Scores

Final

Michigan State 30

(1-2, 0-1 away)

Notre Dame 33

(2-1)

3:30 PM ET, September 19, 2009

Notre Dame Stadium, NOTRE DAME, IN

1 2 3 4 T
MSU 3 14 6 730
ND 13 3 10 733

Top Performers

Passing: J. Clausen (ND) - 300 YDS, 2 TD

Rushing: A. Allen Jr. (ND) - 23 CAR, 115 YDS, 1 TD

Receiving: G. Tate (ND) - 7 REC, 127 YDS, 1 TD

Notre Dame edges Michigan State for first time at home since 1993

Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Kyle McCarthy saved Notre Dame from another last-minute loss, one play after Michigan State cut the Fighting Irish a break.

McCarthy's interception at the 4-yard line with 57 seconds sealed Notre Dame's 33-30 win after Jimmy Clausen threw for 300 yards, including the game-winning score on a 33-yard touchdown to Golden Tate with 5:18 left.

Fast Facts

• Jimmy Clausen threw for 301 yards and two touchdowns despite an injured foot suffered in the second quarter as the Irish snapped Michigan State's six-game win streak at Notre Dame stadium.

• Clausen now has 41 touchdowns for his career, which tied Rick Mirer for third most in school history.

• The home team has won the last two meetings and lost the previous seven.

• Eight of the 10 games this decade between these two schools have been decided by seven points or less.

-- ESPN Stats & Information

"I think this is a huge step for our guys. Not necessarily for the program, but for the guys in the locker room," said McCarthy, who has an interception in each game this season. "We deserve this win."

It was the second straight week the Spartans gave an opponent a second chance and paid for it.

Michigan State's Larry Caper slipped through the Irish defense and was all alone in the back of the end zone. Caper got his hands on it, but it was high and he couldn't pull it down.

The play was reminiscent of Tate Forcier's game-winning TD pass with 11 seconds left the week before at Michigan.

"After last week, how bad everybody felt in a very similar situation in the ending of the game, to make a play to change the outcome in favor of us, I'm really, really happy for those kids in there," said coach Charlie Weis, 31-22 in his fifth season. "It's nice to see how genuinely excited they are. They feel great."

Instead, the unforced error evoked memories of Michigan State's offside penalty against Central Michigan that gave the Chippewas a second chance at the winning field goal.

"It was a little tougher than Central Michigan because it was such a big win for us," said, Michigan State receiver Keshawn Martin, who threw a 30-yard TD pass to Blair White.

The Irish held on to beat the Spartans in Notre Dame Stadium for the first time since 1993, but lost star wide receiver Michael Floyd to what may be a broken collarbone.

Floyd was hurt in the first half and Weis said the training staff told him "clavicle" and he assumes they meant that it's broken. Second in the nation with 160 yards receiving per game, Floyd finished with two catches for 38 yards.

Cousins was 23 of 35 passing for 302 yards for Michigan State, which was held to 105 yards rushing.

"He played well with the exception of the last throw," Dantonio said.

Cousins was under pressure from linebacker Darius Fleming when he threw the interception.

"I needed to throw the ball away or take a sack, anything to throw the ball away," he said.

Armando Allen ran for 115 yards and a touchdown and threw for another out of a wildcat formation, and Nick Tausch kicked field goals of 22 and 46 yards for the Irish (2-1), though missed an early extra point. It was the third 100-yard game of Allen's career and his second straight.

White caught a pair of touchdown passes and Caper ran for two more as the Spartans (1-2) lost for the second straight week. It was the second time in the past nine meetings that the home team won.

"We left plays on the field. We can't do that against a good football team," Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio said. "We can't do that in an away game."

Clausen was 22 of 31 and injured his right foot when he was sacked in the second quarter, but only missed two plays in the game. He wouldn't elaborate on exactly what the injury is, but said he will undergo X-rays Sunday.

Tate finished with 127 yards on seven catches.

Late in the third quarter, Irish defensive tackle Ethan Johnson blocked an extra point after Caper scored from 7 yards out to cut Notre Dame's lead to 26-23.

"Probably the play of the game. If everything else unfolds as is we're kicking the field goal to win," Dantonio said.

Weis said he believes the Irish showed a resilience they haven't had the past two seasons.

"In the past, what might have happened is when we went down in the second half, it might have been deflating," he said. "But not this team. This team just expects they're going to come back and make a play and win."

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Team Stat Comparison

 
MSU
ND
1st Downs2725
Total Yards459437
Passing354304
Rushing105133
Penalties6-4011-99
3rd Down Conversions5-105-11
4th Down Conversions0-01-1
Turnovers21
Possession25:3034:30

Passing Leaders

Michigan StateC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Cousins23/353028.611
Notre DameC/ATTYDSAVGTDINT
Clausen22/313009.720

Rushing Leaders

Michigan StateCARYDSAVGTDLG
Caper12514.3211
Ray3237.7018
Notre DameCARYDSAVGTDLG
Allen Jr231155.0113
Gray4246.0015

Receiving Leaders

Michigan StateRECYDSAVGTDLG
Dell612120.2057
White67512.5230
Notre DameRECYDSAVGTDLG
Tate712718.1154
Rudolph69515.8052

Scoring Summary

FIRST QUARTERMSUND
TD12:21Armando Allen Jr 13 Yd Run (Nick Tausch Kick) 07
FG07:11Brett Swenson 43 Yd 37
TD04:59Michael Floyd 22 Yd Pass From Jimmy Clausen (Pat Failed) 313
SECOND QUARTERMSUND
TD09:30Blair White 30 Yd Pass From Keshawn Martin (Brett Swenson Kick) 1013
FG03:14Nick Tausch 22 Yd 1016
TD01:01Larry Caper 1 Yd Run (Brett Swenson Kick) 1716
THIRD QUARTERMSUND
TD11:49Robby Parris 5 Yd Pass From Armando Allen Jr (Nick Tausch Kick) 1723
FG05:34Nick Tausch 46 Yd 1726
TD01:24Larry Caper 7 Yd Run (Pat Blocked) 2326
FOURTH QUARTERMSUND
TD09:33Blair White 17 Yd Pass From Kirk Cousins (Brett Swenson Kick) 3026
TD05:18Golden Tate 33 Yd Pass From Jimmy Clausen (Nick Tausch Kick) 3033