Sophomore flanker Tim Brown returned the second-half kickoff 93 yards for a touchdown and caught a pass for 49 yards to set up Allen Pinkett’s two-yard touchdown Saturday night, leading Notre Dame to a 27-10 victory over Michigan State.
Pinkett rushed 25 times for 116 yards for the 16th 100-yard game of his career.
Lorenzo White had a game-high 123 yards in 31 carries to pace the Spartans.
The Fighting Irish (1-1) were coming off a season-opening loss to Michigan that knocked them from the national rankings. The Spartans, playing without starting quarterback Dave Yarema, fell to 1-1.
Brown’s kickoff return broke a 7-7 tie and, after Chris Caudell had kicked a 21-yard field goal for Michigan State, Steve Beuerlein hit Brown on the 49-yard play to set up the clinching touchdown early in the fourth quarter.
Michigan State Coach George Perles called Brown’s kickoff return “a great run. We missed a tackle, and when you miss a tackle with all that speed, that’s what happens. A kickoff return is something that hasn’t happened to us.
“Obviously, we got beat by a better team.”
Michigan State started freshman quarterback Bobby McAllister in place of the injured Yarema. McAllister directed the Spartans to a 7-0 lead on the game’s opening drive.
McAllister, who had never taken a snap in a college game, completed his first three passes but failed to convert another until the closing minutes as Notre Dame sacked him four times for losses totaling 24 yards.
“My first drive, I was pretty excited,” McAllister said. “Later on they started to tighten up, and I was forced to scramble.”