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Northwestern vs. Michigan State predictions

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Is a three-game win streak on the horizon for Northwestern?

NCAA Football: Iowa at Northwestern David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

It’s crazy to think that October is almost over, but it’s true. After this week, Northwestern will have just four regular season games left. Where did the season go? Anyways, it’s prediction time. Last week, only two of our seven pickers correctly called the Wildcats beating Io_a. Despite the win, we’re similarly pessimistic this week against the No. 16 Spartans. The one thing we all agree on? Bet the under on 40.5 points.

Tristan Jung: Michigan State 10, Northwestern 6

Last week, I predicted we’d get the most B1G of games, and it happened. I’m going with the same formula this week. I was sorely tempted to go with the classic 9-3 scoreline, but I do think MSU will find the end zone at some point. Northwestern, on the other hand...

Noah Coffman: Michigan State 6, Northwestern 5

Joe Gaziano reprises his 2016 masterpiece and Charlie Kuhbander knocks in a career-long 45 yarder, but despite Justin Jackson’s 75 yards after contact Northwestern’s offense fails to get anything going. I can’t decide whether Michigan State will get their 6 points because of two field goals or a touchdown and missed extra point, but regardless this matchup will feature moments of defensive prowess amid immense offensive ineptitude along with an all-time Big Ten scoreline. Looking forward to it!

Martin Oppegaard: Northwestern 20, Michigan State 17

Davis Rich: Michigan State 17, Northwestern 10

Part of me, the part of me that subsists on #Pac12AfterDark week-to-week, wants to go against the grain and predict a 45-41 shootout. The other part of me, the part of me that watches Northwestern football each week, knows that isn’t going to happen. A windy forecast at Ryan Field for the second straight week will highlight the importance of special teams and conservative decision-making. There’s beauty in those two things as well, I suppose.

Zach Pereles: Northwestern 16, Michigan State 14

Northwestern has taken home two B1G Special Teams Player of the Week awards in a row. Let’s make it three in a row as Charlie Kuhbander knocks through three field goals in frigid conditions, proving nothing derails his streak of consecutive makes (he’s hit seven in a row). Justin Jackson adds a short touchdown of his own to tie Damien Anderson’s program record for career TDs, and Northwestern’s defense holds on late, picking off Brian Lewerke in the dying seconds.

Will Ragatz: Michigan State 17, Northwestern 13

Clayton Thorson and the Northwestern passing game have struggled mightily against stout defenses in conference play, and Michigan State’s might be the best Northwestern will see all season. Justin Jackson isn’t going to find a lot of running room against the Spartans’ front seven, which will set up plenty of third and longs. You know how those usually go. On the other side of the ball, Brian Lewerke’s dual threat ability presents a tough task for the Wildcats. I think he makes more plays than Thorson in another low-scoring contest.

Talia Hendel: Michigan State 14, Northwestern 10

Michigan State’s defense is dangerous - particularly if MIKE Joe Bachie continues to put up the same impressive numbers he has been in tackles for loss and total tackles. The Spartans’ rush defense has only allowed 2.89 yards per rush and five total rush touchdowns, and since the Northwestern offense is centered around Justin Jackson’s ability to cut through defense, this might be too much for them to handle. That being said, if Jackson keeps up his heroic play and NU’s front seven is able to limit MSU’s rushing attack, this could tip in the Wildcats’ favor.

Caleb Friedman: Northwestern 27, Michigan State 20

I don’t have much of an explanation. I don’t think Michigan State is that good, and Northwestern’s defense is coming on. Bounce-back week for Clayton Thorson and the offense.

Standings:

Every-week pickers

Caleb Friedman 6-1

Will Ragatz 5-2

Talia Hendel 5-2

Tristan Jung 5-2

Martin Oppegaard 4-3

Missed at least one week

Noah Coffman 4-2

Davis Rich 3-3

Ian McCafferty 2-1

Zach Pereles 1-1

Josh Burton 1-2