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Halftime Recap: Notre Dame 10, Michigan State 7

Isaac Lorton | Saturday, September 21, 2013

Up against Michigan State’s top-ranked defense, the No. 22 Irish were able to get an early field goal and a last minute touchdown to go into the break with a 10-7 lead.
Notre Dame managed to put up 169 yards of total offense in the first half against the Spartans, only eight yards less than the average given up by the Spartans per game in 2013. The Irish defense held Michigan State to only 90 yards of total offense.
Beginning their final drive with 3:00 left in the half, the Irish faltered at their own 41-yard line, but on fourth-and-one a pass interference call against Michigan State gave the Irish a new set of downs. Irish senior quarterback Tommy Rees got his team to the two-yard line with a pass to freshman receiver Corey Robinson. Robinson led Notre Dame receivers with three catches for 54 yards in the first half.
After the Irish were unable to convert on their first two attempts at the doorstep of the endzone, Rees threw a ball up to senior receiver TJ Jones on third down. Jones caught the ball at the back of the end zone and was able to get his feet down for the go-ahead score with 17 seconds left in the second quarter.
On it’s first drive after receiving the opening kickoff, Notre Dame went three-and-out, after which the Spartans blocked the punt to get the ball at the Irish 31-yard line. Notre Dame’s defense stopped the Spartans at the 13-yard line where Spartan kicker Kevin Muma missed a 30-yard field goal attempt.
The Irish struck first with 3:48 left in the first quarter. Irish junior kicker Kyle Brindza kicked a 41-yard field goal to put the Irish up 3-0. Notre Dame began with the ball on the 20-yard line after a touchback and drove 57 yards in seven plays on the scoring drive. The majority of the yardage was picked up on a 37-yard pass from Rees to freshman receiver William Fuller. It was Fuller’s first career catch.
Michigan State scored halfway through the second quarter to take the 7-3 lead. From the 12-yard line, Spartans sophomore quarterback Connor Cook tossed a jump ball to sophomore receiver Macgarrett Kings Jr. who held onto it for the score. Michael Geiger converted on the extra point to give Michigan State the four-point lead. The Spartans picked up six first downs on the drive, including two Notre Dame penalties and a fourth down conversion.
On its second drive, Notre Dame drove 51 yards down the field, but was unable to convert on fourth and three on the 29 yard line. Under pressure, Rees floated a ball to the end zone intended for junior receiver DeVaris Daniels, but the pass fell incomplete. The Irish are 0-4 on fourth down conversions on the season.
With good starting position at their own 44-yard line, the Irish drove 37 yards to the 21-yard line, where they attempted a 37 yard field goal. Brindza missed, pushing the ball to left and the score remained at 3-0 with 13:29 left in the first half.
 

Contact Isaac Lorton at ilorton@nd.edu