IE Independents

Irish Crush Sloppy Spartans

September 23, 2017

Notre Dame took full advantage of three Michigan State turnovers to build a 28-7 halftime lead and cruised to a 38-18 victory over the Spartans in East Lansing. The Irish advanced to 3-1 on the season with an efficient, error free performance while MSU repeatedly self destructed with turnovers and penalties. After Notre Dame took the opening kickoff and drove 78 yards for a Brandon Wimbush touchdown, cornerback Julian Love returned an interception 59 yards for another score less than five minutes into the contest. The Spartans responded with a score and a defensive stop to regain some momentum, but quarterback Brian Lewerke coughed up the ball at his own 24 when he was sacked by the Irish. Wimbush quickly hit Dexter Williams with a scoring toss and Notre Dame led by 21-7 early in the second quarter.

Moments later, MSU tailback L.J. Scott was stripped by Shaun Crawford as he was about to score, and Crawford recovered the loose ball in the end zone for a touchback. The Irish turned this good fortune into another Williams score and the game was effectively over with five minutes left in the half. Deon McIntosh added his first career touchdown for Notre Dame in the third quarter and Justin Yoon drilled a 45-yard field goal late in the game to close the Irish scoring.

Although the Spartans ran 85 plays to 60 for Notre Dame and outgained the Irish by 485-350, many of the yards were accrued long after the issue was decided, and the avalanche of critical mistakes by MSU ensured their drives ended in frustration. Lewerke threw 53 passes and accumulated 334 yards through the air, although much of this success was the result of short throws underneath a prevent defense. The Irish won the battle in the trenches and outrushed the Spartans by 182-151. Wimbush threw the ball just 20 times and completed 14, many of which resulted in important first downs.

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