It wasn’t a pretty first half in East Lansing, Mich., but after 30 minutes of play, Michigan State leads Iowa 10-3 in a crucial game in the Big Ten Leaders Division standings.
After a Le’Veon Bell touchdown made it 7-0 in the first quarter, the only scores in the second came off the feet of each team’s kickers.
Michigan State put up the first points of the quarter on a 24-yard Dan Conroy kick, one that was set up by a 38-yard pass from quarterback Andrew Maxwell to Aaron Burbridge earlier in the drive. It was the longest play from scrimmage all afternoon for either team.
Iowa responded with a field goal of their own later in the quarter, after an 10-play, 42-yard drive.
Actually, the two biggest plays of the quarter were ones that didn't technically happen.
Following the Conroy kick, which gave the Spartans a 10-0 lead, Iowa return man Jordan Cotton fielded the ensuing kickoff and took it in for a touchdown. Unfortunately a block in the back negated the score, and even though Iowa started with the ball inside Michigan State territory, they were only able to muster those three points.
And for Michigan State, the Spartans too had a scoring opportunity right before the end of the half. But in field goal range, the Spartans were unable to spike the ball in time for a scoring chance, right as time expired.