The Spartans are leading, but all anyone can talk about right now is the end-of-half debacle that quickly evoked shades of a similar situation in the 2005 Ohio State game.
With 12 seconds left and just no timeouts remaining, Andrew Maxwell completed a 19-yard pass to Keith Mumphery in the middle of the field and the clock stopped with 6 seconds. MSU scrambled to the line to spike the ball … or some of the Spartans did. Some of the field goal unit ran onto the field, with an assistant coach dragging one player back to the sideline. Maxwell was on the sideline and tried to hurry onto the field, and Le’Veon Bell went under center to try and salvage a spike. Instead, the clock ran out and the clown cars ushered the Spartans back to the locker room to the tune of Yakety Sax.
Mark Dantonio just shook his head and smiled during his halftime interview at the absurdity. At least he didn’t blast his assistants like someone once infamously did in a similar situation.
That summed up a pretty odd bunch of play-calling in the first half. MSU got a powerful 14-yard TD run from Le’Veon Bell and a 24-yard Dan Conroy field goal. Bell has 63 yards on 16 carries, and Maxwell is 6 of 10 for 101 yards. But there were a number of brutal calls, such as a third-down option for backup QB Connor Cook and three straight runs before the field goal with MSU deep in Iowa territory.
Iowa has just 65 yards of total offense, with Mike Meyer’s 23-yard field goal the Hawkeyes’ only score.