Line: Minnesota by 7, according to FanDuel Sportsbook.
Series record: Michigan State leads 30-18.
WHAT’S AT STAKE?
The Spartans are reeling after a 49-0 loss to rival Michigan, their largest margin of defeat in the 100-year history of Spartan Stadium. Their five-game losing streak is their longest since the 2019 skid under coach Mark Dantonio, who returned last month to be an associate head coach on interim coach Harlon Barnett’s staff. Barnett has not won since taking over for Mel Tucker, who was fired for misconduct with an activist and rape survivor who worked with the program.
The Gophers are coming off a grinding, emotional win at rival Iowa, their first win on the road in the series since 1999 and first anywhere for the Floyd of Rosedale bronze pig trophy since 2014. With a game against Wisconsin remaining in the regular season finale, Minnesota still has a legitimate chance to win its first Big Ten West title in the last year of the current divisional format.
Michigan State QB Katin Houser vs. Minnesota's pass defense. Houser, in his second career start, went just 12 for 22 for 101 yards and an interception against the second-ranked Wolverines after a solid debut the week before against Rutgers. The Gophers are tied for second in the Big Ten with nine interceptions.
PLAYERS TO WATCH
Michigan State: RB Nathan Carter. The Connecticut transfer was held to season lows with 36 yards rushing and 2.1 yards per carry in last week's loss to Michigan. That dropped his average to 80.7 yards rushing per game, which still ranks fourth in the Big Ten and 41st in FBS.
Minnesota: WR Daniel Jackson. The team's best hope for a spark in the passing attack, Jackson had seven catches for 101 yards at Iowa. He leads Gopher receivers in targets (55), receptions (29), yards (387) and touchdowns (five).
FACTS & FIGURES
If the Spartans lose on Saturday, they will have their longest losing streak since dropping seven in a row in 2016 when they finished 3-9 under Dantonio. ... The Gophers had two Big Ten player of the week award winners this week, kicker Dragan Kesich for special teams and safety Tyler Nubin for defense. ... The Gophers' win at Iowa was the program's first without scoring a touchdown since another 12-10 road win over the Hawkeyes in 1981.
AP college football: https://apnews.com/hub/college-football and https://apnews.com/hub/ap-top-25-college-football-poll