FINAL: Defense dominates, Spartans open Big Ten play with win over Iowa 17-10
The Spartans opened up conference play with a bang.
On the opening drive of the game, the Spartan offense drove down the field, and quarterback Brian Lewerke promptly connected with junior wide receiver Felton Davis in the end zone to take a lead they would never relinquish as the Spartans defeated Iowa 17-10.
The Hawkeyes made a 43-yard field goal with 9:08 left in the game to cut their deficit to one possession, but the Spartans' defense held off Iowa to record their first conference victory of the season.
With the win, the Spartans improve to 3-1, and now tie their win total from last season.
Lewerke was 18 of 28 for 212 yards and two touchdowns and led MSU in rushing with 12 carries for 42 yards.
Iowa’s Nate Stanley completed 16 of 31 passes for 197 yards, and the Hawkeyes were held to just 19 yards rushing.
HAVE A DAY, DAVIS: Wideout Davis found a groove early Saturday.
On the Spartans’ first drive of the game, Lewerke connected with Davis four times for 67 yards, including a 22-yard touchdown to cap off the drive.
The Virginia native finished the game with a career-high nine catches for 114 yards and two touchdowns.
TURNOVERS: After two fumbles and one interception by MSU in last weekend’s loss to Notre Dame, the Spartans rebounded Saturday and didn’t allow the Hawkeyes to record a takeaway.
On the defensive side of the ball, the Spartans entered Saturday’s game with just two takeaways, which was better than just one team in the FBS — Florida State, who had zero.
MSU turned its struggles around on Saturday and managed to come away with two takeaways in the win.
BACHIE: Sophomore Joe Bachie’s impressive season continued on Saturday.
One of his most notable highlights came in the third quarter.
With the Hawkeyes in the red zone, Iowa quarterback Nate Stanley shed a tackle, then lost control of the ball. Bachie would recover the loose ball to give the Spartans possession and prevent Iowa from scoring in the red zone.
Along with his fumble recovery, Bachie ended the game with nine tackles, five of which were unassisted, one sack and 3 1/2 tackles for loss in the Spartans’ win.