Northwestern (2-6) at

Northwestern coach Gary Barnett is losing sleep over how he can improve his team. Rest easy, Gary. Your team has no shot to win, no matter what you do. A lot has to do with the Wildcats’ nonexistent running game, which is averaging an anemic 2.8 yards per carry. If there have been some bright spots this season other than WR D’Wayne Bates, it’s been the play of the LB Barry Gardner and DE Thor Schmidt. Gardner is on pace to repeat as the tackles leader in the Big Ten. Meanwhile, the Spartans are still reeling from their loss against the Gophers, and may still be without starting QB Bill Burke. RB Sedrick Irvin (718 yards, four touchdowns) is finally emerging as the main man of the offense, and it’s a good thing. QB Ryan Van Dyke isn’t going to light up the scoreboard with his passing, and it seems as if the once-reliable WR Gari Scott has become brick-handed. Look for the Spartans to squeak out of this barn-burner.