April 21, 2010
EAST LANSING, Mich. - Michigan State's Sept. 18 home football game against Notre Dame will be televised by ABC, with kickoff set for 8 p.m. EDT. In addition, ESPN2 will carry the reverse mirror of the prime-time telecast. It marks just the ninth night game in the 87-year history of Spartan Stadium.
Michigan State is 4-4 in its eight previous prime-time TV appearances in Spartan Stadium, including a 1-2 mark in games played against Notre Dame. On Sept. 12, 1998, Bill Burke completed 12-of-19 passes for 209 yards and three touchdowns as MSU stunned No. 10 Notre Dame, 45-23. On Sept. 18, 2004, Brady Quinn threw for one TD and ran for another score to lead the Irish to a 31-24 victory over the Spartans. On Sept. 23, 2006, Notre Dame cornerback Terrail Lambert capped a furious rally by returning an interception 19 yards for a TD with 2:53 remaining to give the 12th-ranked Fighting Irish a 40-37 victory over the Spartans.
The Irish lead the all-time series 45-27-1; however, the Spartans have won nine of the last 13 meetings. Nine of the last 11 games in the series have been decided by 10 points or less, including last season when Kyle McCarthy's interception at the Irish 4 in the final minute preserved Notre Dame's 33-30 win.
"We're really looking forward to it," Michigan State junior quarterback Kirk Cousins said. "There's something special about playing a game under the lights in Spartan Stadium. The student body always arrives in full voice and creates a truly electric atmosphere.
"For many Spartan fans and for me personally, the Notre Dame game provides a chance for redemption. As a high school senior, I was heartbroken watching Notre Dame rally from a 16-point fourth-quarter deficit for a win in Spartan Stadium in 2006. Of course, I'm also looking for closure after throwing a late-game interception in last year's loss at Notre Dame. That throw stuck with me throughout all of last season.
"With Brian Kelly in his first year as head coach at Notre Dame, this promises to be an exciting early season showdown. We're definitely looking forward to both the opportunity and the challenge."
"It's exciting anytime you get the chance to play in a prime-time game, especially against a rival like Notre Dame," senior linebacker Greg Jones said. "I came back to Michigan State for my senior year, so I could play in games like this.
"As a team, we'll bring great energy and effort to the field, and we know our fans will bring their A game. So together we'll try to make it a night to remember for all Spartans."
The Spartans enter the 2010 season with a streak of 89 consecutive live TV appearances (games televised regionally or nationally since November 2002).