The Michigan State Spartans held of a furious comeback effort to hang on for a road win against Notre Dame by the final score of 36-28.
The Fighting Irish entered the contest as a touchdown favorite, but succumbed to a mostly strong MSU defense and an efficient offense led by quarterback Tyler O’Connor.
Notre Dame took an early lead on a touchdown rush by QB DeShone Kizer at 4:24 of the first quarter. It would be a long time before they scored again.
O’Connor struggled a bit early and threw an interception to Devin Studstill off of a tipped pass. But the momentum shifted after a Michigan State punt hit a Notre Dame player’s leg and was recovered by the Spartans.
That led to this.
Donnie Corley is the man.
Then there was a two-point conversion, and a Notre Dame fumble, and a 10-yard rushing touchdown from RJ Shelton that left it 15-7 at the half. Things were looking up for the Spartans.
If the second quarter looked good for Michigan State, the third quarter was on another level. Gerald Holmes rushed for two scores and LJ Scott added one of his own to make it 36-7 and it looked like the rout was on.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t.
The Irish stormed back into the contest late with Kizer throwing a touchdown pass to Equanimeous St. Brown, running one in himself and throwing another to Durham Smythe.
In the end, the Spartans defense held on (oh man what a sack from Raequan Williams) and the offense was able to run out the clock.
The comeback died and Mark Dantonio added yet another signature win to his resume.
Michigan State: 11-6 straight up and 13-3-1 against the spread in their last 17 games as an underdog, per @OddsShark— SB✯Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) September 18, 2016
You can add another one to the win column after tonight.
MSU had possession for 37:57 and more than 500 total yards, with 260 on the ground and 241 in the air. O’Connor was an impressive 19 of 26 passing for 241 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.
The grind continues next week with a home game against Wisconsin. Michigan State won’t get another week off the rest of the season, and while Wisconsin struggled against lowly Georgia State today they’re still 3-0 and ranked in the top 10. We’ll see you at Spartan Stadium.