Following their latest chapter to a storied rivalry this Saturday in East Lansing, the Michigan State Spartans and Notre Dame Fighting Irish will put the series on hold for the foreseeable future, until at least 2026.
Earlier this week, we revisited perhaps the most iconic games and moments in the history of this great and underrated rivalry, when the two teams played to a 10-10 stalemate in a battle dubbed the “Game of the Century” between No. 1 vs. No. 2. Now we fast forward 44 years to 2010 for arguably the greatest moment in this rivalry from this century.
Trailing 31-28 in overtime, the Spartans line up to kick a 46-yard field goal to tie the game and send it to a second overtime. Instead, they opt to open up the playbook a little more and go for the win.
Here is then ESPN play-by-play man Brad Nessler on the call and dubbing the fake field goal play named “Little Giants” as the “call of the year.”
And for a little local flavor, here is MSU play-by-play man and long-time Pistons television broadcaster George Blaha on the call.
This game was a microcosm of what turned out to be a big and crucial year for Michigan State and head coach Mark Dantonio, who was in his fourth season at the time. The team was coming off a 6-7 season in 2009 after collecting nine wins the year prior.
MSU ended up finishing the 2010 campaign with an 11-1 record in the regular season, sharing the Big Ten conference title with the Wisconsin Badgers.
It was also the first season for head coach Brian Kelly at Notre Dame, who is now in his eighth season with the program. The Irish finished 8-5 that year overall.
Dantonio and Kelly have met just five times since the two first squared off back in that epic 2010 contest. Kelly has a slim 3-2 advantage over his MSU counterpart, garnering all three victories consecutively from 2011-13. MSU won last year’s meeting in South Bend, 36-28.
You can see this year’s game this Saturday, September 23 at 8 p.m. on Fox.