IOWA CITY, Iowa — Chuck Long usually beats teams with his arm, but he used two other weapons Saturday against Michigan State.
Long, after passing for four touchdowns, faked out the Spartan defense and ran two yards for a score with 27 seconds left as No. 1 Iowa avoided an upset, 35-31.
"It might have been the greatest fake of all time in college football," Coach Iowa Hayden Fry said of Long's winning play. "I asked Chuck if he thought he was fast enough to run the ball in, but I nearly had a heart attack when he started holding the ball up at the five-yard line."
On the winning run, Long faked to tailback Ronnie Harmon, who leaped into the waiting hands of the Spartan defenders while Long ran untouched around end.
It was a sweet ending for Long, who was stopped inches short of a two-point conversion in the closing seconds of a 17-16 loss to the Spartans last season.
"The difference was Chuck Long," Michigan State Coach George Perles said. "We knew that coming in. . . . You're going to see him play for many years on Sundays after this year."
Long completed a school-record 30 of 39 passes for 380 yards. He had touchdown pass plays of 60 and 3 yards to Robert Smith and 17 and 12 yards to Mike Flagg to run his season total to 14.
Iowa (4-0), ranked No. 1 for the first time in 24 years, jumped to a 13-0 lead in the second quarter, then had to come from behind twice to win the Big Ten opener for both teams.
Michigan State (2-2) ran off 24 straight points to grab a 24-13 lead midway through the third quarter.
The Spartans had the ball for 12 more minutes than the Hawkeyes and had 580 yards in total offense compared to Iowa's 488. Michigan State tailback Lorenzo White ran for 226 yards and two touchdowns.
Michigan State freshman quarterback Bobby McAllister started the game because starter Dave Yarema didn't make the trip to Iowa because of a thumb injury. McAllister completed 18 of 27 passes for 275 yards and 1 touchdown.
"Some of our kids just played their hearts out," Perles said. "McAllister had success today, and it takes the burden off the running back, whether it's Lorenzo White or Craig Johnson."
Harmon rushed 20 times for 84 yards and caught 4 passes for 50 yards.
Michigan State took the lead in the third quarter after White ran 23 yards for a touchdown to make it 17-13. He added to that a one-yard run to increase the Spartans' lead to 24-13 before Long got hot and led Iowa to a 28-24 lead in the fourth quarter.
Michigan State retaliated with an 89-yard drive for a 31-28 lead with less than five minutes left.