Spartans Take Down Hawkeyes 16-13, Win Big Ten

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Spartans Take Down Hawkeyes 16-13, Win Big Ten

Photo: Matt Mika/Impact

Photo: Matt Mika/Impact

Photo: Matt Mika/Impact

Photo: Matt Mika/Impact

Tony Garcia

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INDIANAPOLIS, IND — LJ Scott found the inches.

The first 45 minutes of the Big Ten Championship game was an old-fashioned Big Ten slugfest and saw MSU hold a 9-6 lead with just one quarter remaining.

But to open the quarter, Iowa hit the biggest play of the game — by a long shot — as Beathard connected to Tevaun Smith for an 85-yard touchdown giving Iowa the 13-9 lead.

The Spartans and Hawkeyes traded scoreless possessions one more time before MSU got the ball on its own 18 with 9:31 remaining.

MSU leaned on true freshman running back LJ Scott as he and Connor Cook led MSU on a 22-play 82-yard drive — its longest of the season — to give the Spartans the 16-13 lead with less than 30 seconds remaining.

It was a battle of field goals for the first three quarters though, as Michael Geiger — the hero against Ohio State — connected on three of five attempts with both of his misses coming from 52-yards out.

Shilique Calhoun led the defensive effort with six tackles, three for a loss and two sacks. MSU held Iowa to its second lowest point total of the season.

“We’re not done yet,” said Darian Hicks, the cornerback who was beat deep on the opening play of the fourth quarter. “It was just one play, I got over it, you can’t just think about it.”

He isn’t thinking about a deep pass play anymore, as the Spartans will now find themselves in the college football playoff when the rankings are released Sunday Dec. 6.

Relive the game from our live blog.