Any time Notre Dame and Michigan State get together, a hard-fought and close game with a few wild bounces is likely to emerge.
That was certainly the case on Saturday night from South Bend as the Spartans used a crazy second quarter push to take a 15-7 lead into the locker room at halftime.
The Irish were in control for most of the first quarter, mounting a nine play, 91 yard drive for the first score of the game on a DeShone Kizer quarterback scramble from 14 yards out. The signal-caller continued his strong play to begin the season with 6-of-9 passing for 103 yards in the first half but only had a handful of opportunities to show what he could do thanks to several miscues by his teammates.
A wild sequence of events in the second quarter was able to shift the momentum for the Spartans however. After getting stopped on third-and-six, Michigan State punted the ball away, only to recover it when it glanced off a Notre Dame blocker’s leg. Set up at the Irish 38 yard line, quarterback Tyler O’Conner lofted a pass into the end zone that receiver Donnie Corley simply snatched away from the hands of a defensive back.
The team converted a two-point conversion out of a swinging gate formation on the next snap to take an 8-7 lead. That would have been plenty to keep momentum on their side had the Spartans not recovered a fumble on the very next Notre Dame offensive snap and then later mounted a 92 yard scoring drive in the final minute of the half thanks to an R.J. Shelton catch and run touchdown.
If there was one first half highlight for the Irish, it was likely in the form of a Tyler Newsome 71 yard punt — the longest in nearly two decades for the Irish.
Given what we’ve seen in the first half and in prior outings between these two teams, the final two quarters should be plenty of fun on NBC tonight.