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Iowa Hawkeyes vs. Michigan State Spartans

Two of the more successful teams in the Big Ten, Iowa and Michigan State have combined for plenty of great games throughout the course of their rivalry. Having met 47 times since their first meeting in 1953, they are separated by just one win, with Iowa winning 23 times against the Spartans, and Michigan State winning 22 times against the Hawkeyes, with two ties between them. The series has seen coaching royalty such as Nick Saban take part, in addition to a wealth of great players.

On Michigan State's side, great running backs like LJ Scott and LeVeon Bell have been the engines that have kept Michigan State going against Iowa in this rivalry, with some memorable runs serving as some of the best moments for the Spartans during these games. Iowa, meanwhile, has boasted defensive greats like Paul Krause, who went on to become the all-time interceptions leader in the history of the NFL.

Historic Iowa vs. Michigan State Games

Iowa and Michigan State played for a place in the 2015 College Football Playoff when they squared off in the 2015 Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis. Both teams came into the game with strong defenses as their focal points, something that was proven during the game, where points were at a premium. Kirk Ferentz and Mark Dantonio needed to dig deep to solve the opposing defense, with the Spartans staging a late drive to put themselves ahead 16-13 to claim the conference title.

That final drive by Michigan State was a sight to behold, as they continuously leaned on running back LJ Scott to deliver them to the Playoff by handing him the ball repeatedly throughout the drive. Appropriately, Scott capped off the drive, which the Spartans started needing a touchdown to win the game, with a one yard touchdown run where he had to extend the ball past the goal line despite having his body stopped short.

In 1999, the Nick Saban led Spartans put a hurting on the Hawkeyes in the form of a 49-3 win. At the time, Saban was still a rising star in the college football world, with a convincing win like this a sign of things to come for the coach who would go on to create a dynasty at Alabama.

For more information on previous meetings between Iowa and Michigan State, click here.

When Does Iowa Play Michigan State?

Iowa and Michigan State play a game in most college football regular seasons, but they are not guaranteed to play every year due to the number of teams in the Big Ten and the fact that they do not play in the same division within the conference. Michigan State plays their home games at Spartan Stadium in East Lansing, while Iowa plays its home contests at Kinnick Stadium in Iowa City, a place where top teams in the Big Ten have had trouble winning in recent seasons.

For a list of upcoming meetings between Iowa and Michigan State, scroll up to take a look at our listings.

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