Notre Dame 40, Michigan State 37
Sept. 24, 2006
Michigan State retired No. 95 in honor of two-time All-American Charles "Bubba" Smith in a pre-game ceremony. Currently worn by sophomore defensive end Justin Kershaw, the number was going to come out of circulation at the completion of Kershaw's career. Kershaw, however, has opted to change numbers after tonight's game. He will select a new number this week.
A crowd of 80,193 witnessed the 40-37 Irish victory, the third-largest crowd ever in Spartan Stadium history. The largest crowd was against the Irish in 1990 (80,401), and the second was in 1975 against Big Ten rival Ohio State (80,383).
The series record now stands at 44-25-1 in favor of Notre Dame, and the Irish hold a 18-13-1 mark in games played in East Lansing. Notre Dame has won three straight at Spartan Stadium.
The last eight meetings in this series have been decided by ten points or less.
Drew Stanton's 34-yard completion to Kerry Reed in the end zone in the first quarter pushed Stanton's consecutive-games streak to 16 games with a touchdown pass. It was the longest reception of the season for Reed, and his third touchdown catch.
Matt Trannon completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Javon Ringer in the first quarter. It is the second touchdown pass of the season for Trannon, who completed a 35-yarder to A.J. Jimmerson in the second quarter of a 52-20 win over Eastern Michigan. In his career, Trannon has completed all three passes he has attempted for 67 total yards.
Senior punter Brandon Fields made his first career fumble recovery when he jumped on a first-period Tom Zbikowski bobble.
True freshman Brett Swenson's 32-yard field goal was his fifth make in six tries this season. The Spartans posted five made field goals in all of the 2005 season (16 tries). Swenson has not missed from inside of 50 yards this season.
Defensive end Ervin Baldwin picked off a pass at 9:04 of the second quarter and returned it 19 yards for a touchdown. It was his first career interception and first touchdown as a Spartan. It was MSU's first interception returned for a touchdown since last year's third-quarter pick by SirDarean Adams against Notre Dame, which he returned 30 yards for a touchdown.
A 59-yard touchdown drive, capped with a 15-yard toss to Reed, moved Drew Stanton into fourth place in MSU's record book for career passing yards. He moved past Bill Burke (5,463 yards, 1996-99). It also marked Reed's first career multiple-touchdown game.
A 62-yard touchdown reception by John Carlson from Brady Quinn early in the third quarter is the longest reception given up by the Spartans this season. The previous long was 49 yards last week against Pitt.
Jeff Samardzija hooked up with Brady Quinn for two touchdown passes (17, 43 yards), the first time this season the Spartan defense has given up two touchdown receptions to a single player.
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