Notre Dame has played before a sellout in 74 of its last 85 games road games. In fact, the Irish have played in front of sellout crowds in 220 of their previous 254 games, including 95 of their last 106 dating back to the 2001 Tostitos Fiesta Bowl (the '01, '03, '05 and '07 games at Stanford, the '04 game vs. Navy at the Meadowlands, the '05 and '08 games at Washington, the '07 game at UCLA, the '08 Hawai'i Bowl and the '09 games at Purdue and in San Antonio against Washington State were not sellouts).
In the opening quarter, Notre Dame recorded eight first downs to Michigan State's four. The Irish also out-gained the Spartans 133-77.
Notre Dame's defense was whistled for its first penalty of the season midway through the second quarter when sophomore S Zeke Motta was flagged for a horse collar tackle.
AGAINST THE SPARTANS...
Junior WR Michael Floyd has caught a TD pass in three straight games against Michigan State.
Notre Dame limited the Spartans to seven points in the first half. The Irish have not held Michigan State to fewer points in an opening half since Sept. 20, 2003 (the Spartans totaled six points in the first half).
Tonight marked the sixth time in the last seven meetings that the winning team scored 30 or more points.
Over the last 11 meetings (dating back to 2000), the Notre Dame-Michigan State game has been decided by a touchdown or less on nine different occasions, with the game-winning score coming late in the fourth quarter or overtime in eight of the 11 meetings. Here's a breakdown of the nail-biting heroics:
2000: Herb Haygood 68-yard TD pass from Jeff Smoker with 1:48 left in the 4th quarter (MSU 27-21). 2001: Charles Rogers 47-yard TD pass from Ryan Van Dyke with 7:51 left in the 4th quarter (MSU 17-10). 2002:Arnaz Battle 60-yard TD pass from Pat Dillingham with 1:15 left in the 4th quarter (ND 21-17). 2003: Greg Taplin 40-yard INT return with 6:55 left in the 4th quarter (MSU 22-16). 2004: Notre Dame builds a 28-7 third quarter lead before MSU rallies with 17 points in 31-24 ND win. 2005: Jason Teague's 19-yd TD run in the first overtime gave the Spartans a 44-41 victory in Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish had rallied from a 21-point deficit to force overtime. 2006: Notre Dame CB Terrail Lambert intercepts Michigan State quarterback Drew Stanton and returns it 27 yards for the go-ahead touchdown with 2:53 remaining as the Irish rallied from a 16-point fourth quarter deficit for a 40-37 victory. Lambert added another interception on the Spartans final drive to ultimately secure the triumph. 2009: Notre Dame SS Kyle 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. 2010: Aaron Bates found Charlie Gantt for a 29-yard TD pass on a fake field goal in overtime to give Michigan State a 34-31 victory.
Notre Dame played in its first overtime contest of 2010 and fourth over the last three years.
The Irish and Spartans have played in two overtime contests in series history.
Notre Dame drops to 3-8 all-time in overtime games and 0-2 against the Spartans.
Notre Dame recorded a pair of turnovers (a Michael Floyd fumble and Dayne Crist interception) in the first half inside the Michigan State 20-yard line. The Irish have three such turnovers over their first three games.
Notre Dame did, though, force a Spartan turnover inside the Irish 20-yard line. Motta picked up his first career interception in the end zone.
Notre Dame committed three turnovers for the second straight week.
ROAD SEASON OPENERS...
The Irish are 75-36-5 (.668) in road openers, but have dropped 11 of their last 14.
Notre Dame owns a 6-5-1 (.542) record when its first road game of the season comes against Michigan State.
FIRST-YEAR HEAD COACHES IN ROAD DEBUTS...
Dating back to 1913, Jesse Harper's first season, Notre Dame skippers are 12-6 (.667) in their inaugural road game.
Only Elmer Layden in 1934 (19-0 loss to Pittsburgh), Joe Kuharich in 1959 (28-7 loss to Purdue), Gerry Faust in 1981 (25-7 loss to No. 1 Michigan), Lou Holtz in 1986 (20-15 loss to Michigan State), Bob Davie in 1997 (28-17 loss to Purdue) and Kelly (a 34-31 overtime loss to Michigan State) failed to win their first road game at Notre Dame. This record includes two wins by interim head coaches -- Ed McKeever in 1944 (58-0 win at Pittsburgh) and Hugh Devore in 1945 (40-7 win at Georgia Tech) spelled Frank Leahy while he was off serving his country in World War II.
Dating back to 1913, Jesse Harper's first season, Notre Dame head coaches own an all-time record of 6-7 (.462) in their inaugural meeting with Michigan State, including an 1-4 (.200) mark in first-time meetings in East Lansing.
His 18-yard reception in the first quarter was his longest of the season.
With his sixth reception on the night, Allen moved into first place all-time on the Irish receptions record for running backs. He bested the previous school record of 109 held by Darius Walker (2004-06).
Set career-highs in completions (32), attempts (55), passing yards (369) and touchdown passes (four).
No Notre Dame quarterback has ever thrown for more TD passes in his first career start on the road.
The 32 completions rank tied for the fourth-most in single-game ND history.
The 55 attempts rank as the fifth-most in single-game Irish history.
Registered a 24-yard TD pass to Floyd with 13:20 to go in the fourth quarter to give the Irish a 28-21 lead. The TD pass was Crist's fourth of the game, seventh of the season and eighth of his career.
The four TD passes is tied for sixth-most in ND single-game history.
Eclipsed 300 yards passing for the first time in his career.
Crist went 12 for 14 for 149 yards and two touchdowns in the third quarter alone.
Registered a 15-yard TD pass to Riddick with 1:29 to go in the third quarter to tie the score, 21-21. The TD pass was Crist's third of the game, sixth of the season and seventh of his career. Crist was 7 of 8 for 75 yards on the scoring drive.
Connected on a 10-yard TD pass to Rudolph with 12:25 to go in the third quarter to tie the score, 14-14. The TD pass was Crist's fifth of the season and sixth of his career.
Crist was 5 for 6 for 74 yards and a touchdown on the opening scoring drive of the fist half.
Connected on a seven-yard TD pass to Floyd with 5:28 left in the first quarter to give Notre Dame a 7-0 lead. The TD pass was Crist's fourth of the season and fifth of his career.
Crist completed 11 of 18 passes for 116 yards and one touchdown in the opening 15 minutes.