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Irish upend No. 10 Michigan State for 3-0 start

Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson threaded Michigan State’s defense for 178 yards and one touchdown. (Associated Press)
Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson threaded Michigan State’s defense for 178 yards and one touchdown. (Associated Press)

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Everett Golson threw a touchdown pass and ran for a score in the first half to help No. 20 Notre Dame beat No. 10 Michigan State 20-3 Saturday night.

The Fighting Irish (3-0) snapped a six-game losing streak against ranked teams and beat a top-10 opponent for the first time in seven years.

The Spartans (2-1) had won 15 straight at home. The streak included a win over the Irish in 2010 on a fake field goal in overtime that preceded coach Mark Dantonio having a heart attack.

Notre Dame is off to its best start since 2002 when Tyrone Willingham won his first eight games as its coach. The Irish opened 0-2 last year and 1-3 the season before in coach Brian Kelly’s debut before bouncing back to finish with eight wins.

Kelly, though, is not ready to celebrate just yet with No. 17 Michigan (2-1) up next at home.

“There are a lot of things to work on,” he said.

Michigan State had its worst showing on offense at home since losing 20-3 to Central Michigan in 1991.

Golson was 14 of 32 for 178 yards and a TD, a 36-yard pass to John Goodman. He ran for a 6-yard TD early in the second quarter to give Notre Dame a 14-0 lead.

“He made some big plays for us early which put us in a good position,” Kelly said.

Andrew Maxwell was 23 of 45 for 187 yards and Le’Veon Bell had 77 yards rushing on 19 carries for the Spartans.

The Irish shook off a sloppy start that included George Atkinson running into a teammate on a kickoff return, a false start and a timeout before their first snap.

Golson missed an opportunity to connect with wide-open receiver Chris Brown on what would’ve been a TD, but the first-year starter made up for it with his arm and legs. On Notre Dame’s second drive, Golson eluded a rush as he rolled to the right and threw back across the field on a 36-yard TD pass to Goodman for a 7-0 lead.

Maxwell threw a pass on the ensuing possession into the end zone that Bennie Fowler dropped in what proved to be the Spartans’ best shot to score more than a field goal.

Notre Dame won its second straight in the series by more than a TD after nine of the previous 11 were closely contested contests.



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