Who's Playing

No. 8 Northwestern @ Michigan State

Current Records: Northwestern 5-0; Michigan State 1-3

What to Know

The Michigan State Spartans should come into this matchup well-rested after a week off from action. MSU and the Northwestern Wildcats will face off in a Big Ten battle at 3:30 p.m. ET Saturday at Spartan Stadium. Northwestern will be strutting in after a win while the Spartans will be stumbling in from a defeat.

MSU found themselves the reluctant recipients of an unfortunate 24 to nothing punch to the gut against the Indiana Hoosiers two weeks ago. The last quarter was a mere formality since it was already 24 to nothing by the third quarter. QB Payton Thorne had a pretty forgettable game, throwing one interception with only 5.5 yards per passing attempt.

Meanwhile, Northwestern had a touchdown and change to spare in a 17-7 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers last week. No one had a standout game offensively for Northwestern, but they got scores from WR Ramaud Chiaokhiao-Bowman and TE Charlie Mangieri.

The Wildcats' defense was a force to be reckoned with, as it collected three interceptions and two fumbles. DB Brandon Joseph picked up that interception and then proceeded to rub salt in the wound by taking it back the other way for a touchdown.

The Spartans have to know they'll be fighting an uphill battle given the 13.50 point spread they are up against. Currently 1-3 against the spread, they haven't been a good investment; on the other hand, Northwestern is 4-0-1 ATS.

MSU is now 1-3 while Northwestern sits at 5-0. A pair of stats to keep an eye on: MSU is seventh worst in the nation in rushing touchdowns, with only one on the season. To make matters even worse for the Spartans, the Wildcats come into the contest boasting the fourth fewest rushing touchdowns allowed in the nation at two. We'll see if Northwestern's defense can keep MSU's running backs out of the end zone.

How To Watch

  • When: Saturday at 3:30 p.m. ET
  • Where: Spartan Stadium -- East Lansing, Michigan
  • TV: ESPN
  • Online streaming: fuboTV (Try for free. Regional restrictions may apply.)
  • Follow: CBS Sports App


The Wildcats are a big 13.5-point favorite against the Spartans, according to the latest college football odds.

The line has drifted a bit towards the Wildcats, as the game opened with the Wildcats as an 11-point favorite.

Over/Under: -108

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Series History

Northwestern have won three out of their last four games against Michigan State.

  • Sep 21, 2019 - Michigan State 31 vs. Northwestern 10
  • Oct 06, 2018 - Northwestern 29 vs. Michigan State 19
  • Oct 28, 2017 - Northwestern 39 vs. Michigan State 31
  • Oct 15, 2016 - Northwestern 54 vs. Michigan State 40