We’ve certainly seen some exciting renditions of the Notre Dame-Michigan State rivalry through the years, however, today wasn’t one of them. Nonetheless, the game was played for an entire four quarters and the Fighting Irish narrowly came out on top by a final of 17-13.
Neither team was really overly impressive, this game was just an example of having things go your way. And in this case, things certainly went the way of Notre Dame–especially capitalizing on gifts they were given by inexcusable penalties committed by Michigan State. Although some weren’t actually committed at all, as is evidenced by this:
This was a pass interference call against Michigan State, which ultimately resulted in the eventual go-ahead score for the Irish. I’m not entirely sure on what level of football a receiver mounted on top of a defensive back is pass interference on the defender, but apparently today–in this game–it was.
With that call aside though, the Spartans committed 10 penalties for 115 yards total, which just simply can’t happen. It’s awfully tough to win any game when you’re that undisciplined.
One more huge takeaway from this game I gathered is that neither team is set at the QB position. Neither Tommy Rees for Notre Dame nor Connor Cook for Michigan State played eye-opening football under center.
Now coming in, we knew about the Michigan State issues at the QB slot, but I do believe it’s time that Brian Kelly keeps a close time on Tommy Rees. Rees constantly overshot some wide open receivers and clearly has placement issues with the ball when it comes to fitting it in tightly to a receiver in the end zone. Also, multiple times, Tommy didn’t have near the awareness that he should have to step up in the pocket and make a play.
Before they step on the field with Oklahoma next weekend, that needs to seriously be evaluated.
Notre Dame moves to 3-1 on the year now with the aforementioned Oklahoma game waiting in the wings, while Michigan State drops to 3-1 with a trip to Iowa on deck next in two weeks following a bye week next Saturday.