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COLLEGE FOOTBALL / WEEK 5

Michigan St. Wins When Smoker Clears

September 24, 2000|From Associated Press

EAST LANSING, Mich. — Freshman quarterback Jeff Smoker threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Herb Haygood with 1:48 left, lifting No. 23 Michigan State to a 27-21 victory over No. 16 Notre Dame on Saturday.

Smoker threw a perfect pass to Haygood on fourth-and-10 after turning the ball over twice in the final 13 minutes--a fumble at Michigan State's 12 and an interception at the two.

"It was great to have them put the ball in my hands on fourth down," Smoker said. "I'm just glad I could come through after making those two mistakes. I didn't want to let my teammates down, but at the same time, I knew I had to come back and make a big play."

T.J. Duckett had 26 carries for 141 yards and a touchdown for the Spartans (3-0), who have beaten Notre Dame (2-2) four years in a row. It's the longest losing streak the Fighting Irish have had against a team since Miami beat them four times between 1983-1987.

The Spartans have won nine in a row at home, while the Irish have lost eight in a row on the road.

Notre Dame was stopped on a fourth-and-one at Michigan State's three after Smoker's first turnover, but was able to convert the second into a go-ahead touchdown. Julius Jones' two-yard touchdown run put Notre Dame ahead, 21-20, with 7:59 left, one play after Anthony Weaver's interception.

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