Notre Dame leads Michigan State 7-0 after both offenses struggled to get much going in the first quarter.
The Irish scored on their third series, marching 80 yards in nine plays and sealing the drive with a 7-yard touchdown reception by Michael Floyd.
Before the long drive, which was highlighted by Theo Riddick's catch and spin move for 17 yards and an 18-yard catch by Kyle Rudolph, the Irish stalled at the Spartans' 43 and 39.
Notre Dame's first drive was derailed by a 15-yard personal foul penalty on lineman Chris Stewart.
Michigan State didn't get much going until its final drive of the quarter, punting twice from its end of the field on its first two drives.
The Spartans got to the Irish 39 at the end of the first quarter.