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Football notebook: Grimes dressed, but held out of game

Bill Brink | Monday, September 22, 2008

Wide receiver David Grimes dressed for the game, but did not play because of back problems.

“Ended up holding David, which will have positive residual effects this week,” Irish coach Charlie Weis said during his Sunday press conference.

Freshman wide receiver Michael Floyd, who caught seven passes for 86 yards, a touchdown and a fumble, took his place.

Youth movement

Freshman linebacker Steve Filer saw his first playing time this season on the kickoff coverage team. Filer is the eight freshman to see playing time with the Irish this season.

Floyd’s touchdown in the fourth quarter was the ninth Irish touchdown this season. Eight of Notre Dame’s nine touchdowns have come from freshmen or sophomores.

Fresh start

Sophomore linebacker Harrison Smith made his first start of the season against the Spartans. Smith played in the first two games, but since the Irish opened in the nickel package, he did not start. Smith had six tackles in the game.

Home-field advantage?

Saturday’s game marked the first time since 2000 that the home team has won in the Michigan State-Notre Dame series.

Moving up the charts

Michigan State running back Javon Ringer recorded his 15th 100-yard game, tying him with Sedrick Irvin for fourth all-time in Michigan State history. His 203 yards also made him the only back in Michigan State history to rush for 200 yards in consecutive games.

Punt coverage

Notre Dame’s punt coverage, which was ranked eighth in the nation before the game, allowed only one return for 10 yards. Punter Eric Maust averaged 38.8 yards per punt.

Trouble on the ground

Notre Dame’s 16 rushing yards were the fifth-worst in the Charlie Weis era.

“When you play against a team that tries to beat you with seven guys, it takes seven to block seven,” Weis said. “We weren’t getting mismatched. A lot of times in the run game you get scared to run because you are getting outnumbered and that wasn’t the case in this game. We weren’t getting outnumbered. They were getting the best of us.”

Irish tackle Sam Young said the game wasn’t lost because of the rushing game alone.

“Any given play you can chalk it up to different things,” Young said. “They played a great game and we didn’t accomplish what we wanted.”