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Michigan State holds on to beat Iowa 17-10

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It took a stop on the final drive, but MSU hangs on to beat Iowa at home and improve to 3-1

NCAA Football: Iowa at Michigan State Mike Carter-USA TODAY Sports

The way things started for Michigan State, it looked like Iowa would need an offensive explosion just to keep up with the Spartans. But after a quick 14 points, the Spartans offense stalled and it took everything they had to beat Iowa.

MSU scored on its first drive of the game. Brian Lewerke took the team 75 yards down the field before finding Felton Davis III for a 22-yard touchdown.

The Spartans followed that two drives later with another touchdown drive to take a 14-0 lead. Once again, Lewerke and Felton hooked up for a touchdown. This time, the receiver went up for a 50/50 ball for the score.

Iowa responded with a touchdown of their own to bring it to 14-7, but a Matt Coghlin field goal shortly before half gave the Spartans a 10-points lead at the break.

The second half was all about the MSU defense, holding Iowa to just three points and recovering two fumbles, including one inside the MSU red zone. The offense had opportunities to put the game on ice, but Lewerke and company continued to stall after crossing the 50.

MSU punted with 45 seconds left and Iowa had a chance to drive 84-yards for the tying score. But a vintage Spartans defense stand, forced Iowa to run out of time, still over 80-yards from the end zone.

Lewerke finished with 212 yards and a pair of touchdowns with no turnovers. He also led the team in rushing, with 42 yards. LJ Scott was held to just 28 on the ground. Davis led the team through the air with both touchdowns and 114 yards on nine receptions.

The Spartans improve to 3-1 and 1-0 in the Big Ten. They will go on the road for the first time all season to Ann Arbor next weekend to take on Michigan.