Blog: MSU hangs on for 36-28 win over ND

Al Willman
The Detroit News
Michigan State’s Monty Maderis, right, runs for a first down in the second quarter against Notre Dame on Saturday night in South Bend, Indiana. The Spartans have a 15-7 lead at halftime.

Despite a frantic fourth quarter comeback attempt from Notre Dame, Michigan State held on for a 36-28 win over the Irish in South Bend.

Michigan State's defense allowed 21 straight points after going ahead 36-7 in the third quarter.

Tyler O'Connor finished 19-of-26 for 241 yards, two touchdowns and an interception for the Spartans (2-0).

Donnie Corley (Detroit King) had four catches for 88 yards, including his first collegiate touchdown in the second quarter. R.J. Shelton caught eight passes for 80 yards and a touchdown.

Gerald Holmes had 13 carries for 100 yards and two touchdowns, while L.J. Scott rushed 22 times for 98 yards and a score.

For Notre Dame (1-1), DaShone Kizer was 20-of-37 for 344 yards, two touchdowns and an interception. He also had nine carries for 14 yards and two touchdowns.

Equanimeous St. Brown had four catches for 83 yards and a touchdown.

Torii Hunter, Jr. -- the son of former Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter, Sr. -- had five catches for 95 yards.

The Spartans host the Wisconsin Badgers next Saturday.

MSU defense catches break

The Michigan State defense might have woken up a little bit.

It forced a three-and-out after Raequan Williams sacked DaShone Kizer for a five-yard loss. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, with the clock winding down, took a timeout before Tyler Newsome's 54-yard punt was fielded by R.J. Shelton, who called for a fair catch at the Michigan State 14-yard line.

The Spartans lead 36-28 late in the fourth quarter.

With lead dwindling, MSU punts

Michigan State, with its lead quickly dwindling, did something it could ill-afford to do, despite leading the game.

In what seems to be an attempt to run out the clock, the Spartans went three-and-out, including running a play with backup quarterback Damion Terry -- who seems to be relegated to only running plays. The Irish will take over at their own 29-yard line, trailing 36-28 in the fourth quarter.

Notre Dame takes advantage of minimal rush

Michigan State's pass rush, which is putting almost zero pressure on Notre Dame quarterback DaShone Kizer, and its zone defense in the secondary made Notre Dame's eight play, 69-yard drive rather easy. Kizer connected with Durham Smythe on a 12-yard pass turning Michigan State's that has trickled into a single-digit margin, to 36-28.

MSU offense stalls again in 4th

Michigan State was forced to punt again in the fourth quarter, after taking six plays to gain a total of 10 yards. Jake Hartbarger's 38-yard punt went out of bounds at the Notre Dame 31-yard line, where MSU's defense will need about half a quarter to hold its 36-21 lead over the Irish.

Notre Dame picks apart MSU secondary before TD

Notre Dame made the game a little more manageable early in the fourth quarter.

DaShone Kizer punched in a 2-yard touchdown run, making it a two-possession game. Two big passes, a 33-yard strike to Chase Claypool and a 34-yard throw to C.J. Sanders picked apart the MSU secondary and put the Irish in the red zone. Six plays after the big pass to Sanders, Kizer's keeper and ensuing extra point made MSU's lead a little smaller, 36-21.

MSU drive stalls, Spartans lead 36-14

Michigan State picked up a first down on its first drive after the Notre Dame touchdown, however, the Spartans stalled still inside their own territory. Jake Hartbarger's 36-yard punt rolled out of bounds at the Notre Dame 20-yard line, where the Irish will start, down 36-14 early in the fourth quarter.

Notre Dame chips away at MSU lead in 3Q

Notre Dame orchestrated a quick drive of its own, ending with a 15-yard touchdown pass from DaShone Kizer to Equanimeous St. Brown. Kizer found Torii Hunter, Jr. on a 47-yard pass, taking the Irish into the red zone at the Spartans' 18-yard line. Late in the third quarter, Michigan State still has the lead, 36-14.

Holmes gets 2nd TD on 73-yard run

Michigan State running back Gerald Holmes got his first touchdown of the season earlier in the third quarter, on a 3-yard run. His second was a bit more impressive.

On the second play following the Notre Dame three-and-out, Holmes took the handoff from Tyler O'Connor 73-yards for his second touchdown of the quarter, and the season. Michigan State's lead has ballooned to 36-7 late in the third quarter.

Holmes has eight carries for 97 yards and two scores.

Irish respond with another three-and-out

Notre Dame's offense could not get moving after the Michigan State touchdown. The Irish went three-and-out, and after a 48-yard punt from Tyler Newsome, the Spartans will start at their own 22-yard line with a 29-7 lead.

MSU takes advantage of INT, scores quick TD

Three plays after an interception at the Notre Dame 39-yard line, Michigan State running back L.J. Scott scored on a 9-yard run, further padding the lead for the Spartans. He had three carries for 39 yards on the drive, including a 23-yard run to the Notre Dame 9. The Spartans lead 29-7 in the third quarter.

MSU's Reschke picks off Kizer

Michigan State linebacker Jon Reschke (Birmingham Brother Rice) intercepted Notre Dame quarterback DaShone Kizer at the Notre Dame 39-yard line, giving the Spartans back the ball with a 15-point lead midway through the third quarter.

Holmes punches in 3-yard TD

Michigan State running back Gerald Holmes punched in a 3-yard touchdown run, further increasing the lead for the Spartans. The play capped a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive that saw the Spartans pick up five first downs, including a 14-yard pass from Tyler O'Connor to R.J. Shelton that picked up 14 yards and set up the first-and-goal. The Spartans lead 22-7 midway through the third quarter.

Notre Dame misses opportunities, punts

After converting a first down on a 12-yard pass from DaShone Kizer to Josh Adams, Notre Dame's offense stalled, forcing a punt in their own territory. Kizer, on the final two plays of the drive, missed open receivers and failed to take advantage of a minimal Michigan State pass rush. Early in the third quarter, the Spartans maintain a 15-7 lead.

MSU punts on first drive of second half

Michigan State went three-and-out on its first drive of the second half. Tyler O'Connor was 1-of-3 for zero yards on the drive. The Irish take over, down 15-7 early in the third quarter.

Halftime: MSU 15, Notre Dame 7

Michigan State leads Notre Dame 15-7 at the half.

Tyler O'Connor is 12-of-16 for 161 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Donnie Corley has three catches for 60 yards and his first collegiate touchdown, while L.J. Scott has 10 carries for 30 yards.

For Notre Dame, DaShone Kizer is 8-of-12 for 128 yards. He also has five carries for 15 yards and a touchdown.

After going down 7-0 late in the first quarter, Corley pulled in a 38-yard pass from O'Connor. The Spartans converted the two-point attempt, taking an 8-7 lead. The Spartans added to their lead on a 10-yard catch from R.J. Shelton.

MSU marches 92 yards, adds to lead

A 10-yard catch from R.J. Shelton capped a 92-yard scoring drive in the closing minutes of the first half, adding to Michigan State's lead. After starting at their own 8-yard line, the Spartans needed 11 plays to find the end zone. Donnie Corley had a pair of 11-yard catches, while Josiah Price's 23-yard grab started the trek downfield.

Michigan State is ahead 15-7 with less than a minute to go until halftime.

Big punt pins Spartans

After starting the drive at its own 1-yard line, Notre Dame was able to pin Michigan State deep in its own territory. The Irish picked up a first down on a 10-yard pass from DaShone Kizer to Torii Hunter, Jr., but the drive stalled. Tyler Newsome booted a 70-yard punt, a career-high, which was downed at the Spartans 8. Michigan State maintains an 8-7 lead late in the first half.

Irish to start drive at their own 1

Michigan State, after recovering a fumble from Notre Dame receiver C.J. Sanders, went three-and-out inside Notre Dame territory. Jake Hartbarger's punt was downed at the Notre Dame 1-yard line, where the Irish will start down 8-7.

MSU recovers ND fumble

On Notre Dame's first drive after the Michigan State touchdown, DaShone Kizer found C.J. Sanders for a 19-yard completion. But Sanders fumbled, and Michigan State recovered at the Notre Dame 44. The Spartans take over, leading 8-7.

King star Corley has first collegiate TD

Donnie Corley, who was a star at Detroit King, caught his first collegiate touchdown -- a 38-yard strike from Tyler O'Connor. It was the second play of a new drive for Michigan State. After going three-and-out, the punt from Jake Hartbarger went off the foot of Miles Boykin, and was recovered by the Spartans.

The Spartans, after completing the two-point conversion, lead 8-7 in the second quarter.

Notre Dame responds with three-and-out

Notre Dame responded to its interception by going three-and-out on the ensuing drive. A 57-yard punt from Tyler Newsome went out of bounds at the Michigan State 12-yard line. The Spartans start the drive trailing 7-0 to the Irish in the second quarter.

MSU drive ends on O'Connor INT

Michigan State was moving the ball well on its second drive. Tyler O'Connor completed passes of 17 yards -- to L.J. Scott -- and 32 yards -- to Monty Madaris, and at the end of the first quarter, the Spartans were well inside Irish territory. However, on third-and-13, O'Connor was intercepted by Devin Studstill, who returned the pick 30 yards to the Notre Dame 33-yard line. The Irish take over, up 7-0.

Notre Dame takes 7-0 lead late in 1Q

Notre Dame broke the scoreless tie late in the first quarter.

After converting a third down, DaShone Kizer found Equanimeous St. Brown for a gain of 48 yards to the MSU 28-yard line. Two plays later, Demetrius Cooper was flagged for a 15 yard facemask, putting Notre Dame in the red zone. Notre Dame appeared to have a touchdown, but an illegal block in the back penalty backed the Irish up to the Michigan State 13. On the next play, Kizer took the keeper 13 yards for a touchdown. After the extra point, the Irish are up 7-0 on the Spartans.

MSU gets in Notre Dame territory, stalls

Michigan State mixed in the no-huddle effectively on its first drive, picking up an early first down. The Spartans also converted a fourth-and-1 on a 2-yard run from quarterback Tyler O’Connor. Michigan State was able to get inside Notre Dame territory, but its drive stalled at the 39-yard line. The 30-yard punt from Jake Hartbarger was downed inside the Notre Dame 10. The game remains scoreless early in the first quarter.

Michigan State’s offensive line did well keeping O’Connor upright on pass plays, and created holes for the MSU run game early, as well.

Irish drive stalls after flag negates TD

Notre Dame came close to starting with a quick 7-0 lead.

C.J. Sanders appeared to take the opening kick 100 yards for a touchdown, but a holding call on Notre Dame backed the Irish up to their own 10-yard line. DeShone Kizer found Torii Hunter, Jr. (son of former Tigers outfielder Torii Hunter, Sr.) for a gain of 18 on the first play from scrimmage. Josh Adams had runs of seven and five yards, respectively to give the Irish another first down to its own 41, but Notre Dame’s drive stalled, as it was unable to pick up another first down from there. Michigan State will start at its own 24 in a scoreless game.

How to watch: Michigan State at Notre Dame

It's nearly time for No. 12 Michigan State's kickoff against No. 18 Notre Dame.

This week, Lynn Henning recalled a matchup between the two teams, 50 years ago. Mike Tirico, who will have the call on NBC's broadcast, says the rivalry is what "Midwestern football is all about."

Detroit News staff picks

Stay tuned, a good game is sure to be in store.



Local radio: WJR 760 AM