Notre Dame Falls to Michigan State in OT

Notre Dame, Ind ( — A late rally by Notre Dame forced overtime Saturday, but the Irish’s comeback bid fell short as Drew Stanton lead the Spartans to a touchdown in overtime for a 44-41 win. The win was Michigan State’s 5th in a row in Notre Dame Stadium.

In a game full of defense and devoid of much defense from either team, Michigan State edged the Irish with Jason Teague raced 20 yards for the game winning touchdown after Notre Dame could only muster a DJ Fitzpatrick field goal on their only drive in the over time period. Teague took an option pitch from Stanton and slipped a Tommy Zbikowski tackle for the game winning touchdown.

With 5 minutes left in the 3rd quarter, it appeared as though Michigan State was about to rout the Irish after going up 38-17 on the strength of a Drew Stanton 65 yard touchdown pass to Matt Trannon.

Notre Dame however would rally behind the arm of quarterback Brady Quinn who had a record setting performance. Despite being off target much of the first half and missing open receivers throughout the game, Quinn set the Notre Dame single game record for touchdowns with 5. Quinn also tied the single game completion record of 33 and threw for the 2nd most yards ever in a single game.

The Irish rally started with a Quinn to Darius Walker pass for a 6 yard touchdown. Quinn would follow up that with touchdown passes to Maurice Stovall and Jeff Samardjiza who had 3 touchdowns on the day and now 5 on the season.

In the overtime period however, Quinn could not move the offense for a first down and had to settle for a DJ Fitzpatrick 43 yard field, his second on the day. Fitzpatrick connected a 48 yarder in the 2nd quarter but also missed another 48 yarder.

The theme of the game for the Irish in the 2nd half was turnovers. On the first drive the 3rd quarter, Brady Quinn threw behind Jeff Samardjiza and had the pass picked off by Darean Adams and returned for a touchdown.

Later in the 3rd quarter, down 31-17, freshman fullback Asaph Schwapp fumbled the ball at the 1 yard line trying to extend the ball over the goal for a touchdown. The play was reviewed and upheld. It appeared as though he may have crossed the plane, but the play was ruled a fumble even though it appeared as though his forward progress may have been stopped.

The 14 point difference from those two plays proved too be too much to over come for Notre Dame. Despite this difference however, the Irish had a chance to win the game with 2 minutes to ago after Tommy Zbikowski forced a fumble by Kyle Brown to give the Irish the ball with a chance to win the game. Notre Dame failed to move the ball however and gave it back to Michigan State who then killed the clocked.

The Irish trailed at halftime 24-17 after momentarily having a 17-14 lead on the strength of Jeff Samardjiza’s 2nd touchdown of the game, a 31 yarder. Earlier in the first half, Samardjiza caught an 18 yard pass from Quinn to tie the game at 7.

Michigan State however would regain the lead and not relinquish it until the Irish tied the game at 38. Drew Stanton came up big when he needed to and finished the game with 327 yards on 16 of 27 passing. Stanton tossed 3 touchdowns while throwing 1 interception.

The loss moves the Irish to 2-1 with a road game against Washington next week. Michigan State improves to 3-0 and should find themselves in the Top 25 poll this week.

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