Michigan State-Iowa: Defense, defense, defense!

Both offenses face their biggest test to date Saturday

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It's only Monday, but since the nickname for Saturday's Michigan State-Iowa game might as well be The Big Grunt, let's look at some statistics about the two teams.

Yes, MSU is first and Iowa seventh nationally in total defense. But that stat is easy to find. How about these:

1. MSU is first in the nation in fewest plays allowed of 10 yards-plus per game, with 7.0. Iowa is sixth at 8.6. The top six teams in this category have a combined record of 22-3.

2. MSU is third in preventing third-down conversions, allowing first-downs on just 13 of 62 third-downs for 20.97 percent. Iowa is seventh (18-of-71, 25.35 percent).

3. Iowa is fourth in time of possession, with 35:50.60 per game. MSU is 17th, with 33:25.00.

4. Iowa is tied for 16th in interceptions with 1.6 per game.

5. MSU is first in fewest yards allowed per rush-attempt, with 2.04. Iowa is 12th, with 2.91.

6. MSU is third in first-downs allowed, with 12.0 per game. Iowa is fifth, with 13.2.

7. Iowa is 12th in fewest punt-return yards allowed per attempt, with 2.5. MSU is 26th, with 3.86.


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