No. 12 Spartans hold on for 36-28 win over No. 18 Irish

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 17: Tyler O'Connor #7 of the Michigan State Spartans drops back to pass during the second half of a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 17, 2016 in South Bend, Indiana. Michigan State defeated Notre Dame 36-28. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 17: Tyler O'Connor #7 of the Michigan State Spartans drops back to pass during the second half of a game against the Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Notre Dame Stadium on September 17, 2016 in South Bend, Indiana. Michigan State defeated Notre Dame 36-28. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — Tyler O’Connor threw for two touchdowns, Gerald Holmes ran for two more, including a 73-yard score, and No. 12 Michigan State took advantage of mistakes by No. 18 Notre Dame and held on for a 36-28 victory Saturday night.

The Spartans (2-0) turned what had been a close game at halftime into a 29-point lead with three third-quarter touchdowns. But Notre Dame made it close as DeShone Kizer threw for two touchdowns and ran for another and the Irish (1-2) cut the lead to 36-28 with 6:02 left on a 12-yard touchdown pass to tight end Durham Smythe.

On Notre Dame’s next possession, Kizer was sacked for a 5-yard loss by Raequan Williams on third-and-2 and Notre Dame punted with 3:37 left in the game and the Spartans ran out the clock.

O’Connor, a fifth-year senior making his third career start, was 19 of 26 passing for 241 yards and one interception on a deflected pass. Kizer threw for a career-high 344 yards, completing 20 of 37 passes with one interception with heavy pressure at times from the Spartans.

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