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Michigan State hands Iowa its first loss, wins Big Ten championship

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio holds the trophy

Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio holds the trophy after Michigan State defeated Iowa 16-13 in the Big Ten championship NCAA college football game Saturday, Dec. 5, 2015, in Indianapolis. Photo Credit: AP / Michael Conroy

INDIANAPOLIS — L.J. Scott kept lunging forward, stretching the ball over the goal line for a touchdown with 27 seconds and No. 5 Michigan State all but locked up a spot in the College Football Playoff, edging No. 4 Iowa 16-13 Saturday in the Big Ten championship game.

Connor Cook led the Spartans (12-1) on a 22-play drive that set up Scott’s 1-yard run. A half-dozen Iowa defenders tried to stop Scott, but he wouldn’t be denied.

Iowa (12-1) lost for the first time this season — and just barely.

Five times in the final 2 minutes, the Spartans snapped the ball from the Iowa 5-yard line or closer. Finally, after getting bottled up by three defenders on third-and-goal from 1, Scott broke free just long enough to get the ball across the goal line for Michigan State’s only TD.

The 82-yard march wiped out Iowa’s 13-9 lead, which it got on an 85-yard pass from C.J. Beathard to Tevaun Smith.

New York Sports