Last season, Michigan State didn't have its bye week until mid-November after its first 10 games.
In 2013, the Spartans not only have a bye week before opening conference play, but they have two on their schedule. Sophomore quarterback Connor Cook said this bye week came at "a great time."
"Last year, we only had one and we got two this year," he said. "Last year, our bye week came like eight weeks into the season so we were physically spent and that was a crucial time.
"Right now, some guys are dinged up and this and that and I feel like guys can really recuperate, get their minds off football, rest up and come back next week really fresh for Iowa. I think it came at a perfect time."
Coach Mark Dantonio said the bye week gives MSU an opportunity to take a deep breath being diving into Big Ten play.
"I think it's an opportunity to step away," he said. "It's an opportunity for our players to sort of step back and re-evaluate themselves a little bit, re-evaluate where we're at, refocus and regroup and plant your foot in the ground and drive forward.
"It's also a chance to sort of separate yourself just a little bit from football. You can never get completely away from it, but you just allow yourself a little bit of a deep breath before you go under."
As part of that, many of the MSU players will go home for the weekend as the Spartans didn't hold practice Friday or Saturday.
"I think it's good for them to get away a little bit," Dantonio said. "Watch some college games, also hopefully they will have a chance to go home. You don't have many chances to go home as a college football player, so hopefully they will take advantage of that opportunity to maybe go home and see their high school team or go home and see their family for a day."
Michigan State practiced Wednesday focused on the team and working on little things before starting to prepare for Iowa on Thursday.
Dantonio said there are some consistent things MSU will expect from Iowa – and that it's a bit like Michigan State.
"Every year you're gonna see a team that plays extremely hard and they're gonna be fundamentally sound, both offensively and defensively," he said. "And they're gonna do what they do. They're a little bit like us. They do what they do and do it well.
"I think right now they've sort of pulled themselves together and are playing very, very well. That's who they are and they're gonna be a well-coached football team."