Notre Dame vs Michigan State, second half

Posted: Saturday, September 20, 2008 by Travis Cody in

Notre Dame gets off to a promising start in the second half, holding MSU to a 3 and out. Unfortunately for the Spartans, RB Javon Ringer went out with a possible leg injury. I didn't see what may be something minor.

The Irish offense has gone to a spread formation with 4 wide outs and a single back who goes in motion out of the back field when Clausen steps back into the shot gun. The short slants and quick passes into the flat have been effective getting the offense into rhythm and moving the football.

Rats. The Irish drove down inside the 20 and then fumbled. MSU recovered.

Good news...Ringer is back in the game. And he plays a major role in the Spartans sustaining an excellent long drive down into the red zone. Ringer had 41 of the 77 yards on that drive.

But a penalty stalls the drive and MSU settles for a field goal to make it 13-0. So the Irish are only down 2 scores.

Notre Dame still can't get any kind of action going on the ground though, and that allows the MSU defense to go straight to the QB on the rush. That results in rushed decisions and incomplete passes. And that's why the Irish can't consistently move the ball.

Somebody needs to make a play for the Irish. ND is back to the short passes, which was effective at the start of the second half until the fumble.

After an unncessary roughness penalty gives the Irish a first down, MSU makes a great play to save a TD on a post pattern over the middle.

Woooooooooooooo!!! WR Michael Floyd makes a great play on a catch for a TD! Clausen threw a high pass to the front pylon of the endzone and Floyd out jumped the MSU defender for the TD.

Now the Irish have their big play to get back in the game. ND is down 13-7 to start the 4th quarter.

MSU answers with a big pass play of its own. The Spartans follow that up with plays to control the clock and drive deep into ND territory.

The Irish stand up on defense at the goal line and hold Ringer out of the endzone on 3 straight plays. MSU gets the field goal to make the score 16-7.

After a touchback on the kickoff, Clausen throws to Floyd for a first down. But then the MSU pass rush forces him to throw one away. That is followed by a bad snap that Clausen has to cover for a loss.

And on third down, Golden Tate makes a terrific play! The throw was short of the first down, but he breaks the tackle and runs for the first down on 3rd and 17 to keep the drive going.

A pass interference penalty nets another first down. Then another quick out to Floyd and the Irish are 1st and 10 inside the 20.

Clausen throws another great pass into the corner of the endzone, but the defender managed to knock it out of Floyd's hands at the last moment. Clausen nearly threw an interception on the 3rd down play, but the ball falls incomplete.

The 41 yard field goal is missed and the score remains 16-7 with just under 6 minutes to play.


Ringer goes for 63 yards before the Irish can chase him down. And then a steady dose of runs from Ringer runs the clock down.

And Ringer goes in for the TD to seal the victory for MSU. Ringer had all 77 yards on that drive, and finishes the day with 201 yards on 39 carries and 2 TDs.

Armando Allen takes the kickoff back 53 yards. The Irish had some positive plays in this game. But the inability to run the ball and the turnovers were too much to overcome.

Defensively, the Irish didn't play badly. Yes, they did give up the 200 yards to Ringer. But ND turned the ball over twice in MSU territory and one of those interceptions was in the endzone. So that took scoring opportunities away from the Irish.



  1. Marsha says:

    I know this has nothing to do with ND and MSU, but heck...'I feel like dancing, yeah'. We've got a dancing show starting this week..wahoo!

  1. Marilyn says:

    I guess football season is going on then.

    Thanks for the kind word on my blog today. Happy football spectating.

  1. Travis says:

    Marsha: We do! It'll be a full week of Dancing posts!

    Marilyn: It is going quite strong and I'm happy.

    Ann: I know.