Boxscore
Michigan State 31, Northwestern 17
Saturday, November 26, 2011 12:00 PM
Location - Ryan Field
Attendance - 32172

Final Scoring Summary

Final 1 2 3 4 T
Michigan State 3 14 7 7 31
Northwestern 0 3 7 7 17

Recap


B.J. Cunningham caught two second-half touchdowns, and No. 10 Michigan State finished the regular season with a 31-17 win at Northwestern.

The Spartans (10-2, 7-1 Big Ten) had already clinched the Big Ten Legends Division and will play in the first-ever Big Ten Championship Game next week against either Penn State or Wisconsin.

Kirk Cousins threw for two touchdowns to give him 62 for his career, passing Jeff Smoker for the most all-time in Michigan State history.

Northwestern (6-6, 3-5 Big Ten) got two second-half touchdown passes from Dan Persa, but the Wildcats couldn’t generate enough offense on a rainy day at Ryan Field.

The Spartans led 17-3 at halftime, but Northwestern cut the lead to seven points on two occasions. Each time, Cousins and Cunningham responded with a score.

Cousins hooked up with Cunningham for a 33-yard touchdown midway through the third quarter to make it 24-10. Later, after the Wildcats cut it to 24-17, Cousins looked over the middle for Cunningham, who made a bobbling catch for a 29-yard score that made it 31-17 and essentially sealed the victory.

The loss snapped Northwestern's seven-game win streak in home finales.

Michigan State reached double-digit wins for the second straight season and beat the Wildcats for a fourth straight time.
SCORING
Scoring Summary
1st Quarter - 4:00
Michigan State   FG  Northwestern 0 - Michigan State 3
2nd Quarter - 14:03
Northwestern   FG  Northwestern 3 - Michigan State 3
2nd Quarter - 1:40
Michigan State   TD  Northwestern 3 - Michigan State 10
2nd Quarter - 0:34
Michigan State   TD  Northwestern 3 - Michigan State 17
3rd Quarter - 13:02
Northwestern   TD  Northwestern 10 - Michigan State 17
3rd Quarter - 7:35
Michigan State   TD  Northwestern 10 - Michigan State 24
4th Quarter - 13:57
Northwestern   TD  Northwestern 17 - Michigan State 24
4th Quarter - 5:17
Michigan State   TD  Northwestern 17 - Michigan State 31
TEAMS

Team Records

  Michigan State Northwestern
W/L 10 - 2 - 0 6 - 6 - 0
Conference 7 - 1 - 0 3 - 5 - 0

Team Stats

  Michigan State Northwestern
Score 31 17
First Downs 20 21
3rd Down Efficiency 8-for-13
62%
7-for-17
41%
4th Down Efficiency 0-for-0
0%
4-for-5
80%
Total Yards 380 370
Rushing
Rushes-Net Yards 36-166 41-117
Average/Rush 4.6 2.9
Passing
Comp-Att 14-20 24-34
Passing Yards 214 253
Average/Pass Play 10.7 6.3
Penalties-Yards 8-66 6-70
Fumbles-Lost 1-0 2-1
Interceptions Thrown 1 0
Time of Possession 29:10 30:18

PLAYER STATS

Michigan State (10 - 2)
Passing
  COMP/ATT YDS TD INT
K. Cousins 14/20 214 2 1
Northwestern (6 - 6)
Passing
  COMP/ATT YDS TD INT
D. Persa 23/32 245 2 0
T. Siemian 1/2 8 0 0
Rushing
  ATT YDS AVG TD
L. Bell 16 86 5.4 1
E. Baker 15 47 3.1 0
K. Cousins 4 25 6.2 0
K. Martin 1 8 8.0 0
Rushing
  ATT YDS AVG TD
J. Schmidt 14 39 2.8 0
T. Green 7 32 4.6 0
V. Mark 2 20 10.0 0
K. Colter 4 18 4.5 0
T. Siemian 1 14 14.0 0
D. Persa 12 -5 -0.4 0
Receiving
  REC YDS AVG TD
B. Cunningham 6 120 20.0 2
K. Martin 2 57 28.5 0
B. Linthicum 3 31 10.3 0
L. Bell 3 6 2.0 0
Receiving
  REC YDS AVG TD
D. Dunsmore 1 69 69.0 0
K. Colter 6 44 7.3 0
J. Ebert 7 39 5.6 1
R. Lawrence 2 37 18.5 0
D. Fields 4 36 9.0 1
C. Jones 3 20 6.7 0
J. Schmidt 1 8 8.0 0
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