwestern 14. I think Northwestern puts up a good fight and keeps this game close (as usual), but more critical mistakes in the second half will doom the ‘Cats once again. Michigan State is coming in as simply the more talented team and with much more momentum, that’ll be tough to stop. The Spartans’ defense is ferocious, and Northwestern will have to make several big plays on offense if they want to complete the upset; I just don’t see that happening this time. Player to Watch: Northwestern QB Kain Colter. Look for the senior to make some big plays in his last game at Ryan Field. He wants to pull the upset more than anyone.

Matt Cowen: Michigan State 18, Northwestern 17. Michigan State wins on a safety as time expires – seems like a fitting way for the ‘Cats to go down in heartbreaking fashion yet again. Player to Watch: Kain Colter – Colter makes the WIldcat offense so much more dangerous when he is on the field… but will he manage to take 60% of the snaps?

Jasper Scherer (@jaspsch): Michigan State 24, Northwestern 10. The ‘Cats have been pretty solid defensively since their blowout loss to Wisconsin, and the Spartans offense is unimpressive. Even so, Northwestern will fail to do much of anything against the Spartans defense, which has allowed the fourth-fewest points in the country. Player to Watch: Kain Colter. The Wildcats would do well to use Colter in the red zone, as their reliance on Trevor Siemian in such situations has not paid off.

Ari Ross (@aross50): Michigan State 13-6.
Michigan State’s defense is one of the best in the country. The way the ‘Cats offense has been playing, the Spartan “D” should have no trouble stopping them. While Michigan State’s offense isn’t great, it will be able to put up enough points to pull out a victory in a low-scoring game. The only way I see Northwestern having any chance is if they change up their play-calling and game-plan and play much more aggressively than what we’ve seen as of late.
Player to Watch: Kain Colter, Northwestern. It’s senior day and Colter’s last game at Ryan Field. Without a win he will not play in a bowl game his senior year. He’s going try to do something to make a bowl game a possibility.

Brendan Connelly (@bconnandabenz): Michigan State 31, Northwestern 13. The Spartans put the Wildcats out of their misery Old Yeller style as Northwestern handily becomes bowl ineligible. Player to watch: Kain Colter in his final home game in his career. His rushing touchdown will be the only non-Jeff Budzien points Northwestern will score as their era comes to an end.

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