Iowa lost its perfect home record on Saturday with its 37-21 loss to Michigan State. The Hawkeyes fall to 6-4, 3-3.
Michigan State will return to Lansing with bragging rights, erasing last year’s loss and continuing on its march to the first Big Ten Championship game on Dec. 3.
They sit at 8-2, 5-1.
The Iowa team that played against Michigan definitely failed to show up again this week.
Let’s take a look at this disappointing game.
It was a defensive game at first until Michigan State jumped on the board at 9:17 with a pass by quarterback Kirk Cousins to his wide receiver B.J. Cunningham. Iowa’s defense appeared surprised by the play, setting the tone for the day.
Michigan State’s second touchdown came from an Iowa quarterback James Vandenberg interception. At the end of the first quarter, they had a comfortable 14-0 lead.
Early in the second quarter, Iowa scored from an eight-yard pass by Vandenberg to tight end C.J. Fiedorowicz. This was his first touchdown as a Hawkeye.
Iowa fans breathed a sigh of relief for the seven-point game but it didn’t last long. Michigan State scored on a second Iowa turnover and with the second quarter’s field goal and two touchdowns, Sparty entered halftime ahead 31-7; they had also successfully blocked an Iowa field goal at the end of the quarter.
There were a lot of three and outs for the teams and a high number of Iowa penalties.
Running back Marcus Coker was held to 13 carries for 40 yards and Vandenberg struggled with his passing, finishing the first half at a 50 percent completion.
Iowa had some signs of life in the early part of the second half with two touchdowns in the third quarter: one by wide receiver Marvin McNutt and a second one by Coker.
With a 34-21 MSU lead entering the final quarter, Hawkeye Nation had dreams of another fourth quarter comeback with 10 minutes remaining but after a false start and an incomplete pass, it was not in the stars today.
Michigan State’s final field goal at 5:11 put the nail in the coffin.
For the day, Vandenberg had 262 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
Cousins fared slightly better with 260 yards and three touchdowns.
Iowa’s MVP for the day was McNutt with his eight catches for 130 yards. With Saturday’s performance, he became Iowa’s leader in career receiving yards at 2,635.
Michigan State’s wide receiver B.J. Cunningham had two touchdowns and running back Le’Veon Bell had 20 carries for 112 yards and one touchdown.
Iowa’s Coker didn’t add too many yards in the second half, ending the day with 21 carries for 57 yards.
It was a disappointing day for the Hawkeyes but Michigan State appeared more prepared, with a stronger will to win. After all, it had been 22 years since Michigan State had last won at Kinnick.
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Written by Debbie Baratz