Michigan State closed out a sloppy first half with several drops on offense, a couple more on defense, some questionable decisions on special teams and little pass rush.
The result is a 14-3 lead for Notre Dame at halftime.
The Spartans gave up their first offensive touchdown of the season when Everett Golson hit John Goodman in the first quarter and added to the lead with Golson ran in from 6 yards out in the second quarter.
In the meantime, the Michigan State offense struggled. Quarterback Andrew Maxwell, who had not been sacked through two games, went down three times in the first half. He was also hurt by dropped passes, including one in the end zone by Bennie Fowler in the first quarter.
Dan Conroy missed wide right on a 44-yard field goal before hitting a 50-yarder in the second quarter to put the Spartans on the board.