Post-Game Notes: Iowa
Nov. 12, 2011
With the 37-21 win, Michigan State snapped its seven-game losing streak at Kinnick Stadium and recorded its first win in Iowa City since a 17-14 win over the Hawkeyes on Oct. 7, 1989.
The 2011 senior class improved its record to 34-15 (.694); the 34 wins are the most wins by a senior class in MSU's 115-year football history (previous record: 33 games by 2010 class).
The 37 points scored by MSU are the most ever by a Spartan team in Iowa City (previous high: 35 points in 35-0 win in 1965).
Michigan State has won 19 of its last 23 games, including 12 of 14 in Big Ten play.
Michigan State did not commit a turnover in the game and forced three Iowa turnovers . . . MSU forced two Iowa turnovers in the first half (Johnny Adams interception; Jeremy Gainer forced fumble and Jeremy Langford recovery) that led to 14 MSU points . . . with Iowa driving late in the fourth quarter, Jairus Jones forced a fumble at the MSU 8-yard line and Tony Lippett recovered the ball and returned it 15 yards to the MSU 23-yard line with 2:53 remaining . . . MSU has a +7 turnover margin this season.
Kirk Cousins became just the second Spartan quarterback to eclipse the 8,000-yard passing mark as he now has 8,064 career passing yards . . . Cousins tied his career high with three touchdowns in the game (all in the first half) . . . he now has 57 career passing touchdowns (school record: 61 by Jeff Smoker) . . . he finished with 260 yards passing on 18-of-31 throws . . . the 260 passing yards are the fourth most by a Spartan quarterback against Iowa . . . it marked his 22nd game with at least 200 yards passing, which is second in MSU history (record: Jeff Smoker with 23).
Michigan State scored on its first possession for the first time since scoring a touchdown in the Central Michigan game (Sept. 24) on its opening drive; the Spartans went 64 yards in eight plays in the first quarter to take a 7-0 lead, capped by B.J. Cunnningham's 6-yard TD reception at the 9:17 mark . . . it also marked the first time MSU opened the game's scoring since Game 5 against Ohio State.
B.J. Cunningham tied his career high with two touchdown receptions . . . he had a 6-yard TD in the first quarter and a 22-yard TD in the second quarter . . . he has a team-leading five TD receptions this season . . . he now has 18 career receiving touchdowns, which is tied for fifth most in MSU history, along with Gari Scott.
Le'Veon Bell recorded his first 100-yard game of the season and third of his career; he finished with a career-high 20 carries for 112 yards, and also had two catches for 49 yards . . . he had a 25-yard TD run with 1:57 left in the second quarter.
Brian Linthicum recorded career highs in receptions (5) and receiving yards (71).
Johnny Adams recorded his second interception of the season and returned it 30 yards midway through the first quarter, setting up MSU's second touchdown of the game . . . it marked Adams' seventh career pick.
Mike Sadler averaged a season-best 46.2 yards per punt (six punts for 277 yards), including three inside the 20 . . . he has now placed 17 of his 46 punts (37 percent) inside the 20 this season.
Dan Conroy made a season-high three field goals (22, 31, 48 yards).
Max Bullough led MSU with 13 tackles, his second-best effort of the season (career-high 15 vs. Youngstown State) . . . he also had 2.0 tackles for loss (11), including a 10-yard sack . . . he was named a game captain against the Hawkeyes.
Jerel Worthy blocked an Iowa 50-yard field goal attempt on the last play of the first half; it's his second blocked kick this season (Youngstown State, point-after attempt) and third of his career . . . he also ended the first half at Michigan last season with a blocked field goal.
Michigan State's defense held Iowa sophomore running back Marcus Coker to 57 yards rushing on 21 carries (2.7 avg.), his second-lowest output of the year on the ground. Coker entered the game as the Big Ten's leading rusher with 1,101 yards (122.3 ypg.).
Holder Brad Sonntag recorded a 5-yard rush on a fake field goal in the third quarter. MSU was facing a fourth-and-2 on the Hawkeye 25-yard line; it would have been a 43-yard field goal attempt. The Spartans ended up with a 31-yard field goal later in the drive by Conroy.
Michigan State broke up a season-high six passes, led by Chris Norman, who tied his career high with two pass break-ups.
Michigan State had a 31-7 halftime lead. The Spartans have outscored their opponents 174-82 (+92) in the first half this season.
MSU held Iowa to 87 yards rushing. It marks the fifth time this season the Spartans have held their opponent to under-100 yards rushing.
MSU head coach Mark Dantonio becomes the first head coach in MSU history to win at least eight games three times in his first five seasons (9 wins in 2008; school-record 11 wins in 2010).
The 16-point margin of victory was the largest for MSU over Iowa since the Spartans' 49-3 victory over the Hawkeyes in Spartan Stadium on Oct. 2, 1999.