Just like that, Iowa sits with the same 4-2 record it did in 2012 after 6 games following a 26-14 loss to Michigan State on Saturday.
The Hawkeyes have quite a bit to lean on this season, way more than last. It may start with a first-year starting quarterback who's on a path to seemingly tremendous success. But Saturday's game was a rough tilt. Michigan State found some offense while validating its No. 1 total defense ranking. Here is this week's "BDTN."
23 - Total rush yards for Iowa on Saturday. The Spartans held strong throughout. What happened to a strong run game setting up the passing offense, even if Mark Weisman was hobbled by injury (only 7 carries for 9 yards)? While an early shotgun setup helped in the second quarter, it may have forced the Black and Gold to press a bit in the second half of the contest. Via a fake punt, Mike Sadler (25) ran for more yards than the entire Iowa roster.
22:47 - Iowa's time of possession total on Saturday. The Spartans had the ball for 37:13, so a full quarter more than the Hawkeyes. That's too big of a gap. Moreover, it is way below the average time of possession — 33:40 — thus far for Kirk Ferentz and Co.
18 - Combined receptions from Tevaun Smith (6), Damon Bullock (5), Matt VandeBerg (4), and C.J. Fiedorowicz (3). Perhaps this is one silver lining in the loss to the Spartans. In the absence of Kevonte Martin-Manley, this foursome was able to step up a bit, particularly Smith. The receiver corps this year has been suspect, leaving a lot of questions to be answered, but Saturday was a step forward. KMM left in the second quarter with a leg injury and did not return.
2009 - The last time Iowa stopped a fake punt? 2009. Against Arkansas State, the Hawkeyes were able to stymie a 4th-and-6 situation. Aside from Saturday's fake punt conversion, the two most deafening blows from fake punts occurred in 2010 and earlier this season against Northern Illinois. Iowa lost 31-30 to Wisconsin in part to the fake punt in ‘10 and fell 30-27 to NIU a few weeks ago.