Spartans bowl eligible with 37-20 win

MSU's ball hawking secondary picks off Northwestern's C.J. Bacher twice thwarting Northwestern drives. MSU safety Danny Fortener (above) returns an interception to help MSU to a 37-20 win over Northwestern.

EAST LANSING - Michigan State ensured themselves of a bowl berth for the second consecutive year with a 37-20 win over the Northwestern Wildcats.

Michigan State got great performances out of Javon Ringer, who rushed for 124 yards and two touchdowns to go over the 1,100-yard rushing mark. Junior kicker Brett Swenson added three field goals to eclipse Paul Edinger's record of 13 consecutive field goals without a miss. Swenson now holds the record with fifteen straight.

Michigan State senior quarterback Brian Hoyer also got into the act, 13-of-20 for 169 yards and two touchdowns without an interception. Coming out of nowhere was senior linebacker Ryan Allison who recorded 10 solo tackles and 11 overall to lead the MSU defense.

"I think our entire football team played very, very well today," said a happy Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio who continues on his longest winning streak as the Spartans head coach, winning his sixth straight.

MSU freshman Glenn Winston set the tone, returning the opening kickoff to midfield setting the Spartans up on a short field. Hoyer connected with sophomore tight end Garrett Celek from three-yards out to put MSU up 7-0. Brett Swenson added the first of three field goals to pad MSU's lead to 10-0.

Senior Heisman Trophy candidate Javon Ringer scored on MSU's final drive of the first quarter from 13-yards out to put MSU up 17-0. C.J. Bacher got the Wildcats on the board when he bootlegged it in from 4-yards out to cut the Spartans lead to ten, but Hoyer answered, connecting with fullback Andrew Hawken from 7-yards out to give MSU a 17-point halftime lead.

Bacher finished an 11-play drive to start the second half with a 6-yard TD pass to Rasheed Ward, but Javon Ringer answered on the 11th play of MSU's next possession from two yards out to give MSU a 31-14 lead. When NU's 14-play drive stalled at the MSU 14, Amado Villarreal hit a 31-yard field goal to make the count 31-17.

Brett Swenson answered from 42-yards out, his second of the game, breaking the mark of 13 by Paul Edinger. Villarreal and Swenson traded field goals to make the final score 37-20.

B.J. Cunningham led MSU with four catches for 44-yards. C.J. Bacher threw 61 times, completing 34 for 283 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions, Tyrell Sutton led the Wildcats rushing attack with 139 yards rushing on 23 carries.

Michigan State, (6-1) who sits atop the Big Ten at 3-0, now welcomes in the Ohio State Buckeyes (6-1) in a Big Ten showdown that will stamp one of the two teams as a real contender for the Big Ten Championship.

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