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KEY MATCHUP

Minnesota’s MarQueis Gray vs. Michigan State’s defensive line. Gray has thrown for 940 yards and run for 500 this season, and he provided just enough offense for the Golden Gophers in their 22-21 win over Iowa. Thanks in part to an imposing pass rush, the Spartans are No. 1 in the country in pass defense and No. 2 in total defense.

PLAYERS TO WATCH

Minnesota: DB Kyle Henderson. Had nine tackles and forced a fumble with a sack against Iowa. He and the rest of the Minnesota secondary will try to confound Spartans quarterback Kirk Cousins the way Nebraska did in its 24-3 win over Michigan State last weekend.

Michigan State: RBs Edwin Baker and Le’Veon Bell. The Spartans may try to re-establish their running game against a Minnesota team that is allowing 5.3 yards per rush on the season.

FACTS & FIGURES

Michigan State beat Minnesota 31-8 last season. … The Spartans’ 2011 senior class is 32-15. The 2010 class holds the school record with 33 victories. … Minnesota has come from behind in each of its last 11 victories. … Michigan State has 36 tackles for loss and 19 sacks in four Big Ten games. … Thanks to a successful onside kick, Minnesota had the ball for 13:25 in the final quarter against Iowa.

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New Mexico State (3-5, 1-2 Western Athletic Conference) at No. 18 Georgia (6-2, 5-1 Southeastern Conference), 12:30 p.m. (CSS).

Line: Georgia by 33.

Series Record: Georgia leads 3-0.

WHAT’S AT STAKE

Georgia’s six-game winning streak could be threatened by a sudden shortage of tailbacks. Leading rusher Isaiah Crowell and two other tailbacks were suspended for one game this week. Georgia also lost top backup Richard Samuel, who had ankle surgery on Tuesday. The drama may help Georgia avoid a letdown after last week’s 24-20 win over Florida. New Mexico State, which won 28-21 at Minnesota on Sept. 10 for its first victory against a Big Ten team, is trying to end its 0-13 drought against SEC schools.

KEY MATCHUP

Tailback Brandon Harton vs. New Mexico State’s defense. Harton, who walked on as a receiver last year before moving to tailback and being awarded a scholarship in August, is the likely starter. He has only 11 carries for 33 yards, all against Coastal Carolina.

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