Iowa vs Michigan State – Postgame Analysis

Dreams end, but new opportunities arise.

When one window is closed, a door is opened. That’s what this weekend was. The small window of the playoffs was closed, but the door to Pasadena was opened for Iowa. Obviously I was devastated by the way the game ended, but can I really be that upset? Iowa surprised everyone with what they did, and this season is already a huge success

Indianapolis was insane on Saturday. Plenty of fans made it in town on Friday night and drank the bars dry; A true testament of how committed Iowa fans are to their team and their alcohol. Saturday morning came, and College Gameday was live in front of Lucas Oil Stadium. The fan turnout was probably at least 90% Iowa fans; Another true testament of how well Iowa fans can recover after a night of heavy drinking. Dallas Clark came to the show to guest pick. He and Desmond Howard picked Iowa to win, but Herbstreit and Corso picked the Spartans.

The rest of the day was another huge party. There was the B1G fan fest, the Hawkeye Huddle and a Michigan State variant, and the lines extended out onto the streets of downtown to get into the restaurants and bars. Rumor has it that Buffalo Wild Wings was out of beer by only 3:30! There was even a shrimp cocktail eating contest that was absolutely disgusting. I’ve never been anywhere like downtown Indianapolis on a day like that, and it was a great experience.

The streets had cleared and the stadium was starting to get full around 30 minutes to game time. The turnout in the stadium was probably around 60-65% Iowa fans. MSU was outnumbered, but not by a whole lot. Both teams were very loud even before the game, and the two different teams’ cheers turned into a loud mess of noise.

The game started, and Iowa’s early turnover looked abysmal. Iowa’s defense kept the Spartans to a field goal, so that kept optimism in me. Iowa had a short drive, and Michigan State got the ball back. Luckily for Iowa, the ball was intercepted and Iowa took the ball down the field to tie the game 3-3. The rest of the first half was a game of defense. Iowa kicked 3 more points, and Michigan State’s kicker missed two 50+ yard field goals. Iowa went in to the locker room with a 6-3 lead over the Spartans.

After the half, the Spartans came out and scored two field goals to take the lead 9-6. Iowa couldn’t get anything done on offense, but an 85 yard touchdown pass put Iowa in the driver’s seat. A couple more drives happened, and then Michigan State got the ball with 9 and a half minutes left in the game.

What followed was one of the most amazing drives in all of college football. Michigan State went 82 yards in 22 plays taking just over 9 minutes. It was crazy. There were 3 reviewed plays. LJ Scott ran the ball 13 times, and on the 13th he stuck out his arm just enough. The ball crossed the plane. I thought that play was over. I was happy. There was going to be one play left and whatever happened would decide the game, but on a last effort, Michigan State had scored a touchdown.

Defeated? Yes. Heartbroken? Yes. Devastated? Yes. Disappointed? At the time, yes. Obviously this was sad. Losing sucks; Especially after winning the last 12, but what’s done is done. Iowa played a great season and lost a great game to a great team. I’ll talk more about Iowa’s future later, but let’s just celebrate Iowa’s amazing season. What a ride it has been. It’s still great to be a Hawkeye!

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