Michigan St. has banged-up backfield at midseason

EAST LANSING – The Michigan State football team has reached midseason with a banged-up backfield.

Running back Glenn Winston, the Spartans' second-leading rusher, is done for the season after injuring his right knee in last week's victory over Illinois.

That means more of the rushing burden will shift to freshman Larry Caper when the Spartans (3-3, 2-1 Big Ten) host Northwestern (4-2, 1-1) on Saturday.

Coach Mark Dantonio said Tuesday that Caper is capable of handling more of the load for the Michigan State offense.

Quarterback Kirk Cousins sat out most of last week's game with a bad ankle but is expected to play Saturday. Keith Nichol started at quarterback last week but is listed as day-to-day with an elbow injury.