Northwestern finally finds way to beat Michigan State

Wildcats had lost previous four meetings

EAST LANSING, Mich. - Northwestern 23, Michigan State 20: David Nwabuisi returned an interception for a touchdown and Jeff Budzien kicked a go-ahead field goal midway through the fourth quarter as the visiting Wildcats ended a four-game losing streak to the Spartans.

One week after a last-second loss to Michigan cost it a shot at a Big Ten title, Northwestern (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten) defeated Michigan State despite being dominated in most statistical categories. The Wildcats were outgained by 116 yards (419-303), lost the time of possession battle (34:19-25:41) and were outrushed by a 122-57 margin.

It was more of the same for the Spartans (5-6, 2-5), who have lost five conference games by a total of 13 points.

After Michigan State tied it at 20-20 on Andrew Maxwell's 6-yard touchdown pass to Tony Lippett with 9:22 to play, Budzien's third field goal - a 27-yarder - gave the Wildcats a 23-20 lead with 7:30 remaining. The Michigan State defense forced Northwestern to punt with less than two minutes left, but the Spartans turned the ball over on downs when Dion Sims dropped a pass on fourth-and-10.

Maxwell finished 22-of-46 for 297 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Spartans, who need to defeat Minnesota next week to become bowl eligible in a season which began with Big Ten title aspirations.

GAME NOTEBOOK: Northwestern's defense threw Le'Veon Bell for a three-yard loss on fourth-and-goal late in the first half, keeping the Spartans' lead at 5-3. ... Kain Colter started the game and was 13-of-20 for 81 yards before Trevor Siemian entered late in the half. ... Bell managed just 2.9 yards per carry in the first half (18 carries for 52 yards).

Latest Sports Headlines

Photo Galleries

E-News Registration

This Week's Circulars