Halftime update: Michigan State 17, Iowa 7

Mark Emmert
Hawk Central

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Iowa has 30 minutes to try to contain what has been a potent Michigan State passing combination at Spartan Stadium.

The Spartans lead 17-7 at halftime as quarterback Brian Lewerke has found great success throwing to wide receiver Felton Davis. They have connected seven times for 88 yards and both touchdowns. The seven catches are already a career high for Davis.

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The Hawkeye offense did mount one impressive drive to cut the lead in half and will receive the ball when the second half begins.

Here's how it transpired:

  • Michigan State opened the game with a flawless 75-yard touchdown drive. The first play was a 31-yard pass to Davis. The touchdown came on a 22-yard strike from Lewerke to Davis. Iowa safeties Miles Taylor and Amani Hooker looked lost at times and the defensive line was unable to generate pressure.
  • The Hawkeyes corrected those problems but couldn’t make up for poor field position minutes later.
  • The Spartans pushed the lead to 14-0 after an ineffective punt by Iowa’s Colten Rastetter — a continuing problem — put them at the Hawkeyes’ 31-yard line. It took 10 plays to reach the end zone, but Lewerke lofted a 6-yard scoring pass to Davis, who leapt to grab it over Iowa cornerback Michael Ojemudia. Ojemudia was starting in place of the injured Manny Rugamba.
  • The Hawkeyes responded with a 72-yard drive of their own, including key first-down pickups by wide receiver Matt VandeBerg and tight end Noah Fant. Quarterback Nate Stanley connected with Ihmir Smith-Marsette for 31 yards on a third-and-8 play that was the biggest of the drive. Tailback Akrum Wadley scampered in from 9 yards out to make it a 14-7 score with 12:15 left in the half. His first six carries had produced zero total yards.
  • After another unsightly Rastetter punt set the Spartans up at Iowa's 36-yard line, Michigan State got a 38-yard field goal from Matt Coghlin.

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