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Michigan State sends Notre Dame to 0-4 start

Sep 23, 2007 - 2:40 AM SOUTH BEND, Indiana (Ticker) -- Notre Dame's struggles have reached historic proportions.

Brian Hoyer threw a career-high four touchdown passes as Michigan State continued its dominance in South Bend with a 31-14 victory over the winless Fighting Irish on Saturday.

Notre Dame played better than in its previous three games and scored its first two offensive touchdowns of the season. But it was not enough to prevent the Irish from falling to 0-4 for the first time in the program's storied history.

Michigan State (4-0) posted its sixth straight win in South Bend, where the Irish have not won in the series since 1995.

"Outstanding job by our football team today," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. "We talked about it all week long about how this really started for us last year at this time, when Notre Dame came to our stadium and had a great comeback and won. I think our guys have been suffering ever since then."

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis wasn't interested in the fact that his team has entered the record books for the wrong reasons.

"To be honest with you, I'm just worrying about my team and I'll be worried about critically evaluating last week's game and getting ready for next week's game," Weis said. "That's all I'm just doing. ... So I'll critically evaluate this game and then get ready for Purdue. I'm not worrying about the record."

Weis said he hopes his team's hard work pays off soon.

"They have to believe there's going to be a payoff," Weis said. "I mean, you keep on working until there is a payoff. And at this point, there's been no payoff."

Notre Dame took advantage of an early interception at the Michigan State 9 to grab a 7-0 lead on Travis Thomas' one-yard TD run with 10:01 left in the first quarter.

But Hoyer threw TD passes of seven yards to Devin Thomas and three yards to Kellen Davis for a 14-7 lead after the first quarter.

After Brett Swenson's 27-yard field goal made it 17-7 early in the second, the Irish answered with their best drive of the season. They marched 80 yards in five plays to close within 17-14 on Robert Hughes' three-yard TD run less than two minutes later.

After rushing for minus-14 yards in the first three games, Notre Dame got a semblance of a running game going against the Spartans, as James Aldridge rushed for 111 yards on 18 carries.

But Notre Dame continued to struggle through the air as the Spartans kept the Irish out of the end zone in the second half.

Freshman Jimmy Clausen completed just 7-of-13 passes for 53 yards for the Irish before being replaced in the fourth quarter by Evan Sharpley.

Michigan State grabbed control after Devin Thomas returned the second-half kickoff 52 yards to the Irish 45. Eight plays later, the Spartans took a 24-14 lead on Hoyer's 16-yard TD pass to Mark Dell.

Hoyer, who only completed 11-of-24 passes for 135 yards, capped the scoring with a 30-yard TD strike to Davis with 2:45 left in the third quarter.

"I thought that we were able to run the ball, and that when we did throw it, we had some success. We played great defense," Dantonio said.

Javon Ringer paced the Spartans on the ground with 144 yards on 26 carries.








  • NCAAF FINAL
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MICHIGAN ST 14 3 14 0 31
    NOTRE DAME 7 7 0 0 14 FINAL
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, TRAVIS THOMAS 1 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK), 4:59.
    NOTRE DAME 7-0
    MICHIGAN ST - TD, DEVIN THOMAS 7 YD PASS FROM
    BRIAN HOYER (BRETT SWENSON
    KICK), 7:55. MICHIGAN ST 7-7
    MICHIGAN ST - TD,

    Sep 22 7:02 PM


  • NCAAF END, 3RD QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MICHIGAN ST 14 3 14 31
    NOTRE DAME 7 7 0 14 END, 3RD QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, TRAVIS THOMAS 1 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK), 4:59.
    NOTRE DAME 7-0
    MICHIGAN ST - TD, DEVIN THOMAS 7 YD PASS FROM
    BRIAN HOYER (BRETT SWENSON
    KICK), 7:55. MICHIGAN ST 7-7
    MI

    Sep 22 6:29 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD MICHIGAN ST
    KELLEN DAVIS 30 YD PASS FROM BRIAN HOYER
    (BRETT SWENSON KICK)
    MICHIGAN ST 31
    NOTRE DAME 14 2:45 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Michigan State vs. Notre DameSep 22 6:22 PM
  • 15
    roots
    donbean Added 5 roots

    Michigan State vs. Notre DameSep 22 5:57 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD MICHIGAN ST
    MARK DELL 16 YD PASS FROM BRIAN HOYER
    (BRETT SWENSON KICK)
    MICHIGAN ST 24
    NOTRE DAME 14 12:05 LEFT, 3RD QTR

    Michigan State vs. Notre DameSep 22 5:51 PM


  • NCAAF HALFTIME
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MICHIGAN ST 14 3 17
    NOTRE DAME 7 7 14 HALFTIME
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, TRAVIS THOMAS 1 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK), 4:59.
    NOTRE DAME 7-0
    MICHIGAN ST - TD, DEVIN THOMAS 7 YD PASS FROM
    BRIAN HOYER (BRETT SWENSON
    KICK), 7:55. MICHIGAN ST 7-7
    MICHIGAN S

    Sep 22 5:20 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NOTRE DAME
    ROBERT HUGHES 3 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    MICHIGAN ST 17
    NOTRE DAME 14 10:41 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Michigan State vs. Notre DameSep 22 4:48 PM


  • NCAAF
    FG MICHIGAN ST
    BRETT SWENSON 27 YD
    MICHIGAN ST 17
    NOTRE DAME 7 12:19 LEFT, 2ND QTR

    Michigan State vs. Notre DameSep 22 4:40 PM


  • NCAAF END, 1ST QTR
    1ST 2ND 3RD 4TH TOTAL
    --- --- --- --- -----
    MICHIGAN ST 14 14
    NOTRE DAME 7 7 END, 1ST QTR
    SCORING SUMMARY
    1ST QUARTER: NOTRE DAME - TD, TRAVIS THOMAS 1 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK), 4:59.
    NOTRE DAME 7-0
    MICHIGAN ST - TD, DEVIN THOMAS 7 YD PASS FROM
    BRIAN HOYER (BRETT SWENSON
    KICK), 7:55. MICHIGAN ST 7-7
    MI

    Sep 22 4:29 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD MICHIGAN ST
    KELLEN DAVIS 3 YD PASS FROM BRIAN HOYER
    (BRETT SWENSON KICK)
    MICHIGAN ST 14
    NOTRE DAME 7 0:22 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Michigan State vs. Notre DameSep 22 4:27 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD MICHIGAN ST
    DEVIN THOMAS 7 YD PASS FROM BRIAN HOYER
    (BRETT SWENSON KICK)
    MICHIGAN ST 7
    NOTRE DAME 7 7:05 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Michigan State vs. Notre DameSep 22 4:05 PM


  • NCAAF
    TD NOTRE DAME
    TRAVIS THOMAS 1 YD RUN
    (BRANDON WALKER KICK)
    MICHIGAN ST 0
    NOTRE DAME 7 10:01 LEFT, 1ST QTR

    Michigan State vs. Notre DameSep 22 3:55 PM
  • 10
    roots
    pdxguy96 Added 5 roots

    Michigan State vs. Notre DameSep 22 12:43 AM
  • 5
    roots
    EdanStarfire Added 5 roots

    Michigan State vs. Notre DameSep 19 2:44 PM