Rapid Reaction: Tyler Goodson, Hawkeyes pummel Michigan State for first win of 2020
Final Score: Michigan State 7, Iowa 49
Brief Recap: Wow, what a difference a week makes. Iowa was able to avoid another letdown after racing out to a hot start against Michigan State. This time, the Hawkeyes never let up, using three first-half turnovers and a punt return touchdown to build a 35-0 lead it would not relinquish. For Mel Tucker’s Spartans, the hangover-effect was in full display following the emotional and hard-fought win over Michigan. It all culminated in a massive victory for Iowa and near career day for running back Tyler Goodson.
Key Player: Tyler Goodson was the driving force for Iowa’s big game, surpassing the 100-yard mark in the victory. It was Goodson’s second career game with 100 yards, falling just short of the career-high 116 he had as a freshman against Nebraska. On Saturday, Goodson carried the ball 14 times for 113 yards and two touchdowns to stake the Hawkeyes to an early lead and keep the chains moving in the second half.
Key Moment: This game was over at halftime with Iowa holding a 35-0 lead at the break. However, if there could be a key moment, it came with under four minutes to go before the half. After falling behind 21-0, the Spartans had a shot at a field goal, but Matt Coghlin pulled that try wide. Michigan State forced a quick punt on the ensuing drive, but that is when disaster struck. In the span of a minute and a half, Iowa scored on a punt return and on a pick-six thrown by Rocky Lombardi. Any shot of making the score competitive evaporated with that run by the Hawkeyes.
Key Stat: 3, first-half interceptions thrown by Lombardi with the Spartans. Lombardi now has five interceptions in Michigan State’s two losses on the year. He did not turn the ball over at all in the win over Michigan. Iowa scored 14 points off those interceptions, including the aforementioned pick-six.
What it means for Michigan State: Not much, in all honesty. 2020 has been a weird year, and that is especially true for a coach like Mel Tucker making the transition to a new school. Yes, it would be great for the Spartans to be competitive, but it’s not hard to see how the pandemic has impacted a team like Michigan State. Tucker scored the big win over Michigan in Week 2. Anything else moving forward is gravy for this season.
What it means for Iowa: An 0-2 start was bad enough for the Hawkeyes, but falling to 0-3 would be nothing short of an epic disaster for Kirk Ferentz this season. Moving to 1-2 is not much better, but it remains to be seen what will happen in the B1G West. With Wisconsin’s season hanging in the balance, the division leaders are currently undefeated Northwestern and Purdue. The Hawkeyes are undeniably behind the 8-ball to start the year, but one has to believe that anything can happen as long as Iowa keeps racking up wins moving forward.