Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell, right, is brought down by Notre Dame's Harrison Smith.

Michigan State Game Notes

Sept. 19, 2010

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  • Drops Notre Dame to 1-2 for the first time since 2003.
  • Drops the Irish to 75-36-5 (.668) all-time in road openers.
  • Extends Notre Dame’s losing streak to four games in road openers.
  • Drops Notre Dame to 45-28-1 (.615) in the all-time series with Michigan State.
  • Drops the Irish to 18-15-1 (.544) in the all-time series with the Spartans in East Lansing.
  • Drops Notre Dame to 15-5 (.750) over its last 20 trips to Spartan Stadium.
  • Drops an unranked Irish squad (post 1932) to 7-11 (.389) all-time against Michigan State.
  • Drops an unranked Notre Dame squad (post 1932) to 3-4 (.429) all-time against Michigan State in Spartan Stadium.
  • Drops the Irish to 6-6 (.500) all-time against Michigan State when both teams are unranked.
  • Drops Notre Dame to 3-3 (.500) all-time against Michigan State in Spartan Stadium when both teams are unranked.
  • Drops Notre Dame to 5-4 (.556) all-time against Michigan State the week following a loss to Michigan.
  • Drops the Irish to 14-7 (.667) all-time against the Spartans the week after playing the Wolverines.
  • Drops Notre Dame to 221-115-15 (.651) all-time against the Big Ten.
  • Drops the Irish to 97-63-9 (.601) all-time against Big Ten opponents on the road.
  • Drops Kelly’s record to 172-59-2 (.742) overall, 54-24 (.692) in FBS games and 35-8 (.814) over the last four seasons.
  • Denies Kelly his 20th victory in the last 21 regular season games.
  • Drops Notre Dame’s all-time record to 838-292-42 (.733).
  • Drops the all-time road record for the Irish to 291-145-22 (.659).
  • Drops Notre Dame to 83-51-4 (.616) all-time against schools from the state of Michigan.
  • Marks the fourth time in school history the Irish dropped both meetings with Michigan and Michigan State (1986, 2003 and 2007).


  • Notre Dame won the coin toss and elected to receive. Michigan State will defend the North end zone.
  • Captains for the game were junior TE Kyle Rudolph and senior NG Ian Williams.
  • Official attendance was 78,411.
  • Notre Dame has played before a sellout in 74 of its last 85 games road games. In fact, the Irish have played in front of sellout crowds in 220 of their previous 254 games, including 95 of their last 106 dating back to the 2001 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (the ’01, ’03, ’05 and ’07 games at Stanford, the ’04 game vs. Navy at the Meadowlands, the ’05 and ’08 games at Washington, the ’07 game at UCLA, the ’08 Hawai’i Bowl and the ’09 games at Purdue and in San Antonio against Washington State were not sellouts).
  • In the opening quarter, Notre Dame recorded eight first downs to Michigan State’s four. The Irish also out-gained the Spartans 133-77.
  • Notre Dame’s defense was whistled for its first penalty of the season midway through the second quarter when sophomore S Zeke Motta was flagged for a horse collar tackle.


  • Junior WR Michael Floyd has caught a TD pass in three straight games against Michigan State.
  • Notre Dame limited the Spartans to seven points in the first half. The Irish have not held Michigan State to fewer points in an opening half since Sept. 20, 2003 (the Spartans totaled six points in the first half).
  • Tonight marked the sixth time in the last seven meetings that the winning team scored 30 or more points.
  • Over the last 11 meetings (dating back to 2000), the Notre Dame-Michigan State game has been decided by a touchdown or less on nine different occasions, with the game-winning score coming late in the fourth quarter or overtime in eight of the 11 meetings. Here’s a breakdown of the nail-biting heroics:

    2000: Herb Haygood 68-yard TD pass from Jeff Smoker with 1:48 left in the 4th quarter (MSU 27-21).
    2001: Charles Rogers 47-yard TD pass from Ryan Van Dyke with 7:51 left in the 4th quarter (MSU 17-10).
    2002: Arnaz Battle 60-yard TD pass from Pat Dillingham with 1:15 left in the 4th quarter (ND 21-17).
    2003: Greg Taplin 40-yard INT return with 6:55 left in the 4th quarter (MSU 22-16).
    2004: Notre Dame builds a 28-7 third quarter lead before MSU rallies with 17 points in 31-24 ND win.
    2005: Jason Teague’s 19-yd TD run in the first overtime gave the Spartans a 44-41 victory in Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish had rallied from a 21-point deficit to force overtime.
    2006: Notre Dame CB Terrail Lambert intercepts Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton and returns it 27 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 2:53 remaining as the Irish rallied from a 16-point fourth quarter deficit for a 40-37 victory. Lambert added another interception on the Spartans final drive to ultimately secure the triumph.
    2009: Notre Dame SS Kyle McCarthy’s interception at the 4-yard line with 57 seconds sealed Notre Dame’s 33-30 win after Jimmy Clausen threw for 300 yards, including the game-winning score on a 33-yard touchdown to Golden Tate with 5:18 left.
    2010: Aaron Bates found Charlie Gantt for a 29-yard TD pass on a fake field goal in overtime to give Michigan State a 34-31 victory.


  • Notre Dame played in its first overtime contest of 2010 and fourth over the last three years.
  • The Irish and Spartans have played in two overtime contests in series history.
  • Notre Dame drops to 3-8 all-time in overtime games and 0-2 against the Spartans.


  • Notre Dame recorded a pair of turnovers (a Michael Floyd fumble and Dayne Crist interception) in the first half inside the Michigan State 20-yard line. The Irish have three such turnovers over their first three games.
  • Notre Dame did, though, force a Spartan turnover inside the Irish 20-yard line. Motta picked up his first career interception in the end zone.
  • Notre Dame committed three turnovers for the second straight week.


  • The Irish are 75-36-5 (.668) in road openers, but have dropped 11 of their last 14.
  • Notre Dame owns a 6-5-1 (.542) record when its first road game of the season comes against Michigan State.


  • Dating back to 1913, Jesse Harper’s first season, Notre Dame skippers are 12-6 (.667) in their inaugural road game.
  • Only Elmer Layden in 1934 (19-0 loss to Pittsburgh), Joe Kuharich in 1959 (28-7 loss to Purdue), Gerry Faust in 1981 (25-7 loss to No. 1 Michigan), Lou Holtz in 1986 (20-15 loss to Michigan State), Bob Davie in 1997 (28-17 loss to Purdue) and Kelly (a 34-31 overtime loss to Michigan State) failed to win their first road game at Notre Dame. This record includes two wins by interim head coaches — Ed McKeever in 1944 (58-0 win at Pittsburgh) and Hugh Devore in 1945 (40-7 win at Georgia Tech) spelled Frank Leahy while he was off serving his country in World War II.
  • Dating back to 1913, Jesse Harper’s first season, Notre Dame head coaches own an all-time record of 6-7 (.462) in their inaugural meeting with Michigan State, including an 1-4 (.200) mark in first-time meetings in East Lansing.

Armando Allen, Sr., RB

  • His 18-yard reception in the first quarter was his longest of the season.
  • With his sixth reception on the night, Allen moved into first place all-time on the Irish receptions record for running backs. He bested the previous school record of 109 held by Darius Walker (2004-06).

Dayne Crist, Jr., QB

  • Set career-highs in completions (32), attempts (55), passing yards (369) and touchdown passes (four).
  • No Notre Dame quarterback has ever thrown for more TD passes in his first career start on the road.
  • The 32 completions rank tied for the fourth-most in single-game ND history.
  • The 55 attempts rank as the fifth-most in single-game Irish history.
  • Registered a 24-yard TD pass to Floyd with 13:20 to go in the fourth quarter to give the Irish a 28-21 lead. The TD pass was Crist’s fourth of the game, seventh of the season and eighth of his career.
  • The four TD passes is tied for sixth-most in ND single-game history.
  • Eclipsed 300 yards passing for the first time in his career.
  • Crist went 12 for 14 for 149 yards and two touchdowns in the third quarter alone.
  • Registered a 15-yard TD pass to Riddick with 1:29 to go in the third quarter to tie the score, 21-21. The TD pass was Crist’s third of the game, sixth of the season and seventh of his career. Crist was 7 of 8 for 75 yards on the scoring drive.
  • Connected on a 10-yard TD pass to Rudolph with 12:25 to go in the third quarter to tie the score, 14-14. The TD pass was Crist’s fifth of the season and sixth of his career.
  • Crist was 5 for 6 for 74 yards and a touchdown on the opening scoring drive of the fist half.
  • Connected on a seven-yard TD pass to Floyd with 5:28 left in the first quarter to give Notre Dame a 7-0 lead. The TD pass was Crist’s fourth of the season and fifth of his career.
  • Crist completed 11 of 18 passes for 116 yards and one touchdown in the opening 15 minutes.

Michael Floyd, Jr., WR

  • Floyd has registered a TD pass against Michigan State in each of the last three years.
  • Floyd has now recorded four career multi-TD catch games.
  • Registered a 24-yard TD reception with 13:20 to go in the fourth quarter to give the Irish a 28-21 lead. The TD catch was his second of the game, second of the season and 18th of his career.
  • With 18 career TD catches, Floyd is now tied with Maurice Stovall (2002-05) for sixth on the Irish all-time TD receptions list.
  • Hauled in a seven-yard TD reception from Crist with 5:28 left in first quarter to give Irish a 7-0 lead. It was Floyd’s first touchdown reception of the season and 17th of his career.

Zeke Motta, So, S

  • Registered his first career interception in the Irish end zone with 12:10 to go before halftime to stop a Michigan State drive.
  • Established a new career-high in tackles with a team-best 11.

Theo Riddick, So, WR

  • Riddick entered tonight’s game with four receptions for 52 yards, but finished the night with a career-high 10 catches for 128 yards and one touchdown.
  • Registered his first career 100 yard receiving game.
  • He posted two grabs for 42 yards on Notre Dame’s opening scoring drive of the second half (an 18 and 24 yard grab).
  • Hauled in a 15-yard TD pass from Crist with 1:29 to go in the third quarter to tie the score, 21-21. The TD reception was Riddick’s first career TD reception.

Kyle Rudolph, Jr, TE

  • Hooked up with Crist for a 17-yard reception in the first quarter. He moved past Dean Masztak (1978-81) into fourth place on the all-time receiving list for Irish tight ends on the grab.
  • Hauled in a 10-yard touchdown pass from Crist with 12:25 to go in the third quarter to tie the game, 14-14.
  • It was Rudolph’s second touchdown catch of the season and seventh of his career.

Manti Te’o, So, LB

  • Eclipsed 10 or more tackles for the second consecutive week and fourth time in his career.