IOWA CITY, Iowa — This was all about payback for Michigan State. No one from East Lansing would say so before kickoff. But there was no denying the laser focus Michigan State carried into today’s game. The Spartans wanted to send a message to Iowa.
(AP) Kirk Cousins threw for 260 yards and three touchdowns and 13th-ranked Michigan State beat Iowa 37-21 to take control of the Big Ten’s Legends Division. B.J. Cunningham caught a pair of TD passes for the Spartans, who snapped a seven-game losing streak at Iowa dating back to 1989. Michigan State (8-2, 5-1 Big Ten) took a commanding 31-7 lead with two touchdowns in a 36-second stretch late in the second quarter. Cunningham followed Le’Veon Bell‘s 25-yard TD run with a 22-yard touchdown catch to put Michigan State up by 24 at the break. The Spartans can now earn a spot in the Big Ten title game with wins over Indiana and Northwestern in the next two weeks. Read BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart’s column and the full AP recap, see the box score and view the Big Ten scoreboard.
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Many eyes will be on Michigan State’s game at Iowa, arguably the biggest tilt this weekend in what will be a matchup that goes a long way toward determining who wins the Legends Division. And what type of scene will unfold at Penn State, where Nebraska is playing? Following lower in this post is a look at what the other Big Ten teams need to do to enjoy success this Saturday. Note: Indiana is off.
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Lots of tough decisions this week, with four conference battles and one non-conference game. Without a doubt, the races in each division will become more defined after this weekend. Who will prevail in key matchups between Michigan State-Iowa and Nebraska-Penn State?
Have a Big Ten football question you want answered? I’m Tom Dienhart and I want you to fire off an email to me. This is a great place for us to interact with each other, sharing our passion for all things Big Ten as the season prepares to hit the home stretch. This week, some questions focus on the chances of schools like Iowa, Ohio State and Michigan State winning a division or league title. See what other queries were posed.
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The Iowa running has surged to the top of my Big Ten player rankings. The star sophomore has rattled off four straight 100-yard, two-touchdown rushing games (121, 2 vs. Northwestern; 138, 2 vs. Indiana; 252, 2 vs. Minnesota; 132, 2 vs. Michigan). He literally carried Iowa to victory on Saturday over Michigan, pushing him to a Big Ten-leading 1,101 yards rushing (122.3 ypg). The 230-pound Marcus Coker just may carry the Hawkeyes all the way to the Legends Division title. See Tom’s full top 25 list in this post.
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