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Upset Alert: No. 8 Northwestern Is In Major Trouble

A candid photo of Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald.

INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA - DECEMBER 01: Head coach Pat Fitzgerald of the Northwestern Wildcats on the sidelines in the game against the Ohio State Buckeyes in the third quarter at Lucas Oil Stadium on December 01, 2018 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)

In a crazy college football season off of the field, there haven't been too many upsets. But that looks like it might change this weekend.

No. 8 Northwestern quickly found itself in trouble on Saturday against Michigan State. The Wildcats fell behind 17-0 early on in the second quarter, as the Spartans came out firing on all cylinders.

Pat Fitzgerald's squad started with a strong three-and-out stop on defense, followed by a solid offensive drive. However, after being stopped on 4th and 1 on the Michigan State 21-yard line, the momentum started to shift away from the Wildcats.

Spartans' quarterback Rocky Lombardi answered the bell quickly, connecting with Jalen Nailor for a 75-yard touchdown pass. On the first play of the second quarter, the junior stepped up once again, delivering another nice ball for a score. Overall, Lombardi had an up-and-down start, going 2-for-8 in his first few passes, with both completions being touchdowns.

Since Lombardi's most recent touchdown, Northwestern tacked on a pair of field goals.

Fitzgerald's Wildcats are one of the biggest surprises in 2020, taking the conference by storm. Northwestern jumped out to a 5-0 start and found themselves ranked No. 8 in the first edition of the College Football Playoff rankings. The team beat solid Big Ten programs like Maryland, Iowa and Purdue and became the presumptive favorite to win the West division.

Northwestern boasts one of the strongest defenses in the country, led by coordinator Mike Hankwitz. However, the team definitely has weaknesses on offense, making it difficult to believe that the program can contend for a national championship.

Meanwhile, the Spartans and new head coach Mel Tucker look to have started an impressive rebuild. A win on Saturday would go a long way toward continuing a solid first year in East Lansing.

No. 8 Northwestern vs. Michigan State is currently on ESPN.