Every Saturday during the Big Ten football season, BTN.com senior writer Tom Dienhart offers his Snap Reactions to all the Big Ten games. Get Dienhart’s thoughts from Northwestern’s win over Minnesota and Iowa’s double-overtime win at Michigan State in this post.
Mark Weisman ran for 116 yards and a tying touchdown in the final minute of regulation, and Iowa went on to beat Michigan State 19-16 in double overtime Saturday. Mike Meyer kicked field goals in both overtimes, including a 42-yarder in the second that gave the Hawkeyes (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten) their first lead of the game. Iowa then won it when Andrew Maxwell‘s deflected pass was intercepted by Greg Castillo.
There were more punts than points in the third quarter and the margin is still seven, as Michigan State leads 10-3. There were five punts in the quarter as neither team could find a way to move the ball. Le’Veon Bell clinched a 100-yard rushing game with 33 in the quarter, part of his 101-yard day through three quarters for the Spartans.
Michigan State put on a defensive clinic in the second, as Iowa finished with negative rushing yardage (-2 yards), and the margin is still seven, as the Spartans lead 10-3. Michigan State’s passing attack looked sharp, as the Spartans threw for 89 yards in the quarter.
Michigan State stifled Iowa’s offense, giving up just 37 total yards in the first quarter and the Spartans lead 7-0. Michigan State held the Hawkeyes to just 15 rushing yards in the quarter. The Spartans got on the scoreboard when Le’Veon Bell turned a handoff into a 14-yard touchdown.
The time is now for Michigan State. There is a sense of urgency around this week’s visit from Iowa. In fact, the game almost has a “must-win” aura about it. The Spartans are 4-2 overall and 1-1 in the Big Ten. After this game with the Hawkeyes, Michigan State will embark on its most arduous phase of the season, playing at Michigan and at Wisconsin before coming home to play Nebraska and Northwestern.
Having taking a long, hard look at each Saturday’s five Big Ten football games, I’m offering up my weekly rankings of the games here. Wisconsin at Purdue is a big one in a weird season for the Leaders Division while Iowa at Michigan State offers up two Legends Division teams looking to stabilize their seasons.
Every week, BTN.com’s Brent Yarina (@BTNBrentYarina) and Tom Dienhart (@BTNTomDienhart) offer their predictions for each Big Ten football game. We also provide a poll for all of the games so fans can vote for their winners.
Like all quarterbacks, Michigan State’s Andrew Maxwell watches his share of game film. He’s taken in plenty on Iowa, this week’s opponent, and on Tuesday’s “#BTNLive,” host Dave Revsine asked him what he’s seen. Maxwell’s thoughts: “Iowa’s interesting to watch on film, because they don’t do many things, but what they do do they do very well.” The junior also showed a strong knowledge of Iowa’s defensive philosophy and recent lineage.
Brace Hemmelgarn-US PRESSWIRE
Week 7 is at our doorstep, but the questions keep coming. Here are my most vexing queries for each Big Ten team with Saturday just around the corner. Read all of my Big Ten coverage here and don’t forget to send any of your questions my way for my weekly Big Ten Mailbag.
This isn’t a great weekend for games, especially with Nebraska and Penn State off. And the league’s two best teams appear to be in mismatches, with Michigan hosting Illinois and Ohio State visiting Indiana.