East Lansing, MI (Sports Network) - Aaron Bates completed a 29-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Gantt on a fake field goal play to give the Michigan State Spartans a thrilling 34-31 overtime victory versus the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Spartan Stadium.
Kirk Cousins completed 23-of-33 passes for 245 yards and two touchdowns to pace Michigan State (3-0) in the victory, while Le'Veon Bell ran for 114 yards and a score as well. Edwin Baker registered 90 yards and a touchdown on the ground, while B.J. Cunningham grabbed seven passes for 101 yards and a score. Keshawn Martin added eight receptions for 96 yards and a touchdown for the Spartans who continue to trail in the all-time series by a count of 45-28-1 despite the victory.
Dayne Crist threw for 369 yards, with four touchdowns and one interception, to lead the way for Notre Dame (1-2). Crist completed 32-of-55 passes under center in the losing effort, with his biggest target being Theo Riddick who had 10 catches for 128 yards and a touchdown, while Michael Floyd grabbed six passes for 81 yards and a pair of scores himself. Kyle Rudolph rounded out the Irish receiving corps with eight receptions for 80 yards and one touchdown.
A seven-yard toss from Crist to Floyd late in the opening period of play gave the Irish a 7-0 lead.
After a quiet second period, the Spartans found the end zone with a six-yard toss from Cousins to Martin to tie the contest at 7-7 heading into the break.
The Spartans gained a 14-7 lead early in the third quarter following a 56-yard Baker run just 40 seconds into the period.
The Irish responded just minutes later however, tying the contest at 14-14 with a 10-yard strike from Crist to Rudolph.
The Spartans reclaimed the lead late in the frame with a 16-yard scamper by Bell into the end zone, but the Irish came back minutes later with a 15-yard scoring strike from Crist to Riddick that tied the contest at 21-21.
The Irish earned a 28-21 lead early in the final period of play with a 24-yard scoring connection between Crist and Floyd, capping a drive that covered 52 yards in less than 90 seconds.
The lead was short-lived however, as Cousins found Cunningham midway through the stanza on a 24-yard TD pass to knot things up once again, sending the game into overtime with the score 28-28.
In the extra session the Irish took a 31-28 lead on a 33-yard David Ruffer kick before Michigan State found the end zone following its brazen fake field goal to earn the exciting three-point victory at home.