Notre Dame Vs. Michigan State Final Score: Irish Defense Dominates In 20-3 Win

Notre Dame redshirt freshman quarterback Everett Golson didn't finish with the flashiest stats, but he accounted for the game's only two touchdowns in the Notre Dame Fighting Irish's 20-3 win over the Michigan State Spartans Saturday.

Golson found John Goodman with a jump ball in the end zone in the first quarter for a 36-yard touchdown and then Golson ran for a 6-yard touchdown in the second quarter.

Golson finished 14-for-32 passing for 178 yards and no turnovers.

The Notre Dame defense kept Michigan State's offense under control the entire game. Michigan State's passing game never got going. Andrew Maxwell completed just 23-for-45 passes for 187 yards. He was sacked 4 times and faced constant pressure from the Notre Dame front seven.

The ineffective passing game made it difficult for Heisman Trophy candidate running back Le'Veon Bell to get going. Bell rushed for 77 yards on 19 carries.

Cierre Wood, who missed the first two games of the season for Notre Dame after being suspended, returned and rushed for 56 yards on 10 carries.

Box Score Hero: Manti Te'o and the entire Notre Dame defense. The Irish put constant pressure on Maxwell and, when he did have time, the secondary blanketed Michigan State's receivers, preventing the Spartans from making big plays.

Rankings Ramifications: Michigan State came in ranked 10th and will likely fall, though probably not out of the top 25. Notre Dame was ranked 20th. The Irish are undefeated and should rise into at least the top 15 after this win.

But Did They Cover? Notre Dame opened favored by 4 points and covered the spread.

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

Next Week's Schedule: Notre Dame hosts Michigan at 7:30 p.m. Sept. 22. Michigan State hosts Eastern Michigan at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 22.

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