Notre Dame football: Irish defeat Michigan State 17-13

AL LESAR
South Bend Tribune

SOUTH BEND

Notre Dame's football team avoided the big mistakes and came out a winner.

Michigan State (3-1) was called for four pass interference penalties, a defensive holding flag and surrendered a critical interception on a trick play as the Irish survived 17-13 Saturday.

Without an established ground game, Notre Dame (3-1) went to the air early and often. Tommy Rees threw 34 passes, completing 14, for 142 yards.

The Irish went up, 17-10, 16 seconds into the fourth quarter when Cam McDaniel ran seven yards untouched. The 37-yard scoring march, set up by a Matthias Farley interception, included two pass interference calls on the Spartans.

While Michigan State was having success on the ground with its power running game, the Spartans turned to trickery, having true freshman receiver R.J. Shelton throw a deep pass. Farley intercepted it easily.

TJ Jones' acrobatic catch in the back of the end zone just before halftime allowed the Irish to head into intermission with a 10-7 lead.

Rees' two-yard scoring connection with Jones was the 27th pass he threw in the half, completing 12 for 130 yards.

Michigan State's first score came midway through the second quarter. Connor Cook hit Macgarrett Kings on a 12-yard fade.

Michigan State safety Kurtis Drummond (27) and cornerback Trae Waynes (15) tackle Notre Dame wide receiver C.J. Prosise (20) during an NCAA college football game on Saturday, Sept. 21, 2013, at Notre Dame. SBT Photo/JAMES BROSHER