No. 8 Michigan State Comes Back From 17-Point Deficit To Down Northwestern, 35-27

The eighth-ranked Michigan State Spartans put their unblemished record on the line this Saturday, as they head to Evanston, Illinois for a Big Ten Conference clash with the Northwestern Wildcats.

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No. 8 Michigan State 35, Northwestern 27: Spartans Preserve Unbeaten Record With 17-Point Comeback

Late in the fourth quarter, with the ball deep in Northwestern territory and a 28-27 lead, Michigan State running back Edwin Baker romped for a spectacular 25-yard touchdown, extending the No. 8 Spartans' lead to 35-27.

There was an argument to be made that Baker should have put his knee down intentionally before crossing the line, as the touchdown effectively gave the Wildcats the ball with a one-possession deficit. Ultimately it was rendered irrelevant, as Northwestern quarterback Dan Persa threw an interception in the final minute to seal the game's result.

Kirk Cousins certainly deserves the game ball; the quarterback threw for three touchdowns and 331 yards in the comeback effort.

For more on these teams, check out our Michigan State blog, The Only Colors, and our Northwestern blog, Sippin' On Purple.

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Michigan State Vs. Northwestern, First Quarter: Sparty In Trouble, Trailing 7-0

The Spartans are off to an inauspicious start in rainy Evanston, committing a 10-yard penalty on the very first play and following that up with a three-and-out to open the game. Michigan State and Northwestern trade short, futile drives for the first six minutes or so of the first quarter, until a 20-yard Dan Persa pass breaks things open for the first conversion of the game. Persa gets off a 44-yard pass two plays later to put the 'Cats deep in Spartan territory, and settles things himself with 5:30 remaining, on a 3-yard rushing TD.

This is about where the weather really starts to become a hilarious factor. Michigan State's responding drive ends in a fumble on 2nd-and-5 at their own 44. Northwestern returns the favor, fumbling on the goal line with three minutes remaining in the quarter. The Spartans go three-and-out, and Northwestern is driving as the clock runs down.

At the end of the first quarter, Northwestern leads Michigan State, 7-0.

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