Originally written on isportsweb.com  |  Last updated 11/10/14
EAST LANSING — Michigan State may have won the battle, but they sure didn’t win the war. On Senior Day, the Michigan State Spartans (5-6, 2-5) lost their fourth game in six weeks to the Northwestern Wildcats (8-3, 4-3) 23-20. Statistically, Michigan State was the better team. They had more first downs (23), passing yards (297), rushing yards (122), less penalties (2 for 21 yards), more possession (34:19), and more third-down conversions (8 of 17) than the Wildcats. However, the Wildcats won the two categories that matter most, the score and turnover margin. The Spartans turned the ball over four times in today’s game, and the Wildcats didn’t turn the ball over once. “Very very difficult to win when you’re minus four in turnover margin,” MSU head coach Mark Dantonio said. “We outrushed them, we got more first downs, we got more passing yardage, we got more third-down conversions, but you can’t overcome mistakes.” Aside from the four turnovers that the Spartans committed in Northwestern territory, senior kicker Dan Conroy missed a 37 yard field goal, his seventh miss of the season, with 2 seconds left before halftime. Michigan State is one win shy of being bowl eligible with only one game left in the season. “We lost 12 points in the first half due to mistakes and turnovers and then throw an interception in the beginning of the second half due to blown protection and it goes for a touchdown,” Dantonio said. “Our defense gets no turnovers and they come up with for, which makes it very difficult to win.” The Spartans did get a big game out of running back Le’Veon Bell who had 32 carries for 140 yards which puts him at 1,249 for the season. Junior tight end  Dion Sims, who has been battling injury the past couple weeks, was the most reliable target tonight as he had five catches for 102 yards. “He was much healthier,” MSU offensive coordinator Dan Roushar said. “I thought he played well. From what I saw, he blocked very well as well. I thought he stepped up and had a nice game.” Freshman Aaron Burbridge played well, despite his fumble in the third quarter, as he had an exceptional touchdown catch two series before his fumble that showed off his amazing hand strength. Michigan State seemed to be in position to win the game as the defense had the Northwestern offense pinned at their own 12-yard line with 2:40 left. Northwestern’s running back Mike Trumpy started off the drive, following a Mike Sadler punt,  with a rush of no gain. The Spartans then called a timeout immediately, the first of their three. The next play was 2nd and 10, Northwestern quarterback Trevor Siemian threw an incomplete pass to the left sideline to Rashad Lawrence that was called pass interference on senior corner Johnny Adams. The questionable call gave the Wildcats an automatic first down and an extended drive that caused the Spartans to use all of their timeouts. Michigan State defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi gave the political answer when asked what he thought about the call on Adams, but it was clear in his tone and body language that he was upset. “Players play, coaches coach.” Narduzzi said. “I have no idea. I’ll see it on tape again.” While the Spartans play was not ideal, their performance today summed up their season in a nutshell. Missed field goals, check. Dropped passes, check. Missed throws, check. Return problems, check. Solid defense, check. Bell and Sims being the only reliable offensive production, check! The Spartans are one win away from being bowl eligible, and luckily for them their season finale is at Minnesota. Michigan State has lost five of their six games at home this season, something that baffles coach Dantonio. “I’ve been here 12 years and that’s never happened,” he said. “This has always been a great place to play and a great environment. I appreciate the support we had today and thought the fans showed up. I feel badly for them because they suffer too.” If Michigan State wants to continue to play and have something to show for their season they must look no further than Minnesota. A “win or go home” mentality should be on every Spartans minds until the final whistle blows against the Golden Gophers.    
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

VCU G Briante Weber suffers major knee injury in loss

Short selling leaves hundreds of fans without S.B. tickets

Hamilton, Edmonds' spouses to appear on 'Real Housewives'

Ha Ha Clinton-Dix trolls LSU over Kevin Steele hire

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Jerome Bettis elected to Pro Football Hall of Fame

Report: Duncan suing financial adviser, lost $20 million

Bret Bielema wanted Dolphins to draft Russell Wilson early

Nick Diaz apologizes to fans for skipping open workout

NFLPA President compares Goodell to a 2-year-old

NFL explains how Super Bowl balls will be prepped

2015 Pro Football Hall of Fame class announced

Anderson Silva beats Nick Diaz in return to octagon

WATCH: 'SNL' mocks Super Bowl

Sabres had a horrific month of January

Ole Miss uses Katy Perry as prop in recruiting

PHOTO: Ezekiel Elliott gets new national title tattoo

WATCH: Rondo takes brutal knee to face from teammate

Pig auctioned off at halftime of college basketball game

Should the Super Bowl be played on a Saturday?

Underwear company shows support for Marshawn Lynch

WATCH: WVU player flips opponent the double-bird

Five NFL players who could be cap casualties in 2015

College Football News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

2015 Hall of Fame class announced

Aaron Rodgers wins NFL MVP

Tim Duncan suing financial adviser?

Five likely cap casualties of 2015

Making the case for NFL co-MVPs

WATCH: Tom Brady sings about balls

Missy Elliott to join Katy Perry at SB?

Obama zings Pats over Deflate-gate

Each major conference's POY candidates

Super Bowl XLIX preview and predictions: Patriots vs. Seahawks

The 13 things we want to see in Super Bowl XLIX

49 Stops to Super Bowl XLIX

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.