The MSU defensive line wreaked havoc on Nate Stanley on the final drive, forcing the Iowa quarterback into a fumble that allowed the clock to bleed under 20 seconds. On the next play, Stanley found a receiver in the middle of the field short of the first down, and a penalty on the hurried Hawkeyes ended the game.
After a defensive struggle that saw the Spartans shut out in the second half, MSU won its first Big Ten game of the season, 17-10.
Brian Lewerke and Felton Davis did the majority of their damage in the first half, as they hooked up for a pair of touchdowns that gave the Spartans an early 14-0 lead.
Lewerke finished 18-for-28 for 212 yards and two touchdowns, while Davis hauled in nine receptions for 114 yards and two scores.
The Spartans had the ball just four times in the second half, and despite getting into Iowa territory every single time, it couldn't come away with any points to put the game away.
The MSU defense was the story of the day, forcing two Hawkeyes turnovers and routinely shutting the door on any drives that reached Spartan territory. Akrum Wadley was the leading rusher for the Hawkeyes with 30 yards on 19 carries, but as a whole, Iowa netted just 17 yards on the ground.
MSU didn't get much from its ground game, as Lewerke was the leading rusher with 42 yards, and LJ Scott finished with just 28 yards on 14 carries.
MSU gives Iowa one last chance
After two running plays netted zero yards, Brian Lewerke decided to do it on his own, scrambling for 15 yards on third-and-10 to get MSU into Iowa territory (again). The Hawkeyes used their final timeout following a short run by LJ Scott on first down. After an MSU false start penalty, Scott again ran for a short gain to set up a third-and-9. With 2:02 on the clock, Mark Dantonio called a timeout to talk about the approach on the game's biggest play. MSU went with a draw play that lost four yards, and the Spartans punted the ball back to the Hawkeyes.
With 45 seconds remaining, Iowa will take over at its own 16.
Spartans force an Iowa punt
The MSU defense came up big in forcing a three-and-out and an Iowa punt from its own end zone.
With 3:51 remaining, MSU takes over at its own 48 leading 17-10.
MSU comes up empty in Iowa territory...again
Brian Lewerke completed to big third down conversions by finding Trishton Jackson and Felton Davis to get the Spartans into Iowa territory. It was a familiar ending, as for the third time in three possessions in the second half, the MSU offense didn't come away with points after getting the ball onto the Hawkeyes side of the field.
With 4:39 remaining, MSU is clinging to a 17-10 lead.
Iowa uses field goal to cut into MSU lead
Somebody finally put points on the board in the second half.
Iowa has crept back within striking distance after Miguel Recinos hit a 43-yard field goal to cut the MSU lead to 17-10 with 9:08 left to play in the game.
Nate Stanley hit on passes of 16 yards to Matt Vandeberg and 13 yards to T.J. Hockenson to get the Hawkeyes into position to kick the field goal against what's been a stingy Spartans defense today.
Coghlin misses field goal as offense sputters
Brian Lewerke hit Cam Chambers for 10 yards and Matt Sokol for 18 to get MSU into Iowa territory, but after a holding penalty on third down stretched Matt Coghlin's field goal attempt to 48 yards, the Spartans came away with no points.
There have been four possessions in the second half, two by each team, and all have ended with zero points despite finishing on the defense's side of the field.
With 14:04 to play in the game, MSU is still leading 17-7.
Defense comes through again
Iowa had the ball in MSU territory, but once again, the Spartans defense came through in its own territory, forcing a fumble on a quick pass to Brandon Smith.
With 2:43 remaining in the third quarter, it's still 17-7 in favor of MSU.
Spartans stuffed on fourth down
MSU tried to bully its way to a first down in Hawkeyes territory, but the Iowa's front got a big push on fourth-and-1, stuffing LJ Scott and turning the ball over on downs back to its offense.
With 5:14 to play in the third quarter, MSU still leads 17-7.
Laress Nelson made a spectacular one-handed grab to get the Spartans out near midfield. Lewerke then found Cody White for 17 yards into Iowa territory. The Spartans got the ball down to the Iowa 30, and were set to go for it on fourth-and-1, but a false start penalty did away with those plans. With Matt Coghlin setting up for a 53-yard field goal, Iowa was called for delay of game, and that's when the Spartans decided to try for the first down again.
MSU defense comes up with big turnover
A little Hawkeyes trickery didn't cost the Spartans, as MSU came up with a big fumble recovery inside their own 5-yard line to keep Iowa from cutting into the 17-7 deficit.
On third down, Nate Stanley fought his way out of the grasp of the Spartans defensive line, and while he was scrambling around looking for a receiver, he went back to throw and lost control of the ball. That's where Joe Bachie pounced on it.
On third down from its own 43, Iowa was able to hit a big pass play to Nick Easley down to the Spartans 25. After the MSU defense was stout on the next three plays, Iowa ran a fake field goal and completed a 15-yard pass down to the 7.
Following a field goal, MSU leads at the half
The fighting Mark Dantonio's got a third consecutive crack at possession in Iowa territory, and this time, they were at least able to get away with three points.
It looked like MSU would again waste a possession that started at the Iowa 36, but Brian Lewerke was able to find Felton Davis for 11 yards on third-and-11 to extend the drive. The Spartans didn't go much further, settling for a 38-yard Matt Coghlin field goal that stretched their lead to 17-7 with 43 seconds left in the half.
Nate Stanley was able to make a couple of big throws on Iowa's lone scoring drive, but the story of the first half has been MSU's defense, which has surrendered just 77 yards (14 rushing) of offense to the Hawkeyes.
On the flip side, Brian Lewerke is 10-for-17 for 105 yards and two touchdowns. Most of his damage through the air has come thanks to Felton Davis, who has seven receptions for 88 yards and two scores.
Spartans can't take advantage of field position
MSU is still winning the field position battle, but their last two drives have stalled in Iowa territory. After trading punts, MSU took over at the Iowa 42 but went three-and-out after back-to-back Brian Lewerke incompletions.
With 5:08 remaining in the first half, the Spartans are still leading 14-7.
The Hawkeyes will start their next drive at their own 8.
Iowa gets on the board
Akrum Wadley finally found some running room against the Spartans defense, putting Iowa on the board with a nine-yard touchdown run that capped a 72-yard drive and cuts the MSU lead to 14-7 with 12:15 remaining in the second quarter.
Prior to the score, the Iowa running back had only gained five yards on eight carries.
The Spartans had done a nice job stuffing the Iowa run game early on, but Nate Stanley was able to make a couple of big throws to open things up for Wadley.
The biggest play of the drive came on a 31-yard pass from Stanley to Ihmir Smith-Marsette down to the MSU 9.
Davis wins jump ball for second TD
Felton Davis is dominating.
The Spartans wideout went up and over an Iowa defender to bring down a fade pass from Brian Lewerke in the end zone, putting the Spartans up 14-0 with 2:11 remaining in the first quarter.
Earlier in the drive, Lewerke was able to use a quarterback sneak on fourth-and-inches to give MSU a fresh set of downs at the Iowa 21. A holding penalty looked to put the Spartans behind the chains, but the second personal foul of the day on the Hawkeyes moved the ball down to the 11. After a pass interference in the end zone was called on Iowa, MSU had another first down inside the 5. Luckily for the Spartans, they were able to pounce on a Matt Sokol fumble in the backfield.
MSU winning in all phases early on
The Spartans are winning the game and the battle of field position early on.
MSU's offense couldn't take advantage of a personal foul on the Iowa defense, but that penalty did help flip field position heavily in the Spartans favor.
The defense stuffed Iowa again, forcing the Hawkeyes to punt from their end zone. That resulted in giving the MSU offense the ball at the Iowa 31 after Laress Nelson's 11-yard return.
With 6:19 remaining in the opening quarter, MSU leads 7-0.
MSU defense gets off to a good start
Iowa got good starting field position at its own 37, and Nate Stanley found his receiver for an early first down near midfield, but that's where things stalled for the Hawkeyes.
Joe Bachie got home on third down to drop Stanley for a sack, as the Spartans forced a punt and kept the good times rolling early on for MSU.
Lewerke, Davis hook up for opening drive TD
Felton Davis reeled in four passes from Brian Lewerke on the Spartans opening drive, capping things with a 22-yard touchdown.
Davis got open on the first play from scrimmage thanks to play-action, when Lewerke found the junior wideout for a 31-yard gain to set the tone for the seven-play, 75-yard drive.
Davis had four receptions for 67 yards on the drive.
With 11:50 left to play in the first quarter, MSU leads 7-0.
MICHIGAN STATE VS. IOWA
When: Saturday, 4 p.m.
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing
TV / radio: FOX / WJR 760
Records: Michigan State 2-1 (0-0 Big Ten), Iowa 3-1 (0-1).
Line: Michigan State by 4