Irish stun Michigan fans

By Jessica Hagerty
October 13, 2006

Notre Dame’s big comeback against the Michigan State Spartans on Sept. 23 is known as one of the greatest college football comebacks in history, according to East Lansing, Mich., was looking towards a victory; however, a stunning turn of events were about to shock the Spartan fans.

With the score at halftime being 31-14, Spartans with the 17-point lead, Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish looked beaten and the Spartans looked as if they should be preparing their post-game celebration.

After a brimming loss to the Michigan Wolverines the previous week, Notre Dame prepared to get their game together.

“I think that at halftime the guys realized the season was starting to fall away for us,” Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis said.

Despite the heavy rain in the second half, the Irish had stepped up.

Notre Dame still trailed at the start of the fourth quarter, 37-33. But Irish quarterback, Brady Quinn, then threw two touchdowns to Jeff Samardzija and Rhema McKnight bringing the score to a close 37-33 with only 4:57 remaining.

With less than three minutes left in the game, cornerback Terrail Lambert caused a huge celebration for the Irish when he returned an interception for the winning touchdown.

The comeback shocked the previously undefeated Michigan State Spartans and their fans that stood in the stands throughout the heavy rainfall during the second half. Fans were convinced they would see their home team reign over the Irish, as they had eight times out of the past 10 match-ups against Notre Dame.

“That game was the greatest comeback in Notre Dame history,” said sophomore secondary education major and Notre Dame fan Timmy Harner. “It goes to show that you can never give up, even when you think it’s over.”

The Fighting Irish did not give up hope after the first half and gave it their all to take the victory.

“Give all the credit to Notre Dame,” Michigan State running back Javon Ringer said. “They stepped up when they had to.”

Does this comeback compare to Doug Flutie’s famous Hail Mary pass in the 1984 Orange Bowl?

Monday Night Football in 2003 was also another famous night in football history. The Indianapolis Colts were down 35-14 with four minutes left in the game until Peyton Manning’s 52-yard reception pass set up the game-tying touchdown.

One week prior to Notre Dames’ victory, the New York Giants gained possession of a fumble from the Philadelphia Eagles allowing the Giants to score 10 points in the last four minutes of the game.

Notre Dame’s comeback victory ranks in the top.

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Jessica Hagerty

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