Michigan State tops Iowa
Hawkeyes limited to just 23 rushing yards
Michigan State 26, Iowa 14: Connor Cook threw a pair of touchdown passes and the Spartans' defense tamed the host Hawkeyes' vaunted rush attack in a marquee Big Ten showdown.
Cook completed 25-of-44 passes for 277 yards and also threw an interception for Michigan State (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten), which limited Iowa to just 23 rushing yards on 16 carries.
Macgarrett Kings Jr. led the way with five receptions for 94 yards and a touchdown, while Bennie Fowler added nine catches for 92 yards and a score. Jake Rudock threw for 241 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions for the Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-1), who struggled to move the ball against the FBS' second-ranked run defense.
Damon Bullock was the lone Iowa offensive star with five catches for 71 yards and a touchdown. After Cook's 46-yard touchdown strike to Kings put the Spartans up 10-0 less than nine minutes into the second quarter, the Hawkeyes stormed back to take a 14-10 lead into the break. Bullock took a Rudock screen pass 47 yards for a score to put Iowa on the board, and Rudock connected with C.J. Fiedorowicz on a 10-yard touchdown pass with 1:10 remaining.
Michigan State went back in front for good on the first possession of the second half, as Cook faked an option run before hitting Fowler in stride for a 37-yard touchdown strike. Field goals of 35, 49 and 40 yards from Michael Geiger extended the lead to 26-14 and the Spartans' defense did the rest, intercepting Rudock with just over five minutes remaining to quell any hopes of a comeback.
GAME NOTEBOOK: Iowa entered the day averaging better than 244 rushing yards per game; the Hawkeyes' longest carry Saturday went for just seven yards. ... The Spartans held the Hawkeyes to 13 first downs - five coming on their final drive - and a 4-for-15 third-down conversion rate. ... Iowa leads the all-time series 23-20-2.
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