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Ball Security Issues Continue to Plague Spartans, Trailing to Notre Dame at Half

Notre Dame v Michigan State
Leon Halip – Getty Images

Michigan State head coach Mark Dantonio said ball security would be an emphasis during the bye week. 30 minutes of football out of the bye, the Spartans still have work to do.

Michigan State has turned the ball over three times in the first half, Notre Dame has scored touchdowns on all three of the response drives after for a 28-7 Fighting Irish lead at the half.

After the Spartans defense gave up their first touchdown of the season on the opening drive, Brian Lewerke threw a pick six to Julian Love who was sitting in zone coverage at left side corner, 59 yards to the house. Not five minutes into the game and the Spartans were down 14-0.

The Spartans rebounded well enough though as Lewerke atoned for his error with a 52 yard rush up the middle on 3rd and 1. It was one of those kinds of plays where the quarterback just wants to get the yard and get down, except nobody on the Notre Dame defense covered the center and if Lewerke was just a bit faster he might have scored. A pass to Darrell Stewart gave MSU their first, and so far only, points on the night.

The good feelings would last until the start of the second quarter, when a scrambling Lewerke was wrapped up and had the ball jarred loose at his own 24. Notre Dame took advantage of the short field and scored to extend their lead.

On the ensuing drive to try and claw back from a 21-7 hole. LJ Scott split a gap, ran up the middle and then had the ball knocked free at the 1-yard line. Scott had a chance to recover in the end zone but the ball was ultimately recovered by Shaun Crawford, who also forced the fumble. Notre Dame touchback, no points.

To review that’s three turnovers so far and Notre Dame has 21 points off of them. LJ Scott has lost his third fumble of the year and second on the goal line. Lewerke is responsible for two turnovers so far this game. Ball security is still a topic that needs addressing.

Brian Lewerke leads the Spartans in rushing again with five carries for 54 yards. LJ Scott is eight carries for 44 yards and has also lost a fumble. Lewerke through the air has completed 10 of 19 passes for 95 yards with one touchdown and one interception.

Brandon Wimbush on the other hand for Notre Dame is 9-15 for 110 yards and a touchdown. He has also carried the ball six times for 15 yards and a score.

Michigan State gets the ball to start the second half.

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