EAST LANSING, Mich. (AP) — Andrew Maxwell completed a nice pass to put Michigan State in field-goal range, then headed toward the sideline while confusion reigned around him.
The Spartans needed only to spike the ball to stop the clock before they could bring their field-goal unit out, but when they lined up, their quarterback was nowhere to be found. So running back Le'Veon Bell went to the line of scrimmage as if to take the snap himself. Then Maxwell finally ran back over from the sideline.
Then the clock ran out. No points.
"I think it was miscommunication. I was running down and saw the field-goal team running on, so I thought we were going to sneak in a quick field goal," Maxwell said. "So I ran off, and we had half the offense and half the field-goal team."
That snafu at the end of the first half was one of several breakdowns and missed opportunities that led to Michigan State's 19-16, double-overtime loss to Iowa on Saturday. The Spartans allowed a tying touchdown in the final minute of regulation.
"When you go from an opportunity to win at the end of the game to losing it in a split-second, it's tough to deal with," coach Mark Dantonio said. "It's tough for our players to deal with and our coaches and, I'm sure, a lot of people."
Mark Weisman ran for 116 yards and scored the tying touchdown, and Mike Meyer kicked field goals in both overtimes, including a 42-yarder in the second that gave the Hawkeyes (4-2, 2-0 Big Ten) their first lead of the game.
Michigan State still could have won it with a touchdown, but Maxwell's pass appeared to be tipped at the line of scrimmage, then deflected off the hands of wide receiver Keith Mumphery. The ball was intercepted by Greg Castillo to end the game.
It was the first interception for Maxwell since he threw three in the season opener against Boise State.