Michigan State vs. Notre Dame 2013 final score: Irish prevail, 17-13

This was called a penalty. - Jonathan Daniel

Notre Dame's defense smothers the Spartans late while questionable calls favor the Irish.

In a game marred by questionable officiating and a dearth of offensive playmaking, Notre Dame held off Michigan State at home, 17-13. Michigan State was flagged for questionable, drive-extending pass interference calls on both of Notre Dame's touchdown drives.

And all the same, Notre Dame's defense shut the Spartans down time and time again in the second half of the close game, keeping Michigan State out of the end zone for the final 37 minutes of the game (seven drives altogether) and making sure its 17 points would hold up for the victory.

And so it did.

Box Score Hero: Look at the box score. There are no heroes.

Rankings Ramifications: Notre Dame is set to rise a few spots by dint of having a more impressive win than most of the lower portion of the Top 25; Michigan State was No. 24 in the Coaches Poll and the top team also receiving votes in the AP, so if voters care at all about who it is these teams beat Notre Dame will roll. Meanwhile, this isn't death for Michigan State's ranking hopes. The Spartans obviously won't be ranked but they might still receive votes, and a favorable Big Ten schedule looms.

But Did They Cover? Notre Dame was favored by four points coming into the game, so... nailed that one, Vegas.

For More On This Game: For more on Irish football, visit Notre Dame community One Foot Down. For more on Spartans football, visit Michigan State community The Only Colors, plus Big Ten community Off Tackle Empire.

Next Week's Schedule: Michigan State gets a bye week before heading to Iowa on October 5, and Notre Dame hosts Oklahoma next week.

More from SB Nation:

Your Week 4 college football TV schedule guide

Picking Week 4’s biggest games, eating pretty sandwiches

Spencer Hall’s Alphabetical | Bill Connelly’s Numerical | This Week in Schadenfreude

Mack Brown’s apology for losing to Oklahoma, a month early!

What we learned from the Alabama-Texas A&M classic

Today’s college football news headlines

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