Michigan State at Iowa

Michigan State beats Iowa 26-14

AP Sports Writer

IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) Connor Cook threw for a career-high 277 yards and two touchdowns and Michigan State opened Big Ten play with a 26-14 win over Iowa on Saturday.

Darqueze Dennard had a pair of interceptions for the Spartans (4-1, 1-0 Big Ten), who held the Hawkeyes (4-2, 1-1) scoreless in the second half.

Cook put Michigan State ahead to stay with a 37-yard TD pass to Bennie Fowler early in the third quarter. Freshman Michael Geiger added three field goals in the second half for the Spartans, who held Iowa to 23 yards rushing.

Mark Weisman ran for just nine yards on seven carries for the Hawkeyes, who lost for the first time since its season opener.

Michigan State was again led by its standout defense.

But the Spartans also came up huge on special teams.

Up 6 early in the fourth quarter, Michigan State pulled off a crucial fake punt. Mike Sadler ran for 25 yards, setting up a 49-yard field goal by Geiger that put the Spartans up 23-14 with 13:28 left.

Jake Rudock threw for 241 yards and two touchdowns for the Hawkeyes. But Dennard picked him off twice, including an interception with 5:09 left that largely ended the suspense.

Michigan State's defense entered play as the only one in the country allowing fewer than than 200 yards a game.

After about a quarter and a half, it looked like the Hawkeyes might not even reach 100.

But Iowa found some life in the passing game and quickly turned that 10-point deficit into a 14-10 halftime lead.

Rudock completed his last 11 passes of the first half for 138 yards and two touchdowns - by far the best stretch of his young career.

Rudock beat a Michigan State blitz by finding Damon Bullock in the flat for a 47-yard touchdown, and he hit C.J. Fiedorowicz for a 10-yard touchdown pass just before the half.

That would be it for the Hawkeyes.

Cook - who had hooked up with Macgarrett Kings on a 46-yard TD pass in the second quarter - opened the second half with a long touchdown pass to Fowler that gave Michigan State a 17-14 lead.

The Spartans made it 20-14 on a 35-yarder late in the third quarter by Geiger - who finished with a career-high four field goals.

Kevonte Martin-Manley, Iowa's leading receiver, missed most of the game with an undisclosed leg injury.

Kings had 94 yards receiving and Fowler had 92 for the Spartans.

Follow Luke Meredith on Twitter: www.twitter.com/LukeMeredithAP

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Related Video

Scoring Summary
MICHSTMichael Geiger 27 yd FG
MICHSTMacgarrett Kings 46 yd pass from Connor Cook (Michael Geiger kick)
IOWADamon Bullock 47 yd pass from Jake Rudock (Mike Meyer kick)
IOWAC.J. Fiedorowicz 10 yd pass from Jake Rudock (Mike Meyer kick)
MICHSTBennie Fowler 37 yd pass from Connor Cook (Michael Geiger kick)
MICHSTMichael Geiger 35 yd FG
MICHSTMichael Geiger 49 yd FG
MICHSTMichael Geiger 40 yd FG
Team Stats
First Downs2013
Third Down Efficiency6-194-15
Fourth Down Efficiency2-30-1
Plays-Net Yards81-41262-264
Passing Yds277241
Kick Return Yds2916
Punt Return Yds530
Time of Poss.37:1322:47
Individual Stats
MICHST: Jeremy Langford 14-43, Delton Williams 9-32, Mike Sadler 1-25, Connor Cook 6-21, Aaron Burbridge 1-11, Nick Hill 4-6, Team 2--3
IOWA: Jake Rudock 3-11, Mark Weisman 7-9, Damon Bullock 4-6, Team 1--1, Jordan Cotton 1--2
MICHST: Connor Cook 25-44-277-1
IOWA: Jake Rudock 26-46-241-2
MICHST: Bennie Fowler 9-92, Macgarrett Kings 5-94, Aaron Burbridge 3-22, Tony Lippett 2-29, Jeremy Langford 2-1, Andre Sims 1-20, Trevon Pendleton 1-14, Riley Bullough 1-3, Nick Hill 1-2
IOWA: Tevaun Smith 6-59, Damon Bullock 5-71, Matt VandeBerg 4-36, C.J. Fiedorowicz 3-21, Damond Powell 2-19, Riley McCarron 2-11, Mark Weisman 1-8, Ray Hamilton 1-6, Don Shumpert 1-5, Jake Duzey 1-5
Michigan State6th Big Ten East1-83-9
Iowa2nd Big Ten West6-38-5

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