Spartans eager to shed the slow start

Associated Press Modified: October 9, 2012 at 3:17 pm •  Published: October 9, 2012
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Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz isn't so much concerned about Michigan State's slow starts as he was its fast finish last weekend in Bloomington.

"This is a very talented football team right now, coming off, I think, a very impressive win," Ferentz said. "Falling behind and then coming back the way they did in that second half, really dominating the second half. To me, if you look at that half in itself, it gives you an indication of the kind of football team they have, the talent and potential they have."

Two years ago, the Spartans trailed 30-0 in Iowa City and lost 37-6, their only regular-season loss en route to a share of the Big Ten title.

Last season's matchup was the exact opposite. Michigan State grabbed a 31-7 halftime advantage in a 37-21 win.

Ferentz said he believes the Spartans showed their full potential in their last 30 minutes of football against Indiana.

"I think it says a lot about their team because typically, in the course of the season and with your best teams, you're going to go through games like that," Ferentz said. "They showed in the second half, I think, the kind of football team they have because they thoroughly outplayed -- just like they got outplayed in the first half, they flipped it around in the second half and did what they needed to do to be successful."

The Spartans will have to play without standout tight end Dion Sims this week. Paul Lang or Andrew Gleichert will take over there while Sims' sprained ankle heals. R.J. Williamson or Kurtis Drummond will be the starting free safety, with Jairus Jones moving to the backup strong safety role.