staff, December 5, 2015

(AP) L.J. Scott's late lunge did more than put the ball across the goal line – it all but certainly put No. 5 Michigan State in the College Football Playoff.

Scott kept powering forward and stretched the ball into the end zone for a touchdown with 27 seconds that sent the Spartans past No. 4 Iowa 16-13 Saturday night in the Big Ten championship game.

Quarterback Connor Cook led the Spartans (12-1, No. 5 CFP) on a 22-play drive that set up Scott's 1-yard run on third down. A half-dozen Iowa defenders tried to stop Scott, but he wouldn't be denied.

Iowa (12-1, No. 4 CFP) lost for the first time this season – and just barely.

"Let's get on and party," Spartans coach Mark Dantonio shouted to the crowd.

After settling for three field goals in the first 59 1/2 minutes, Cook moved the Spartans 82 yards and kept their national title hopes intact.

Cook, the game's MVP, methodically moved the Spartans in a drive that consumed nearly the final 9 1/2 minutes. He finished 16 of 32 for 191 yards with one interception and no touchdowns.

But with the season on the line, Cook and the offense made play after play against an Iowa defense that hadn't given up a touchdown all night – until Scott got free just long enough.

"We wanted to come back and win a championship," Cook said. "It's awesome, man."

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