Pat Fitzgerald says Michigan football is the best team Northwestern will have played this year

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File this under shade thrown at the team in East Lansing.

Northwestern opened up the 2021 season with a 38-21 loss to Michigan State, and while that wasn’t the most lopsided result for the Wildcats in 2021 — the 56-7 drubbing at the hands of Nebraska wins that one — certainly the 7-0 Spartans feel like they could be counted as the best team in the Big Ten.

However, in his Monday press conference previewing the Michigan game, Northwestern head coach Pat Fitzgerald demurred, noting that the Wolverines are the biggest test that the Wildcats will face out of the seven opponents it’ll have had to that point.

‘It’s not even close,’ Fitzgerald reportedly said.

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Michigan State burst onto the scene in the opening Friday by having taken down then-ranked Northwestern, the Big Ten West reigning champion, so it was seen as a big deal. The Wildcats have been up and down, having gone 3-3 thus far, so that win, like the win over Miami (FL), has lost a big of its luster.

Regardless, all things will be settled on the field, both this week and the next. Northwestern travels to Ann Arbor on Oct. 23 for a noon kick on Fox, while Michigan will travel to East Lansing to take on MSU on Oct. 30.

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