Northwestern holds off Michigan State, 23-20

Jeff Budzien kicked a 27-yard field goal with 7:30 remaining, and Northwestern was able to hold on to this fourth-quarter lead, beating Michigan State 23-20 on Saturday. Trevor Siemian threw for 165 yards, including a 41-yard pass to Dan Vitale that helped set up the winning kick.

The Wildcats (8-3, 4-3 Big Ten) then forced a punt near midfield, and by the time Michigan State (5-6, 2-5) got the ball back at its own 20, there was only 1:29 left.

[RELATED: Get Tom Dienhart's Snap Reactions to this game]

Northwestern lost fourth-quarter leads in gut-wrenching losses to Penn State, Nebraska and Michigan, but this time Michigan State’s Andrew Maxwell threw four straight incompletions to seal the Spartans’ fate.

All seven of Michigan State’s conference games have been decided by four points or fewer.

[ AP RECAP | BY QUARTER | BOX | PBP | CONNECTWEATHER ]

WATCH NORTHWESTERN-MICHIGAN STATE HIGHLIGHTS

**

**

**

**

**

**

FINAL: Northwestern took the lead in the fourth quarter and hung on for a 23-20 victory over Michigan State on Saturday at Spartan Stadium. With 7:30 to go, Jeff Budzien kicked a 27-yard field goal to give the Wildcats a 23-20 lead.

The Northwestern offense had some big plays, racking up four of 20 yards or more on their way to victory. Northwestern added to the highlight reel when Trevor Siemian found Dan Vitale open for a 41-yard pass with 9:00 left in the fourth quarter. The big play set up a nine-play drive that gave the Wildcats a lead after Budzien kicked a field goal.

Vitale led the Northwestern receiving corps, hauling in nine passes for 109 yards.

A lone bright spot for the Spartans was Andrew Maxwell, who made enough good throws to finish with 296 passing yards. He was 22 for 46 on pass attempts and tossed two touchdowns.

Michigan State finished with 419 total yards, including 296 yards passing while completing 22 of 47 attempts. The Spartans also moved the ball on the ground, earning 123 yards on 39 attempts.

The Wildcats’ offense finished the game having gained 303 yards, including 246 passing yards on 26 completions. Northwestern’s ran for just 57 yards on 27 attempts.

EDITOR’S NOTE In partnership with Narrative Science, BTN.com posts recaps after every quarter of every Big Ten football game. Use the links above for more info on this specific game, including full Big Ten campus weather reports. And enter your zip code below to find the TV channel airing BTN football games on your TV provider. If your game isn’t listed, it’s on another TV network. Learn more about our TV GameFinder.

Find out more about: ,

Show Comments (1 Comment)
1 Post Your Comment
Alan on 11/17/2012 @ 8:43pm EDT Said:

Your game summary program is screwed up. I don’t think anyone who watched the game would say NU’s offense “dominated” anyone. We did just enough to win a game that was handed to us on a platter. the software probably just uses that language any time there are 4 plays over 20 yards by a team.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Have a question for BTN Customer Service? Please e-mail us here