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11/17/2012 3:51 PM EST
Northwestern holds on to edge Michigan St 23-20

AP Sports Writer

EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- Jeff Budzien kicked a 27-yard field
goal with 7:30 remaining, and Northwestern was able to hold on
to this fourth-quarter lead, beating Michigan State 23-20 on

Trevor Siemian threw for 165 yards, including a 41-yard pass to
Dan Vitale that helped set up the winning kick. The Wildcats
(8-3, 4-3 Big Ten) then forced a punt near midfield, and by the
time Michigan State (5-6, 2-5) got the ball back at its own 20,
there was only 1:29 left.

Northwestern lost fourth-quarter leads in gut-wrenching losses
to Penn State, Nebraska and Michigan, but this time Michigan
State's Andrew Maxwell threw four straight incompletions to seal
the Spartans' fate.

All seven of Michigan State's conference games have been decided
by four points or fewer.

It was Northwestern's first win over Michigan State since 2007,
and the Spartans must now beat Minnesota next weekend to become
bowl eligible.

The Wildcats spoiled Michigan State's home finale despite what
was announced as an upper extremity injury to running back
Venric Mark, who didn't play in the second half. Siemian and
Kain Colter split time at quarterback for the Wildcats. Colter
went 13 of 20 for 81 yards and a touchdown.

Northwestern led 13-5 early in the third quarter after David
Nwabuisi returned an interception 43 yards for a touchdown.
Maxwell seemed shaken up on the play, but he was able to keep
playing and quickly led the Spartans on a sharp 65-yard drive
that ended with his 15-yard scoring pass to Aaron Burbridge. A
2-point conversion pass to Keith Mumphery tied it at 13.

Colter's 6-yard touchdown pass to Tim Riley gave Northwestern a
20-13 lead, but the Spartans tied it again on a 6-yard scoring
pass from Maxwell to Tony Lippett with 9:22 left in the fourth.

Michigan State lost the ball twice inside the Northwestern
5-yard line in the first half. A fumble on the snap gave the
Wildcats the ball at their own 2 late in the first quarter, but
Colter was hit in the end zone by Max Bullough and William
Gholston for a safety that made it 3-2.

Michigan State led 5-3 in the second and had the ball at the
Northwestern 1, but star running back Le'Veon Bell was dropped
for a loss of 3 on fourth down.

The Wildcats took a 6-5 lead into halftime when Budzien made a
43-yard field goal in the final minute of the quarter, and
Michigan State's Dan Conroy missed from 37 at the other end.

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