"Obviously, we weren't as efficient on offense as we wanted to be," Rees said. "(But) we found a way to get the ball in the end zone twice. We were down in their area."

Notre Dame's win matched a 10-game winning streak between Oct. 25, 1997, and Aug. 28, 1999.

NOTES: Former Notre Dame assistant football coach Francis Peay, 69, died Saturday in St. Louis. He served as Irish junior varsity coach in 1976-77 and was coach at Northwestern (1986-91), where his teams went 13-51-2. ... Irish DE Sheldon Day missed Saturday's game with an ankle injury. ... LT Zack Martin made his 43rd career start Saturday, now six away from career leader Sam Young (2006-09). ... The Irish have been ranked higher than the Spartans 33 times, with Michigan State pulling upsets 10 times, including eight while unranked. ... Michigan State is one of just five FBS schools to rank among the top 10 in total defense the past two seasons.