With Northwestern again holding a late lead, coach Pat Fitzgerald was willing to punt the ball away and put his defense on the spot. This time, the Wildcats held firm.
Keshawn Martin returned a punt 57 yards for a touchdown just before halftime and Kirk Cousins threw two TD passes to B.J. Cunningham as No. 11 Michigan State warmed up for next week’s Big Ten championship game by beating Northwestern 31-17 on Saturday.