After he threw a second-quarter interception and saw the defender coming back at him, Tyler O'Connor lunged his valuable right shoulder right into Notre Dame's Devin Studstill to make a tackle. Later in that quarter, he took off running and hit an Irish defensive back straight on as he was taken down.
Well, they did it again. For the third time in the last two seasons, Michigan State was on the road as an underdog, and came away victorious. Those wins came at Michigan, Ohio State and now Notre Dame. Blue bloods, all of them. It might be time to add a little green to the list.
MSU’s program with diamonds in the rough like Kirk Cousins, Le’Veon Bell and Darqueze Dennard. But MSU won Saturday night at Notre Dame because of full-blown, blue-chip young guns like Donnie Corley, Raequan Willams and LJ Scott.
Michigan State scored on three straight drives over a span of just less than nine minutes in the third quarter. It went 192 yards in 15 plays and took the air out of Notre Dame Stadium.
Haunting visions of a 10-year-old collapse flashed through Michigan State fans’ brains Saturday night. They really shouldn’t have. Neither Mark Dantonio nor Brian Kelly was around for the Spartans’ flop of the century against Notre Dame. MSU’s program has taken a quantum leap forward during Dantonio’s decade in East Lansing, a time in which seemingly improbable comebacks become reality annually.
The three-touchdown third-quarter explosion showed the best of MSU’s blocking game. The Spartans gobbled up 164 of their 260 rushing yards in the period, highlighted by Gerald Holmes’ 73-yard burst through a big hole up the middle. They also owned the time of possession battle by nearly 16 minutes.
The Spartans piled up 260 yards on the ground with Gerald Holmes picking up 100 on 13 carries and LJ Scott gaining 98 on 22 attempts. With an offensive line that appears to be coming together quickly and a stable of backs to hand the ball to, it looks like the Spartans won’t be straying from their bread and butter anytime soon.
With Josh King and Auston Robertson standing in uniform inside Notre Dame Stadium, waiting for their names to be called to begin their collegiate careers, Michigan State assistant coach Ron Burton looked down the sideline Saturday night. He instead called on an offensive player to help the Spartans’ defensive line.
Any issues that cropped up in Michigan State's Saturday night win over Notre Dame will need to be addressed quickly, with a matchup against No. 11 Wisconsin looming on Saturday at Spartan Stadium. And among those issues, Mark Dantonio revealed, was a pass rush that had just two sacks and four quarterback hurries in the Spartans' win over the Irish.
Before Michigan State took the field Saturday night at Notre Dame Stadium, so many questions still surrounded a team that — once again — was out to prove its detractors wrong. After getting past Furman in the season-opener with little fanfare, the Spartans had a bye in Week 2, and with a trip to play the Fighting Irish, some wondered what type of team Michigan State really was.
The moments weren't too big for Donnie Corley, Michigan State's fabulous freshman wide receiver. So what if the setting was the most hallowed football cathedral in America, against the most storied college football program of all-time, before 80,795 fans and a national television audience, under the lights, at night.
There are various ways to look at No. 12 Michigan State’s 36-28 victory over No. 18 Notre Dame. The Spartans ended a three-game losing streak to the Fighting Irish and it was their first win in Notre Dame Stadium since 2007, Mark Dantonio’s first season as head coach. MSU prevailed for the 10th time in its last 13 games against ranked opponents, including six out of the last seven.
Michigan State’s trophy case is going to be really crowded. The Spartans now hold all four rivalry game trophies thanks to Michigan State’s 36-28 win against Notre Dame on Saturday. That means the Megaphone Trophy is finally going to be at East Lansing, Mich., after Notre Dame had beaten the Spartans three consecutive times. Michigan State now also owns the Old Brass Spittoon (Indiana), Paul Bunyan Trophy (Michigan) and the Land Grand Trophy (Penn State).
The perception Associated Press Top 25 voters have of Michigan State is drawing closer to that of the coaches. The Spartans remained at No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches poll following a 36-28 road win over formerly ranked Notre Dame on Saturday. But Michigan State moved forward to No. 8 in the AP poll, thanks in large part to Texas, which fell to No. 21 after a loss to Cal. The Spartans had been No. 12 in each previous poll.
After winning a top 25 matchup at night on Saturday, Michigan's State next challenge will be early in the afternoon. The Spartans' game Saturday game against Wisconsin has been scheduled for a noon kickoff on Big Ten Network, the school announced early Sunday morning.
Aggressive, then passive, MSU averts turning blowout win into defeat MLive
Congratulations, Michigan State, for beep-beep-beeping your way right out of here without backing your way completely out of what should have been a much easier evening. Careening in reverse for most of crunch time typically isn't a very good way to leave Notre Dame successfully. These days of scoring 36 unanswered points on the Irish are rare exceptions.
Michigan State football really good when not playing conservative Detroit Free Press
During that dominating stretch, the Spartans found their identity, and it’s the same as it’s always been. The Spartans are tough and physical. The Spartans are talented. The Spartans will rely, as always, on their running game. And the Spartans will lean on a group of talented linebackers.
Michigan State pulls away, holds off Notre Dame ESPN
Michigan State provided a fitting reminder of what has been missing at Notre Dame since the Spartans' previous trip here in 2013. That time, the Irish handed the Spartans their only loss in what went on to be a Rose Bowl-winning season for the green-and-white. Since then, Notre Dame had been searching for a signature victory like that one.
O'Connor has 'unbelievable' experience at Notre Dame Detroit Free Press
“It’s unbelievable,” O’Connor said. “It’s a dream come true, especially for me. NBC found out that I was a Notre Dame fan growing up, so I didn’t even dream about it. It was so surreal to come in here and play and start in the game and then take a knee in Notre Dame Stadium and throw up your hands and realize, we just won.”
Victory opens world of possibilities for MSU Detroit News
They sat on the lead until they couldn’t sit still any longer. But once they decided to end it, they could, and they did. And now that it’s over for 12th-ranked Michigan State — an impressive 36-28 win over No. 18 Notre Dame stashed away in their luggage — there’s no telling “what we can be,” as the Spartans’ senior quarterback, Tyler O’Connor, put it late Saturday night.
Donnie Corley on TD grab: "I just wanted it more" Detroit Free Press
Michigan State can’t hide Donnie Corley any more. Not after the true freshman’s breakout performance Saturday night. Corley caught four passes for 88 yards, including a highlight reel touchdown catch that helped the eighth-ranked Spartans in their 36-28 victory Saturday night at No. 18 Notre Dame.
Holmes’ big night takes him from grief to 'Christmas' Detroit News
Gerald Holmes broke into the open on Saturday night at Notre Dame Stadium and there was no one on the field that was going to catch him. After all, he wasn’t about to be stopped the way he was feeling. “Christmas,” Holmes said when asked to describe what it felt like when he hit the hole and galloped 73 yards for a touchdown in Michigan State’s 36-28 victory over Notre Dame. “And I’m opening my gift now.”
Jon Reschke returns from injury, leads LBs vs. Notre Dame Detroit Free Press
For the second straight game, a Michigan State linebacker came up with a key interception in a competitive game. Two weeks ago against Furman, it was sophomore Andrew Dowell. On Saturday, it was junior Jon Reschke, whose athletic, diving pick midway through the third quarter helped power No. 12 Spartans to a 36-28 road victory against No. 18 Notre Dame.
Thoughts on Notre Dame Game What is Your Profession?
OK, so apart from the coaches taking the foot of the gas too early, again, I thought this was a program win. I really expected MSU to struggle in this one, because MSU usually struggles against Notre Dame's elite talent (especially on the D line) and because Brian Kelly seems to pull out all the clever stops against MSU. But MSU showed some new things this year that are really encouraging.
Michigan State holds on, literally, to beat Notre Dame Detroit Free Press
It went from total domination to a near collapse. It went from bold and aggressive to hold on for dear life. But Michigan State held on to beat Notre Dame tonight, 36-28, thanks to one play in particular. It was third and 7 from the MSU 17 with less than 3 minutes to play.
No. 12 Spartans Hold On For 36-28 Win Over No. 18 Notre Dame MSUSpartans.com
welfth-ranked Michigan State didn't panic when No. 18 Notre Dame scored three straight touchdowns to cut a 29-point lead to 36-28 with just over six minutes left. The Irish didn't get any closer after Kizer was sacked for a 5-yard loss by Raequan Williams on third-and-2 and Notre Dame punted with 3:37 left in the game and the Spartans (2-0) ran out the clock.
Spartans Travel to South Bend and Get a “Dominant” Win Over Notre Dame Spartan Nation
The #8 Michigan State Spartans were vanilla in their nationally televised spring game. Despite the criticism from even their own fan base for staying vanilla to beat Furman in game one of the 2016 season, it paid off big here in South Bend tonight. Under the shadow of legendary Touchdown Jesus the Spartan came in and beat the Notre Dame Fighting Irish 36-28.
Corley shows again he's a king in the clutch Detroit News
Donnie Corley knows a little something about making big catches. As a senior at Detroit King last fall, Corley made a 40-yard catch in the corner of the end zone on the final play of the game against Lowell to lead King to a 40-38 victory on the Division 2 state championship game.
Donnie Corley rewards coaches, Tyler O'Connor for trusting him Spartan Tailgate
Sooner rather than later, Donnie Corley was going to have his hands all over a big win for the Michigan State football team. This soon, though? On a stage like the one the Spartans were playing on Saturday night, on the road against No. 18 Notre Dame?
Win over Notre Dame yet another 'life moment' for Spartans Spartan Tailgate
The clock was still running, but Tyler O'Connor threw his hands in the air and began celebrating with the rest of his teammates anyway. A fifth-year senior quarterback for Michigan State, O'Connor has now made three starts in his career. The first was a fill-in job for Connor Cook last season at Ohio State, where he led the Spartans to a 17-14 win over the No. 2 Buckeyes.
Michigan State looked ready to establish itself on the 2016 college football stage with a decisive road win over a top-20 team, but had to settle for an eight-point win. After giving up an early touchdown to Notre Dame, the Spartans scored 36 straight points to take a commanding 29-point lead with three minutes left in the third quarter. Michigan State then gave up three straight touchdowns to allow the Irish to get within striking distance for a miraculous comeback.
Michigan State runs by, then holds on to beat Notre Dame, 36-28 Detroit Free Press
By the time Gerald Holmes ran for daylight, Michigan State’s offensive line appeared to have said goodnight to Notre Dame. Then the 18th-ranked Irish fought back. It took all of the No. 8 Spartans' defensive might to hang on for a 36-28 victory Saturday night at Notre Dame Stadium.
Spartans withstand rally to beat Fighting Irish 36-28 Detroit News
For almost two quarters, Michigan State was as dominant as it’s been in the last couple of seasons. Thirty-six straight points put the Spartans in control on Saturday night against Notre Dame. But it was a key first down in the final three minutes that proved the difference as No. 12 Michigan State withstood a furious rally to knock off No. 18 Notre Dame, 36-28, at Notre Dame Stadium.
Michigan State vs Notre Dame: 3 things we learned Spartan Ave
Michigan State traveled into hostile territory Saturday night and played a pesky No. 18 Notre Dame team in South Bend. The Michigan State vs Notre Dame game was the 68th installment of the rivalry and the 50th anniversary of the ‘Game of the Century’ from 1966 which ended in a 10-10 tie.
Michigan State hangs on for 36-28 win over Notre Dame Spartan Tailgate
The No. 12 Michigan State Spartans went into Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday night and, despite almost blowing a 29-point third-quarter lead, hung on to beat the No. 18 Irish 36-28. MSU moves to 2-0 with the win, which snapped a three-game losing streak against Notre Dame (1-2).
MSU holds on to defeat Notre Dame isportsweb
Michigan State came into South Bend with many question marks, but left with an impressive 36-28 victory over Notre Dame to keep their CFB Playoff hopes alive.
Couch: MSU sets record straight in bullying Notre Dame Lansing State Journal
It turns out, these guys might be pretty good. Michigan State’s football team answered two weeks of doubts and wonder like a team that knew all along it had something, and was waiting for the right moment to unleash it. And then reminded us all they still have a ways to go.
Instant Analysis: Michigan State vs. Notre Dame Land of Ten
Michigan State jumped out to a 36-7 lead in the third quarter but had to withstand Notre Dame’s comeback attempt for a 36-28 victory Saturday night at Notre Dame Stadium. The Spartans rushed for 260 yards, getting 98 yards and one touchdown from LJ Scott and 100 yards and two touchdowns from Gerald Holmes, but it was the passing game that eventually helped close out the game.
MSU heads to South Bend, Ind. Saturday night for the 78th meeting, and the 50th anniversary of the "Game of the Century", between the Spartans and the Irish. The No. 12 MSU team has one of their toughest challenges in front of them, as No. 18 Notre Dame proves to be a mighty opponent and one of the many ranked teams MSU will square off with this year.
The buildup for this year's Michigan State-Notre Dame game isn't quite what it was 50 years ago, when the No. 1 vs. No. 2 battle served as a de facto national championship game in a contest dubbed "The Game of the Century." But Michigan State still has plenty of reasons to anticipate the matchup between the No. 12 Spartans (1-0) and No. 18 Notre Dame (1-1) at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday (7:42 p.m., NBC).
This Saturday marks the 78th meeting between Michigan State and Notre Dame with the Irish leading the all-time series 48-28-1. In previous years, this game has been about toughness, grit and determination. Notre Dame and Michigan State were cut from the same cloth. Two programs who loved to get down and dirty in the trenches. The series began 119 years ago in 1897 making it one of the 27 oldest rivalries in college football. Since 1949, the winner has taken home the Megaphone Trophy, sponsored by the Detroit alumni clubs of both schools.