Notre Dame 20 Michigan State 3

By Tom Fornelli | College Football Writer
Michigan State couldn't find much room to work with against the Notre Dame defense. (US Presswire)

NOTRE DAME WON: For the first time since 2002 Notre Dame is 3-0, and the Irish got there by beating the tenth-ranked Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing. The Irish did it with defense, holding Michigan State to 237 yards of offense, including only 50 rushing yards.

The Notre Dame offense got off to a nice start, jumping out to a 14-0 less than 20 minutes into the game, but things stalled from there. The Irish finished with only 300 yards of their own on offense, with quarterback Everett Golson completing only 14 of his 32 passes for 178 yards and a touchdown.

WHY NOTRE DAME WON: As I said above, this was a defensive performance. Le'Veon Bell came into this game as a Heisman candidate for the Spartans. He left with only 77 yards on 19 carries. Against a secondary that was supposed to be suspect Andrew Maxwell completed only 23 of 45 passes for 187 yards. The reason for this was Notre Dame's pass rush, as Prince Shembo in particular spent the majority of the evening making life miserable for Maxwell.

WHAT NOTRE DAME WON: Not only did Notre Dame get off to its first 3-0 start in a decade, but it also scored its first win against a team ranked in the top ten since defeating third-ranked Michigan in 2005. While the Irish still have a tough schedule ahead of them, things finally appear to be trending up in Brian Kelly's third season with the team.

WHAT MICHIGAN STATE LOST: First of all, for Michigan State this is a big loss as far as the perception of this program is concerned. With the Big Ten's struggles through the first three weeks, Michigan State was seen as the conference's best hope in 2012. Not anymore, not after this loss at home to Notre Dame. Second of all, this is just another hit to the Big Ten's reputation.

THAT WAS CRAZY: There wasn't a lot of offensive fireworks in this contest, though John Goodman's touchdown catch in the first quarter wasn't anything to scoff at.

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