EAST LANSING - The Michigan State offense moved the ball effectively against Northwestern, but a fumbled exchange at the goal-line, a failed fourth down conversion attempt inside the 5-yard line, and four turnovers marred what could have been a solid day for the much-maligned group.
"We thought we'd be able to go in there and throw the ball effectively and mix the run in there," said offensive coordinator Dan Roushar. "Unfortunately we didn't get it done. We had two opportunities down on the goal line and you leave 14 points off the board, you get hit by the safety on a deep ball that we're taking to shot and they pick it off to start the half and you know, all of a sudden, you've given yourself a real deficit to work from. Unfortunately we didn't get the job done."
Junior quarterback Andrew Maxwell was 22-of-46 with 296 yards passing and two touchdowns and a pair of interceptions.
Maxwell's first pick was returned 43 yards for a touchdown on the fourth play of the third quarter. The first-year starter was hit on the arm as he threw.
"The one that was most apparent right at the start of the second half, the safety came down on a blitz on the back side," said Roushar. "Our tailback did not recognize the blitz, didn't go back and pick it up. The other throw, as we look it, probably could have stayed in the boundary on the deep one down the left side. He went to the field with it and the safety got over the top with it and made the play. We'll go back and look at it, and see if we can get better."
Click below to watch Roushar's postgame interview:
Michigan State's defense played well against Northwestern. But defensive coordinator Pat Narduzzi was disappointed a coverage bust that led to the Wildcats' game-winning field goal.
Click below for Narduzzi's postgame interview: