SOUTH BEND – Notre Dame got plenty of help as the No. 22 Irish hung on for a 17-13 win over Michigan State on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.
The Spartans were called for 10 penalties for 115 yards and a failed trick play set up the Irish's go-ahead touchdown.
Notre Dame (3-1) won its third straight against Michigan State (3-1) as the series gets ready to go on a two-year break beginning next season.
The Irish didn't do a lot to help themselves as they survived against a Big Ten team for the second week in a row.
Notre Dame was called for seven penalties for 66 yards. Tommy Rees completed only 14 of 34 passes for 142 yards.
Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook also struggled, completing 16 of 32 passes for 139 yards with a touchdown. The Spartans were able to gain some success on the ground in the second half, running for 74 yards in the third and fourth quarters after only getting 46 rushing yards in the first half.
Notre Dame took the lead for good by taking advantage of a Michigan State penalty at the start of the fourth quarter.
After cornerback Trae Waynes was flagged for pass interference on third-and-10 to move the ball from the 22 to the 7, the Irish tried one more pass before handing it to Cam McDaniel for a 7-yard touchdown and a 17-10 lead with 14:44 to play. The Spartans were called for pass interference twice on the Irish's scoring drive that started with 2:06 to play in the third quarter after safety Matthias Farley intercepted a halfback pass.
Michigan State responded to the TD by getting to Notre Dame's 14-yard line with the help of a 15-yard personal foul by Prince Shembo, but then the Spartans went the wrong way.
Michigan State running back Nick Hill was dropped for a 5-yard loss and a false start penalty backed the Spartans up five more yards. Michigan State finally settled for a 42-yard field goal from Michael Geiger that cut Notre Dame's lead to 17-13 with 10:40 to play.
For more on Saturday's game, read Sunday's Journal Gazette or return to www.journalgazette.net after 3 a.m.