The Notre Dame Michigan State game on Saturday ended on a fake field goal. The Notre Dame Michigan State game presented an ending that is going to be talked about for weeks in the world of college football, and the final play was executed so well that even the opposing coach had to admit that the winning team had to tip his cap. In a battle of two schools trying to break into the NCAA Top 25 this year, audiences that tuned into this game saw a back-and-forth battle that had to be decided in an overtime period with a trick play in the end.
The game was back-and-forth all night, with Notre Dame and Michigan State matching each other with scores into the fourth quarter, where they each scored a touchdown to take a 28-28 game into overtime. It was Notre Dame that got the first shot, and kicked a field goal to take a 31-28 lead. Now Michigan State had their chance, and the Notre Dame defense was going to have to hold Michigan State to at least a field goal. On third down, Michigan State quarterback Kirk Cousins took a back sack, pushing Michigan State into what would be a very long field goal for an inexperienced kicker.
The Michigan State head coach decided to make a very gutsy call, direct snapping it to his holder Aaron Bates, as a receiver ran down the sidelines. A Notre Dame defender fell, and the pass was completed to Charlie Gantt who rumbled for a 29-yard touchdown to end the game. Notre Dame was of course stunned, but the crowd at Spartan Stadium exploded in support of their Michigan State team. MSU had just pulled off an amazing finish to the game, winning 34-31 in overtime. Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly could only tip his cap to the play call in the end, and the Fighting Irish lost their second consecutive game to a frustrating finish.
Two great things happened for the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday night, with the first being that they squeezed out a great win against a much a tough Notre Dame team. The second thing was that they did it in amazing fashion on national television, giving poll voters around the country a great look at their team. Michigan State is now 3-0, and trying to break into the Top 25, but their win on Saturday may have been exactly what they needed to get noticed in what appears to be a much deeper Big Ten Conference this year. Now Michigan State gets an easier game against Northern Colorado next Saturday before they open Big Ten play against Wisconsin on October 2.