COLUMBUS, Ohio - After a tough loss to Ohio State and still one game away from bowl eligibility, the Spartans have four remaining games: at Iowa next week, Michigan at home, away to Purdue then a season finale against Penn State at home.
Quarterback Brian Hoyer says sweeping the rest of the schedule is something the green and white can accomplish.
"We have four games left and I feel that we can win all four of those," he said after the defeat to the Buckeyes.
"I think one thing to get out of this game is we were down 17-0 to the number one team in the country with less than 20 minutes to go and we didn't give up, we fought back," Hoyer said. "You let it sit for about 24 hours then you've got to move on," he continued. "We just got to be able to bounce back."
In bounce back games earlier in the season, MSU fell flat and lost to Northwestern (after a tough loss to Wisconsin), then stopped the bleeding with a romp over Indiana (after NU).
Now they'll take their show on the road to Iowa and play a team that, like Northwestern, may appear to be a winnable game; however, with three home games against MSU, Minnesota and Western Michigan and only a trip to NU remaining, the Hawkeyes are looking to do more than play spoiler.
Getting the offense back on track after being dominated by Ohio State (185 total yards) will be a priority against Iowa. And it shouldn't take much. The Hawkeyes rank dead last in many Big Ten offensive categories including: points per game (15); yards per game (306); rushing yards (928); and third-down conversions (32 percent).
But defensively Iowa does rank third in the Big Ten, allowing only 17 points and 318 yards per game. So the challenge on the road in Iowa City will be steep against a hungry Hawkeye team that was whipped by Purdue last Saturday.
Finding a way to open lanes for running back Javon Ringer and getting the ball to playmakers like wide receiver Devin Thomas and tight end Kellen Davis would be the best medicine for a Spartan team looking to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2003 by ridding itself of the pesky two-game losing streak.
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