And another undefeated team bit the dust on Saturday as the No. 18 Iowa Hawkeyes defeated the No. 5 Michigan State Spartans, 37-6.
Really, Sparty never showed up at Kinnick Stadium on Saturday; however, Iowa’s beloved defensive coordinator Norm Parker was finally in the house for the biggest game on Iowa’s schedule to-date.
Was Parker Iowa’s good luck charm on Halloween Eve?
In Iowa’s first possession of the game, they scored with an 80-yard march down the field; this set the tone for the game. On its second possession, Iowa again scored with a 64-yard drive and by halftime, the home team entered the locker room with a 30-0 lead.
The Hawkeyes’ defense brought their A game to Kinnick on Saturday. With its 10-0 second quarter lead after Iowa kicker’s Mike Meyer field goal (sigh…this frosh may still need some additional practice after a missed extra point ), Michigan State began marching down the field, looking to score. Iowa’s safety Tyler Sash intercepted a pass from Michigan State’s junior quarterback Kirk Cousin. Sash flipped the ball via a lateral to his teammate, defensive back Micah Hyde.
Hyde ran down the field 66 yards and scored a touchdown.
This play was made for a repeated ESPN highlight along with the additional drama that Hyde’s parents were at the game; Hyde’s brother plays safety for the Spartans.
With the Hawkeyes’ 37-0 lead after a 22-yard pass by Stanzi to wide receiver Marvin McNutt in the third quarter, it took the Spartans until the fourth quarter to score.
Cousins threw a six-yard touchdown pass to B.J. Cunningham at the beginning of the fourth quarter. This finally got the Spartans on the board for the first and only time of the game.
Iowa’s defense held Michigan State to 31 rushing yards, representing 162 yards less than its eight-game average, and only 258 yards overall. Saturday’s game was also the Spartan’s lowest scoring game historically against Iowa and Iowa’s greatest margin of win over a top 10 team in the last eight years.
Hawkeye senior quarterback Ricky Stanzi had a great day with three touchdown passes. He went 11 for 15 on 190 yards (a 68.5 percent completion rate), zero interceptions and zero sacks. Stanzi’s quarterack rating was an impressive 180.28.
MSU’s Cousins didn’t fare as well as Stanzi but he went 21-29 for 198 yards, one touchdown and three interceptions. Playing in front of his family (Mom is an Iowa alum!), two of Cousin’s three interceptions led to Iowa touchdowns. By the middle of the fourth quarter, Cousins was pulled out of the game by his coach and the team’s backup quarterack entered the game.
And really, wasn’t that a little cruel that ABC showed photos of a very young Couins in Hawkeye gear? It probably wasn’t the kid’s Halloween costume either.
Iowa’s sole running back Adam Robinson had 20 carries for 69 yards and two touchdowns. In the fourth quarter, he got a rest for his great efforts with the additon of Iowa freshman running back, Marcus Coker taking his turn.
Overall, it was a tremendous day for the Hawkeyes. Its win kept their season alive and a very slim glimmer of hope for the Rose Bowl. As Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz has repeatedly said, it’s one game at a time.
Next week, the Iowa Hawkeyes will travel to play the Indiana Hoosiers. The game time still needs to be determined.
About the Author
Written by Debbie Baratz