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College

Irish Get First Win, Beat No. 15 Spartans 31-13

Michael Floyd #3 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish catches the ball while Darqueze Dennard #31 of the Michigan State Spartans works to break up the pass during the first half September 17, 2011at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by John Gress/Getty Images)

Michael Floyd #3 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish catches the ball while Darqueze Dennard #31 of the Michigan State Spartans works to break up the pass during the first half September 17, 2011at Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by John Gress/Getty Images)

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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) – Cierre Wood ran for two touchdowns, freshman George Atkinson III returned a kickoff 89 yards for a score and Robert Blanton had a late interception Saturday as Notre Dame beat No. 15 Michigan State 31-13 for its first win.

The Spartans (2-1), who stunned Notre Dame in overtime a year ago with a game-winning TD pass off a fake field goal, tried to surprise the Irish again after lining up for a field goal near the end of the first half.

Notre Dame (1-2) was ready this time. On fourth-and-goal from the 2, Ethan Johnson broke up a shovel pass attempt and the Irish led 21-10 at the half.

Michigan State’s Kirk Cousins, who had 11 straight completions at one juncture of the second half, was 34-for-53 for 329 yards but he was intercepted at the Notre Dame 6 with just under four minutes left by Blanton, who returned it 82 yards to the 12.

(TM and © Copyright 2010 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)