To stay undefeated, Iowa needed every last second and one perfect throw from Ricky Stanzi.
Stanzi connected with Marvin McNutt for a 7-yard touchdown pass as time expired and No. 7 Iowa escaped with a 15-13 victory against Michigan State at East Lansing, Mich.
The Hawkeyes are 8-0 for the first time in school history and have sole possession of first place in the Big Ten at 4-0. Comebacks and close games have been their forte.
“It speaks to our players, the character that they have,” Iowa coach Kirk Ferentz said. “They realized they still had time.”
Iowa, sixth in the BCS standings, has won 12 straight dating to last season, the second-longest streak in the nation.
Michigan State (4-4, 3-2) grabbed a 13-9 lead with 1:37 remaining when Kirk Cousins hit Blair White on a 30-yard touchdown. But the Hawkeyes stormed back with a sharp, game-winning drive.
Stanzi hit Derrell Johnson-Koulianos with a 16-yard pass to move Iowa to the Michigan State 15. A defensive holding penalty wiped out an apparent interception – upsetting a loud Michigan State crowd – and moved the ball to the Spartans 7.
Stanzi threw three incomplete passes in the end zone, but on fourth down with 2 seconds on the clock, he hit McNutt on a slant pattern in front of Michigan State defensive back Chris L. Rucker.
(3) Texas 41, Missouri 7: At Columbia, Mo., Colt McCoy completed his first 11 passes and produced touchdowns on the Longhorns’ (7-0, 4-0 Big 12) first three drives en route to a win over the Tigers (4-3, 0-3).
McCoy matched his season best with three touchdown passes, two of them to Jordan Shipley, while Texas’ defense blocked a punt for a score in a nearly flawless first half that produced a 35-7 lead.
(5) Cincinnati 41, Louisville 10: At Cincinnati, sophomore Zach Collaros – replacing injured Tony Pike – threw only two incompletions while passing for 253 yards and three touchdowns in the Bearcats’ (7-0, 3-0 Big East) win over the lowly Cardinals (2-5, 0-3).
Clemson 40, (8) Miami 37 (OT): At Miami, Kyle Parker threw a 26-yard touchdown pass to Jacoby Ford in overtime to lift the Tigers (4-3, 3-2 ACC) to an upset of the Hurricanes (5-2, 2-2).
(9) LSU 31, Auburn 10: At Baton Rouge, La., Jordan Jefferson followed the worst game of his young career with his best in LSU’s (6-1, 4-1 SEC) victory over Auburn (5-3, 2-3).
Jefferson threw for a career-high 242 yards, including two touchdown passes, and scrambled for another score.
LSU’s defense was impressive as well, causing two turnovers and sacking Auburn’s Chris Todd four times.
(10) TCU 38, (16) BYU 7: At Provo, Utah, Andy Dalton passed for 241 yards and three touchdowns and the Horned Frogs (7-0, 3-0 Mountain West) remained unbeaten with a win over the Cougars (6-2, 3-1).
(11) Georgia Tech 24, Virginia 9: At Charlottesville, Va., the Yellow Jackets (7-1, 5-1 ACC) beat the last team with an unbeaten record in ACC play, rushing for 362 yards and taking charge of the Coastal Division with a win over the Cavaliers (3-4, 2-1).
(13) Penn St. 35, Michigan 10: At Ann Arbor, Mich., Daryll Clark threw three of his four touchdown passes to Graham Zug, helping the Nittany Lions (7-1, 3-1 Big Ten) to their first win over the Wolverines (5-3, 1-3) at the Big House since 1996.
(14) Oklahoma State 34, Baylor 7: At Waco, Texas, Zac Robinson beat his coach’s school record by completing 23 of 27 passes and threw for 250 yards and three touchdowns to give the Cowboys (6-1, 3-0 Big 12) a win over the Bears (3-4, 0-3).
(17) Houston 38, SMU 15: At Houston, Charles Sims ran for 105 yards and two touchdowns and the Cougars (6-1, 2-1 Conference USA) took advantage of the turnover-prone Mustangs (3-4, 2-1).
(18) Ohio St. 38, Minnesota 7: At Columbus, Ohio, Terrelle Pryor threw two touchdown passes and ran for another score as the Buckeyes (6-2, 4-1 Big Ten) routed Minnesota (4-4, 2-3).
(19) Utah 23, Air Force 16 (OT): At Salt Lake City, Stevenson Sylvester stuffed Connor Dietz on a fourth-down quarterback keeper in overtime to lift the Utes (7-1, 4-0 Mountain West) over the Falcons (4-5, 3-3).
(20) Pittsburgh 41, South Florida 14: At Pittsburgh, Bill Stull threw for two touchdowns, Dion Lewis ran for two more as the Panthers (7-1, 4-0 Big East) scored on all five possessions in the first half to extend their best start to a season in 27 years with a win over the mistake-prone Bulls (5-2, 1-2).
Texas A&M 52, (21) Texas Tech 30: At Lubbock, Texas, Cyrus Gray scored four touchdowns to help the Aggies (4-3, 1-2 Big 12) snap a three-game losing streak and beat the Red Raiders (5-3, 2-2).
(22) West Virginia 28, Connecticut 24: At Morgantown, W. Va., Connecticut nearly pulled out a win for Jasper Howard.
Noel Devine’s 56-yard touchdown run in the closing minutes lifted the Mountaineers (6-1, 2-0 Big East) over the Huskies (4-3, 1-2) in the Huskies’ first game since the starting cornerback was fatally stabbed outside a university-sponsored dance a week ago.
(23) South Carolina 14, Vanderbilt 10: At Columbia, S.C., Stephen Garcia threw two touchdown passes, including a 43-yarder to Alshon Jeffery, and the Gamecocks (6-2, 3-2 SEC) ended the Commodores’ (2-6, 0-5) two-game series win streak.
(25) Oklahoma 35, (24) Kansas 13: At Lawrence, Kan., Chris Brown scored three touchdowns, and the Sooners (4-3, 2-1 Big 12) throttled Todd Reesing and the nation’s second-leading offense in a win over the Jayhawks (5-2, 1-2).