Lowes Line


Michigan State Preview and Prediction

By MO'Cats

Matchup: Northwestern Wildcats (1-3, 1-1) at #20 Michigan State Spartans (3-1,1-0)
Date: 11 a.m. CDT, Saturday, October 6, 2018, Spartan Stadium, East Lansing, MI
Line: Northwestern (+10), O/U 43.5
Last Game Review:  Well, after jumping out to a 17 point lead last week, many Northwestern fans believed that NU was going to be able to pull another magic turnaround as they have done the past few seasons.  Oops, 20 unanswered points and it was all over.  Michigan dominated the second half and the Cat offense has yet to score a second half point against a Power 5 school this season.  Thorson was anemic on offense and Moten was not able to break anything to open up the passing game.  
Outlook:  Well, NU has played well against Sparty the last few contests and hopefully this will be the start of something big.  The West side of the B1G is just a disaster and with a few breaks, the optimist in me, still thinks Indy is a possibility.  MSU is beat up and injured as much as the 'cats.  Sparty lost another receiver last week and their offensive line is struggling.  The running game will rely on freshman La'Darius Jefferson (a bruiser) with QB Brian Lewerke keeping the ball on the ground as well.  The blueprint for success for the 'Cats would be take advantage of a depleted WR corps, have Paddy spy Lewerke, and double cover Felton Davis.  Paddy needs a HUGE game this week for the D to have any success.  Stats can be manipulated and interpreted anyway you want, but how about these.  The 'Cats allow 379 yards per game and rank last in the B1G in red zone defense.  Oh did I mention that they are 121st out of 129th in that category as well.   That has to change.    On the other side of the ball, it does not look good.  Sparty has the leading run defense in the nation (allowing only 40.3 yards/game) and the offensive line woes for the 'Cats continue.   Thorson ended up on his back 6 times last week and I expect more of the same this week. Over the past two seasons, the NU offense has been able to crack the Sparty defense by using quick passes and lots of underneath crossing routes en route to 2 straight victories. This may be the blueprint for success today as well.  We shall see.
Pick: Unfortunately, I see a pick six deciding this game as the corner jumps a route.  Michigan St.  24, NU 17.  Michigan St wins but NU covers.
Season to Date:  Straight up, 2-2.  Against the Spread, 3-1


The Lowes Line is an e-mailed description of NU's next football game, with an invariably fearless prediction of the outcome and how NU will fare against what the other "experts" predict.  Our good friend and Brother Marcus Lowes began the broadcast mailing in 1996.  The crack Lowes Line Staff (alumni Jersey Cat, GallopingGrapes, Eric Cockerill, Joel Kanvik, Charlie Simon, and MO'Cats) have continued the Line in memory of Marcus.  For the 2018 season it has returned to HailToPurple.com, for anyone to enjoy.  Thanks to the gridiron brain trust at the Lowes Line!