Comeback Beats Spartans

After an inspired effort against number one Ohio State last week, the Spartans opened up a can of football domination against Iowa in the first half. The numbers told a positive tale: MSU, 15 first downs, Iowa 3; 251 total yards for the green & white, 71 for the black & gold; and 142 Spartan passing yards to nine for the Hawkeyes. But the domination didn't last.

Michigan State thought they scored all they needed to in the first half against Iowa to qualify for postseason play for the first time since 2003, building a 17-3 lead.

But that milestone will have to wait as Iowa found a running game and came back to beat the Spartans in the second overtime, 34-27.

After an inspired effort against number one Ohio State last week, the Spartans opened up a can of football domination against Iowa in the first half. The numbers told a positive tale: MSU, 15 first downs, Iowa 3; 251 total yards for the green & white, 71 for the black & gold; and 142 Spartan passing yards to nine for the Hawkeyes.

But there was no storybook ending this week as Iowa running back Albert Young took the Hawkeye ground game to another level, finishing the game with 179 yards and two touchdowns.

In the fourth quarter, MSU was down to their final possession trailing by three with less than two minuets to go near their own 20 yard line. On a third and 16 Brian Hoyer dropped back in the pocket and heaved a picture-perfect game extending first down pass to Devin Thomas.

The green & white went 67 yards in 1:28 before Brett Swenson trotted out and hit a 29-yard field goal with four seconds remaining to tie the score at 20-20, forcing overtime.

The Spartans struck first in OT as Jehuu Caulcrick scored his third rushing touchdown of the day, 15 on the season.

On their own first OT possession, Iowa overcame a flagrant block in the back penalty to tie the score after quarterback Jake Christensen hit Paul Chaney, Jr. for a 23-yard touchdown.

In the second OT Iowa struck first with a 1 yard Jevon Peugh touchdown run.

On MSU's second possession, the Spartans worked the ball down to the nine-yard line before Adrian Clayborn sacked Hoyer for a seven yard loss, bringing up fourth down.

On the next play Hoyer found Thomas, who finished the day with 140 receiving yards on nine receptions. But the pass was short of a first down with Thomas tackled at the 10, ending the game.

On their second possession of the game, however, MSU did reach one important milestone. Javon Ringer became the first Spartan running back to reach 1,000 yards in a season since T.J. Duckett roamed the field in 2001.

Next week against Michigan, in a game Michigan State has been preparing for since Mark Dantonio took over late last year, the Spartans will look for an upset to put them over the hump of bowl eligibility.


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