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Northwestern's Venric Mark plans to play vs. MSU

Northwestern running back Venric Mark will play against Michigan State on Saturday.

US PRESSWIRE

Northwestern running back Venric Mark will play versus Michigan State on Saturday despite suffering a shoulder injury last week against Michigan, according to Teddy Greenstein of the Chicago Tribune.

Mark leads the Wildcats with 189 carries for 1,176 yards and 10 touchdowns on the ground this season. The Northwestern rushing attack is averaging 237.6 yards per game which ranks 14th in the country.

Mark is one of three Big Ten running backs to be named as a semifinalist for the Doak Walker Award, given annually to the nation's top back. Michigan State's Le'Veon Bell and Wisconsin's Montee Ball are the others semifinalists in the conference. Marks is averaging 6.2 yards per carry which is higher than Ball (5.0) and Bell (4.4).

Michigan State's defense is giving up 16.3 points per game which ranks 11th in the country.

Mark had two carries for 20 yards in a 31-17 loss to Michigan State in 2011.