Mike Carter-US PRESSWIRE
Northwestern needed four turnovers and some goal line stops, and still Michigan State had a chance to win with a last-minute drive, but unlike last week, the Wildcats stopped the Spartans and got their eighth win of the year.
Northwestern's defense forced 4 turnovers, including an interception returned for a touchdown by David Nwabuisi, on the way to a close win. The defense allowed Andrew Maxwell to throw for 297 yards, but it kept LeVeon Bell mostly in check and made some critical red zone stops and a fourth down stop to clinch the game along with those turnovers.
The offense had some issues, giving up a safety and converting only 3 of 14 third downs. The main bright spot was Dan Vitale's breakout game, as the true freshman caught 9 passes for 110 yards, including a 41 yard reception on the go-ahead drive. With the offense stalling out in Michigan State territory, Jeff Budzien got a chance to work, going 3-3 on field goals and 2-2 on extra points.
With an awful Illinois squad coming to Evanston next week, the only question this game raised has to do with the health of Kain Colter and Venric Mark. Hopefully those guys will be ready to go and NU can finish the year strong.