Dan Persa propels Wildcats to 17-0 lead

EVANSTON, Ill. -- Four years ago, Michigan State mounted the biggest comeback in NCAA history against Northwestern on this field.

The Spartans might not have to rally from 35 down again, although at this rate, anything could happen.

Northwestern continues to dominate play on both sides of the ball. After forcing a field goal attempt, which Dan Conroy pushed for his first miss of the season, the Wildcats marched 79 yards in six plays. Offensive coordinator Mick McCall is calling a tremendous game so far, getting freshmen Venric Mark and Adonis Smith involved much more.

The bye week clearly is paying off.

But the big story continues to be Dan Persa, who sneaked into the end zone to complete the drive. Northwestern wisely kept the ball in his hands this time.

Michigan State absolutely has to get a score before halftime to regain some confidence before a crucial second half. The Spartans must get their run game going as they trail 17-0.