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ND can't solve MSU

By Associated Press
Published September 18, 2005

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Not even Charlie Weis could stop Michigan State's mastery over Notre Dame in South Bend.

The Spartans overcame a 21-point rally by the No. 10 Fighting Irish and pulled out their fifth straight win at Notre Dame Stadium, 44-41 in overtime Saturday.

Former Osceola High standout Jason Teague dashed 19 yards with an option pitch for the winning touchdown, handing Weis his first loss as coach after starting 2-0 on the road.

"I told them you don't get any medals for trying," Weis said. "I'm never content when you end up losing."

Drew Stanton led the Spartans offensively, throwing three touchdowns and running for one. Michigan State amassed 488 yards, and Stanton was 16-of-27 for 327 yards.

"We wanted to show that this program is back in the right direction," Stanton said. "There's no better way to do that than a rivalry game at Notre Dame."

The Spartans have made a habit of beating the Irish on their home turf, joining Purdue (1954-62) as the only opponent to win five straight at Notre Dame Stadium. Irish fans, many wearing the yellow of the school's new spirit shirt, booed as the Spartans celebrated the victory at midfield.

"It's good coming into a hostile environment and winning a game like this," said Matt Trannon, who had five catches for a career-high 136 yards and two touchdowns.

Michigan State's 12 wins at Notre Dame are the most by an Irish opponent.

Teague, who had been suspended a week earlier for Michigan State's victory over Hawaii, said he had a hard time breathing at his teammates piled on him in the end zone.

"This is the best time of my life," he said.

The Fighting Irish rallied from 21 down in the third quarter to tie on Jeff Samardzija's TD catch with 2:31 left, but they had to settle for D.J. Fitzpatrick's 44-yard field goal on their OT possession.

"When you come back like that, you've got a lot of emotion and you feel pretty good about yourself," Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn said. "And then when you can't come through with the victory, I think there's the ability to be a big letdown."

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