Notre Dame took a 21-10 lead into halftime against No. 15 Michigan State thanks to a big drive at the right time and an odd call by the Spartans.
The Irish strung together a 10-play, 92-yard drive to take an 11-point lead with 3:36 to play in the half, and the Spartans attempted to recreate some magic from last year with a fake field goal attempt that went no where with 52 seconds to go.
The Irish have dominated on the ground today, outgaining the Spartans 112-13. Cierre Wood has run for 64 yards and two touchdowns, and Jonas Gray has 54 rushing yards.
Tommy Rees hasn't been great, but he finished with 83 passing yards and came up with some big completions on the 92-yard scoring drive.
Michigan State's Kirk Cousins has thrown for 141 yards with a TD.
Michigan State opened the second quarter by finishing off a long drive.
The Spartans scored on a 6-yard pass to Dion Sims after linebacker Troy Niklas slipped in the end zone. The touchdown capped an 80-yard, 11-play drive and cut Notre Dame's lead to 14-10 with 11:57 to play in the first half.
The Irish gave the ball right back after going no where on three plays, and the Spartans looked ready to strike after getting the ball on their 45 after a 30-yard punt by Ben Turk.
But Notre Dame's defense forced a three-and-out, and the Irish took over on their 8 clinging to a 4-point lead with 8:25 to play in the half.
The offense cut the defense a break as the Irish march 92 yards on 10 plays and chewed up 4:49 on the scoring drive.
Rees hit Michael Floyd for a 33-yard pass on the drive and threaded a pass between three Michigan State defenders to former Bishop Dwenger standout Tyler Eifert for a 16-yard gain.
Cierre Wood finished the drive with a 6-yard TD run that stood up to review and gave the Irish a 21-10 lead with 3:36 to play in the first half.
Michigan responded to the touchdown with a 52-yard drive that ended with an odd decision.
With the ball the Irish 2, the Spartans took a timeout with 52 seconds to play in the half but came out of it lined up for a field goal.
But Michigan State attempted a fake that was easily snuffed out by Notre Dame. The Spartans won last season's game in overtime with a fake field goal, but this one was unnecessary and odd.