Notre Dame capitalizes on turnovers and defeats Michigan State, 38-18.
Lewerke absorbs low hit
Notre Dame recovered the onside kick, went three-and-out, and punted.
On second down, Spartans quarterback Brian Lewerke took a low hit by from Notre Dame defensive lineman Adetokunbo Ogundeji (Walled Lake Central), who was flagged for a personal foul and hit below the knees. Lewerke limped briefly (on his knee which requires a brace), but stayed in the game.
Holmes finds the end zone
Spartans running back Gerald Holmes caught a screen pass and ran 25 yards for a touchdown, and freshman Cody White (Walled Lake Western) caught a 2-point conversion pass from Brian Lewerke.
Notre Dame leads 38-18 with 3:09 left.
Michigan State moved seven plays and 71 yards in 1:35.
Lewerke completed first down passes to Felton Davis (12 yards) and freshman Hunter Rison (23 yards).
Rison has three catches for 49 yards tonight.
Lewerke has completed 25-of-43 passes for 273 yards and two touchdowns. He also threw an interception for a touchdown and fumbled, leading to 14 Notre Dame points.
Irish add a field goal, lead 38-10
Justin Yoon booted a 46-yard field goal to increase the Notre Dame lead to 38-10 with 4:51 left in the fourth quarter.
The key play of the drive: Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush flashed his athleticism by reversing directions, and ran upfield for a 32-yard gain to convert on third-and-7. On the play, Spartans defensive back Matt Morrissey was flagged for a late hit on Wimbush along the sideline, which pushed the Irish ahead to the Spartans’ 27.
The drive started at the Notre Dame 6-yard line. Irish tight end Alize Mack caught a pass and ran 15 yards to move Notre Dame out of the shadow of its own goal posts and convert on third-and-8.
Spartans long drive ends without points
Nineteen plays. Eighty-one yards. No points.
That’s the latest Spartans drive and a microcosm of their night as Notre Dame leads 35-10 with 9:37 left in the fourth quarter.
On the drive, Spartans quarterback Brian Lewerke connected with tight end Matt Sokol on a third-and-6 for a 17-yard gain to the Irish 15.
From there, the Irish were flagged for offsides, and Spartans running back Madre London took consecutive handoffs to setup first-and-goal from the Notre Dame 4.
The Spartans went backward from there.
On second down, center Brian Allen delivered a high snap to Lewerke, which killed a play for a loss of 2 yards (we saw a high snap from Allen to Lewerke against Bowling Green, too).
On third-and-goal, Lewerke stared down his receiver and had his pass broken up by Irish linebacker Drue Tranquill (lucky it was not intercepted).
And on fourth down, Lewerke was hurried out of the pocked, and threw low and incomplete to Felton Davis. Turnover on downs.
Start of fourth quarter
Notre Dame leads 35-10 at the start of the fourth quarter.
On the Spartans' current drive, quarterback Brian Lewerke completed first down passes to receiver Felton Davis (17 yards) and Darrell Stewart Jr. (8 yards).
On third-and-4 at the MSU 49, Lewerke connected with Davis for another first down.
The drive began at the Spartans' 13.
Irish appear comfortably ahead
Notre Dame running back Deon McIntosh had a first-down carry (14 yards) and quarterback Brandon Wimbush completed a first-down pass to Miles Boykin (12 yards) to move the chains. But the Irish opted to run on third-and-10 near midfield, appearing comfortable with their 25-point lead, and they punted.
Michigan State punt returner Laress Nelson nearly muffed the punt, but quickly corralled the football, and the Spartans began their drive at their own 13-yard line.
Spartans have eight penalties
A pass interference penalty pushed Michigan State to midfield, but Spartans offensive lineman Cole Chewins was flagged for holding to stall a drive that ended in a punt.
Notre Dame’s defensive line disrupted Spartans quarterback Brian Lewerke, and the Irish secondary caused issues as well on a series that ended with back-to-back incompletions.
The Spartans have eight penalties for 77 yards.
Notre Dame leads 35-10 with 6:29 left in the third quarter.
Irish strike for score in 3:19
The Irish quick-strike offense needed 3:19 of clock to reach the end zone and increase their lead to 35-10 with 7:46 left in the third quarter.
And another Michigan State miscue aided the drive.
The crowd roared as Michigan State made a stop on third-and-1, only to see a yellow flag on the field: Spartans defensive tackle Gerald Owens was lined up offsides. First down, Notre Dame.
From there, Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush rushed 5 yards to convert on a third-and-2 at the MSU 40. On the next play, he threw a 27-yard strike to receiver Chase Claypool, who got his foot in bounds at the Spartans' 8-yard line.
Notre Dame quickly snapped the ball to avoid a review amid a chorus of boos from Spartans fans.
Two plays later, Deon McIntosh rushed for a 9-yard touchdown.
Owens penalty is a continuation of Spartans' mistakes. There have been holding penalties, personal fouls, two fumbles and an interception for a touchdown.
Also on the drive: Spartans linebacker Joe Bachie was injured and stayed on the turf for several moments.
Spartans settle for field goal
The Spartans first drive of the second half was productive, but it stalled on a sack and they had to settle for Matt Coghlin’s 40-yard field goal.
Notre Dame leads 28-10.
Here’s how the drive unfolded: Spartans quarterback Brian Lewerke completed first-down passes to tight end Matt Sokol (18 yards) and receiver Trishton Jackson (20 yards). That moved the chains to the Notre Dame 34-yard line.
From there, L.J. Scott rushed for a 10-yard gain. But after a holding penalty on offensive lineman Tyler Higby, the Spartans faced a third-and-6, and Lewerke was sacked by Julian Okwara and Jerry Tillery to stall the drive.
Tonight marks the first time Michigan State was trailing at the half by 21 points or more since the 2011 Capital One Bowl vs. Alabama.
Three Spartans turnovers have helped the Irish jump ahead 28-7 in the first half at Spartan Stadium.
Notre Dame jumped ahead 14-0 in the opening 4:27 of the game. Quarterback Brandon Wimbush rushed for a touchdown to cap a 7-play, 78-yard drive, and on the Spartans' first series, quarterback Brian Lewerke was intercepted Irish by cornerback Julian Love, who returned it 59 yards for a touchdown.
Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke connected with freshman Hunter Rison for a first-down catch across midfield for a 20-yard gain. But a pair of holding penalties to offensive lineman Brian Allen and receiver Darrell Stewart halted the Spartans drive.
On third-and-8, Spartans receiver Felton Davis ran behind Notre Dame defensive backs but Lewerke needed to make a pinpoint pass – and could not.
To make matters worse, Davis was hurt on the play.
Michigan State was forced to punt.
During the drive, Spartans receiver Trishton Jackson made a diving catch to move the chains on a third-and-9. On the next play, the Spartans tried some trickery: Lewerke through a lateral to Jackson, who threw back across the field to Lewerke, who rushed ahead for 5 yards. But Allen was flagged for holding.
Notre Dame takes advantage of Scott's fumble
Notre Dame continues to take advantage of Michigan State miscues. This time, a personal foul aided the Irish and Dexter Williams rushed 14 yards for a touchdown as Notre Dame leads 28-7 with 4:47 left in the half.
On the first play of the drive, Notre Dame running back Josh Adams rushed 30 yards to midfield, and to make matters worse, Michigan State was flagged for a personal foul to tack on 15 more yards.
The placed the Irish at the Michigan State 35-yard line.
From there, on third-and-10, Irish quarterback Brandon Wimbush lobbed a pass to tight end Durham Smythe, who caught it while falling for a 21-yard gain and first down.
One play later, Williams burst through the left side for the touchdown.
Scott fumbles again at goal line
L.J. Scott’s goal-line fumble woes have reared its ugly head again.
Spartan Stadium stood and roared as Scott burst through the middle and neared the goal line for a potential touchdown, but he was stripped of the football by Irish cornerback Shaun Crawford.
Notre Dame recovered in the end zone, which was the ruling on the field. The play was reviewed — and not overturned.
It’s the third turnover of the game for the Spartans. Quarterback Brian Lewerke threw an interception for a touchdown, and he also fumbled to setup another Irish TD.
And now this.
Scott fumbled twice in the Spartans’ season opener against Bowling Green — including a cough-up at the 1-yard line.
The turnover killed a productive drive for the Spartans. Lewerke rushed up the middle for an 8-yard gain to set up a third-and-2. And Lewerke connected with Darrell Stewart Jr. on a slant pattern for a first down to move the chains.
From there, Lewerke threw an incompletion to setup a third-and-10, and he threw a strike to Trishton Jackson for a 22-yard gain to the Notre Dame 19.
Two plays later, Scott took a handoff up the middle, muscled through a defender, and rumbled 14 yards to the goal line — but Crawford punched the ball loose.
Notre Dame takes advantage of short field aided by Spartans fumble
The Irish took advantage of a short field aided by a fumble recovery and jumped ahead 21-7 at Spartan Stadium.
There’s 9:32 left in the second quarter.
On third-and-goal at the 8-yard line, Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush rolled to his right and found running back Dexter Williams for a touchdown.
It took six plays for the Irish to convert. Their short field was set up when Spartans quarterback Brian Lewerke fumbled.
The key play on the Irish drive: They converted on a third-and-4 at the Spartans 19 as Wimbush connected with receiver Equanimeous St. Brown for a first down.
From there, after a false start, Williams took a handoff for a 9-yard again. The Irish nearly scored when St. Brown caught a pass as he snuck behind Spartans defensive back Matt Morrissey in the end zone — but Brown’s right foot was out of bounds.
One play later, on third-and-goal at the 8-yard line, Wimbush rolled to his right and found Williams for a touchdown.
Lewerke commits another turnover
Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke has committed his second turnover of the night.
On a third-and-6 at the Spartans’ 23, Lewerke stepped up in the pocked, rolled left, and then tried to avoid a defender — but he lost the football as it grazed the shoulder of Irish defender Greer Martini.
Notre Dame linebacker Daelin Hayes — a native of Belleville — recovered at the Spartans 24-yard line.
There’s 11:55 left in the second quarter. Notre Dame leads 14-7.
Irish cornerback Julian Love intercepted Lewerke and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown early in the first quarter.
Personal foul nearly hurts Spartans
A personal foul helped move the Irish into Spartans territory, but the Notre Dame drive ended in a punt.
Notre Dame leads Michigan State 14-7 with 12:50 left in the second quarter.
Spartans defensive end Kenny Willekes was flagged for a late hit. He chased Wimbush and tackled him at the waist after he released the ball. That placed the Irish at the Spartans 45-yard line.
Notre Dame, however, could not take advantage. A false start placed Notre Dame into a third-and-11 at the Spartans 46, and an incomplete pass ended the drive.
Michigan State punt returner Laress Nelson made a fair catch at the Spartans 19-yard line.
Lewerke sacked, drive stalls
The Spartans saw a drive end after five snaps.
The key play: Michigan State quarterback Brian Lewerke was sacked for a 10-yard loss by Notre Dame linebacker Drue Tranquill on first down.
After an incompletion on third down, Michigan State sophomore offensive guard Tyler Higby was flagged for a personal foul. The Spartans had to punt from their own end zone.
Notre Dame will begin its next drive at its own 30 (the Irish were flagged for an illegal block on the punt return).
Frey's sack ends Notre Dame drive
Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush completed a 12-yard pass to receiver Equanimeous St. Brown to move the chains. But on third-and-7 at the Michigan State 49, Wimbush was sacked by Spartans senior Chris Frey, who rushed around the right edge.
Lewerke connects with Stewart for 4-yard TD pass
The Spartans are back in business
Receiver Darrell Stewart Jr. caught a 4-yard TD pass from quarterback Brian Lewerke to cut the Notre Dame lead to 14-7 with 6:33 left in the first quarter.
The Spartans drove 75 yards in seven plays in 4:00. The key play: On third-and-1, Lewerke took off on a quarterback sneak and found a gap on the left side of the offensive line for a 52-yard gain. That placed the Spartans at the Irish 14-yard line.
Lewerke converted again on a third down to move the chains, and on the next play, he had no concerns of throwing into the direction of Irish cornerback Julian Love. Lewerke threw a fade to Stewart Jr., who jumped high and reached over the shoulders of Love, and maintained possession on the way to the turf.
L.J. Scott rushed four times for 16 yards on the drive.
Irish return INT for TD, lead MSU 14-0
It’s a deep hole, already.
Irish cornerback Julian Love intercepted Spartans quarterback Brian Lewerke and returned it 59 yards for a touchdown. Notre Dame leads 14-0 just 4:27 into the game.
On third-and-6, Lewerke looked toward Darrell Stewart Jr., but Love jumped in front of the quick-out route, and went into the end zone untouched.
Lewerke dropped back to pass five times, and targeted Stewart four times.
Irish strike for early TD in 7-plays, 1:55
So much for that zero-touchdown streak for the Spartans defense: The Irish needed seven plays and 1:55 to jump ahead 7-0 in East Lansing.
Notre Dame quarterback Brandon Wimbush was nearly flawless in the no-huddle offense, finishing 4-of-5 passing and he capped the drive with a 16-yard touchdown run.
Wimbush completed a pair of first-down passes to wide receiver Chase Claypool. And then on second and-8 at the Irish 44, Wimbush aired the ball deep to receiver Equanimeous St. Brown, who made a diving catch at the Spartans 16.
Two plays later, Wimbush ran up the middle for a 16-yard touchdown.
Spartans-Irish set for kickoff
The Michigan State (2-0) defense has yet to allow an offensive touchdown, but that will be tough to repeat against a Notre Dame (2-1) team that compiled 515 rushing yards last week against Boston College.
After tonight, the 120-year rivalry will be on hold. And that's a sad footnote for a pair of programs that played one of the best games in college football history in 1966 as No. 1 Notre Dame and No. 2 Michigan State battled to a 10-10 tie at Spartan Stadium.
The Irish and Spartans likely won't play again until 2026.
“Both teams wanna have the last bragging rights,” Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said in a FOX pregame interview.
Also tonight, the No. 23 of Kirk Gibson will be added to the Spartan Stadium Ring of Fame. Gibson was an All-American wide receiver at Michigan State and finished his four-year tenure with 112 catches for 2,347 yards (21.0 yards per catch, a school record).
Gibson, who played 12 Major League Baseball seasons with the Detroit Tigers, will be enshrined into the College Football Hall of Fame on Dec. 5 in New York City.
MICHIGAN STATE vs. NOTRE DAME
When: 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Spartan Stadium, East Lansing
TV/radio: FOX/760 WJR
Records: Michigan State 2-0, Notre Dame 2-1
Line: Notre Dame by 3.5
Series: Notre Dame leads 48-29-1