The Northwestern Wildcats (6-5, 3-4 Big Ten) and Michigan State Spartans (9-2, 6-1 Big Ten) close out their regular season slates on Saturday in Evanston, and the Wildcats will be trying for their fifth straight win. A win would give Northwestern seven on the year and assure a winning season. Michigan State has already clinched the Legends Division and will appear in the Big Ten championship game no matter the outcome, which could be a recipe for a let down from the Spartans.
These two teams look similar at the offensive end, as both average around 30 points per game, but Michigan State boasts a significant edge at the defensive end. The Spartans defense is giving up 257.3 yards per game in 2011, which is tops in the Big Ten. Northwestern's defense, meanwhile, is allowing 412.3 yards per game, which ranks 10th in the league. The Wildcats defense has played well over the the last two weeks, though.
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