Spartans shocked by Hawkeyes in wet, wild double-overtime Homecoming loss
Andrew Maxwell had done it 233 straight times without a problem.
Yet the 234th time was different, resulting in a moment that might change the course of the Spartans’ season.
The junior quarterback dropped back to pass and, for the first time since the season opener, was intercepted, abruptly ending the game in double overtime, as the MSU football team (4-3 overall, 1-2 Big Ten) fell to Iowa, (4-2, 2-0) 19-16.
It was a stunning loss, as the Spartans led up until the final minute of regulation.
“Tough football game today,” head coach Mark Dantonio said afterward.
Head coach Mark Dantonio looks down the field at the second half of the game against Iowa on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 at Spartan Stadium. The team lost twice at home this season, breaking their home-winning stake since 2009. Julia Nagy/The State News
Defensive back Tanner Miller pulls down freshman wide receiver Aaron Burbridge during a game against Iowa on Saturday, Oct. 13, 2012 at Spartan Stadium. The Spartans fall to 4-3 overall and 1-2 in the Big Ten, after losing against Iowa 19-16. Julia Nagy/The State News
“You go from an opportunity to win at the end of the football game to losing it in a split second. It’s tough to deal with. It’s tough for our players to deal with and our coaches and, I’m sure, a lot of people.”
“But I keep going back to when you’re not successful, it’s a little bit about life, you know. Got to take it as it comes, and you can’t get overwhelmed by it.”
Rain, wind and cold temperatures combined with misreads and inaccuracy from Maxwell made it a tough day through the air for the Spartans’ offense.
Maxwell finished the day completing 12-of-31 passes for 179 yards and an interception, with only two receivers totaling more than one catch.
MSU got on the scoreboard first, after an interception by junior linebacker Denicos Allen gave the Spartans a short field, and junior running back Le’Veon Bell took advantage with four consecutive runs, ending with a 14-yard touchdown.
After both teams exchanged a pair of field goals, Iowa drove 68 yards 1to score the game-tying touchdown with 55 seconds remaining.
MSU and Iowa each were only able to manage field goals in the opening overtime, and after the Hawkeyes added another field goal in the second overtime to take the lead, Maxwell was intercepted on the game’s final play.