Michigan State 44,
Notre Dame 41
Not even Charlie Weis could stop Michigan State's mastery over Notre Dame in South Bend.
The Spartans overcame a 21-point comeback by the Fighting Irish and pulled out their fifth straight win at Notre Dame Stadium with a 44-41 overtime victory on Saturday.
Jason Teague dashed 19 yards with an option pitch for the game-winning touchdown, handing Weis his first loss as the Irish's coach after starting the season 2-0 on the road.
"I told them you don't get any medals for trying," Weis said. "I'm never content when you end up losing."
Drew Stanton led the Spartans offensively, throwing for three touchdowns and running for another. Michigan State amassed 488 yards of total offense against the Irish. Stanton was 16 of 27 for 327 yards.
"We wanted to show that this program is back in the right direction," Stanton said. "There's no better way to do that than a rivalry game at Notre Dame."
The Spartans (3-0) have made a habit of beating the Irish on their home turf, joining Purdue (1954-62) as the only opponent to win five straight at Notre Dame Stadium. "It's good coming into a hostile environment and winning a game like this," said Matt Trannon, who had five catches for a career-high 136 yards.
Teague, who had been suspended a week earlier, said he had a hard time breathing as his teammates piled on him in the end zone. "This is the best time of my life," he said.
The Fighting Irish (2-1) rallied from 21 points down in the third quarter to tie the score, but had to settle for a 44-yard field goal by D.J. Fitzpatrick on their overtime possession and couldn't make it stand up.
"When you come back like that, you've got a lot of emotion and you feel pretty good about yourself," Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn said. "And then when you can't come through with the victory, I think there's the ability to be a big letdown."
Quinn passed for a school-record five touchdowns and a career-high 487 yards.
The Irish managed to close to 38-31 when Darius Walker scored on a six-yard touchdown pass and Maurice Stovall, who had eight catches for 176 yards, scored on a seven-yard pass. The Irish had a chance to tie it earlier in the fourth quarter, but on fourth and one from the Michigan State 20, linebacker David Herron Jr. stuffed Schwapp in a run up the middle. The Irish finally tied the score at 38 with 2 minutes 31 seconds left on a touchdown catch by Jeff Samardzija, his third touchdown.