At some point in the fourth quarter, even Notre Dame fans had to start feeling comfortable. After all, they had watched the Irish cough up a late lead last week against Michigan, so they were probably a bit more cautious than usual about assuming that the game had been won. But at some point -- maybe when they took a 31-13 lead? -- even the most nervous of fans had to think the Irish had it won.
A statistically dominating win, it wasn't. The best player on the field numerically was Kirk Cousins, who carved up the Notre Dame secondary as part of a 34-for-53, 329-yard day. Cousins had a touchdown and an interception on the day. His favorite target was B.J. Cunningham, who caught 12 balls for 158 yards. But it wasn't enough to overcome Notre Dame's shutting down of the running game; the Spartans managed only 29 yards on 23 carries, a 1.3 yard average.
Notre Dame's numbers on offense were more modest. Tommy Rees was 18-of-26 for 161 yards, a touchdown and an interception. The Irish ran for 114 yards on 32 carries. But it was enough for a win, which is all that really matters for Notre Dame after a rough couple of weeks.