The 2010 play of the year was affectionately known as “Little Giants” and it couldn’t have been more beautiful for Spartan fans. That play simultaneously propelled Michigan State to an 11-1 regular season and a B1G championship while crushing the spirit and ruining the season of the Fighting Irish. The fact that State’s Coach Mark Dantonio had a heart attack shortly after the call is testament to how taxing and ballsy that decision was.
But more than anything, the play exemplified the dominance Michigan State (2-0) has had over Notre Dame (0-2) over the better part of the last two decades regardless of circumstance, talent, coaching or even home field advantage. Since 1997, State has taken 10 of 14 from the Irish, including six out of the last seven in South Bend, of which I was lucky enough to witness two in person.
Notre Dame comes into the game nursing substantial wounds from yet another devastating loss, this time to arch-rival Michigan, in what will go down as one of the greatest (well, let’s say most exciting) games in college football history. “Under the Lights” at Michigan Stadium for the first time ever, a superior ND squad managed to piss away a 24-7 fourth quarter lead that included two separate leads in the last two minutes. The loss turned Coach Brian Kelly’s head a frightening color of purple and sent the Irish home 0-2.
MSU, on the other hand, comes in 2-0 after dominating performances with a combined score of 72-6. While Youngstown State and Florida Atlantic are admittedly subpar opponents, the Spartans are riding a wave of confidence nonetheless and certainly are not intimidated by the spectre of playing in the shadow of Touchdown Jesus tomorrow.
It seems the Green & White simply has the Golden Domers’ number and there’s little to suggest that will change this year as State will walk away with yet another Megaphone Trophy.