SOUTH BEND, Ind. – Cierre Wood ran for two touchdowns, freshman George Atkinson III returned a kickoff 89 yards for a score and Robert Blanton had a late interception Saturday as Notre Dame beat No. 15 Michigan State 31-13 for its first win.
The Spartans (2-1), who stunned Notre Dame in overtime a year ago with a winning TD pass off a fake field goal, tried to surprise the Irish with another fake near the end of the first half.
Notre Dame (1-2) was ready this time.
On fourth-and-goal from the 2, Ethan Johnson broke up a shovel-pass attempt and the Irish led 21-10 at halftime.
Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins, who had 11 straight completions at one juncture of the second half, was 34 for 53 for 329 yards but he was intercepted at the Notre Dame 6 with just under 4 minutes left by Blanton, who returned it 82 yards to the 12.
Notre Dame held the Spartans to 29 yards rushing on 23 carries.