Sept. 14, 1999
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The rivalry between Michigan State and Notre Dame is an epic one. The series stands at 41-20-1 with the Irish having won 41 of the 62 meetings.
The single tie came in a storied battle between the top two teams in college football back in 1966 and marking the meeting of two legendary coaches in Notre Dame’s Ara Parseghian and Michigan State?s Duffy Daugherty.
The top-ranked Irish headed into East Lansing riding a high after beating the Blue Devils of Duke, 64-0. In fact, the Irish had shutout five of their eight opponents thus far in the season. Also Parseghian?s crew had steadily climbed up the rankings to take the top spot on October 22.
?Nobody can be happy with a tie,? Irish quarterback Terry Hanratty said. ?It was a helluva ball game, but we were all so tired. I don?t think anyone wanted to go to a fifth quarter.?
The Irish were plagued by injuries early on in the contest. Notre Dame halfback Nick Eddy slipped getting off the train in East Lansing and fell on an already sore shoulder, eliminating him from the lineup.
Hanratty found himself sidelined for the majority of the game after a hit by Bubba Smith. The Irish quarterback sustained a shoulder injury that took him out of the game. Michigan State?s Smith also knocked out Irish center George Goeddeke. Goeddeke injured his ankle in the first quarter from a Smith hit.
Parseghian and Co. found itself down 7-0, after the Spartan?s Regis Cavender scored on a four-yard run. Later Michigan State?s Dick Kenney kicked a 47-yard field goal to up the Spartans scored to 10.
With the injury to Hanratty, Parseghian turned to his backup quarterback Coley O?Brien whom just two weeks earlier had been diagnosed with diabetes, to lead the team. O?Brien answered as he charged his team 54 yards in four plays. O?Brien connected with Bob Gladieux on a 34-yard pass with Gladieux stepping into the end zone.
The score got all tied on the first play of the fourth quarter when Joe Azzaro kicked a 28-yard field goal through the uprights.
As time slowly ticked away, O?Brien and company got one final chance to take the lead. Safety Tom Schoen intercepted Spartan Jimmy Raye?s pass. He returned it to the Spartan 18-yard line. After stalling around the Spartan?s 20-yard line, the Irish setup for a 41-yard field goal. Azzaro?s kick went wide right and the epic battled ended with a 10-10 tie.
?I knew there was going to be a winner and a loser, and I thought we were going to win. In never thought about a tie,? Parseghian said after the game. ?The last thing Duffy Daugherty or I wanted was a tie.?
Despite the tie, the Irish went on to claim the National Championship in 1966. In the final game of the season, top-ranked Notre Dame destroyed tenth-ranked USC, 51-0. The Irish finished the season with a record of 9-0-1 and took the title of National Champions unanimously. Michigan State finished second.