OKEMOS, MI - Over the past ten years, Michigan State has really taken over this series, winning seven of the last nine meetings and five straight in South Bend. The series has produced some great plays and memorable moments that have a lasting memory on Michigan State fans.
Think back to these classic moments:
1997:Marc Renaud set the tone in a 23-7 win with a 55-yard kickoff return to open the game, and the Spartans had two early 1st-quarter touchdowns before the Irish knew what had hit them enroute to a 23-7 victory.
1998:The Spartans Sean Banks blocked a punt early in the game and Richard Newsome carried it in from 25-yards for six points. Gari Scott had a 86-yard touchdown reception, and Julian Peterson had a 23-yard interception return for a touchdown in building a 45-3 halftme lead that would lead to a 45-23 victory.
1999:Wide receiver Gari Scott of the Spartans took a third and ten pass reception 80-yards on what should have been a short gainer late in the game in a 23-13 victory.
2000:Jeff Smoker hit Herb Haygood on a slant pass on fourth down as Haygood's man blitzed Smoker, leaving Haygood all alone for a 68-yard scoring pass with just 1:48 left in the game to lift the Spartans to a 27-21 victory.
2001:This game was eerily similar to the 2000 game as the Spartans won when Charles Rogers took a 3rd and 6 pass, spun out of the arms of Vontez Duff's attempted tackle, and raced 47-yards for the game winner in a 17-10 victory.
2002:The Spartans appeared to have this game won when Charles Rogers made a spectacular leaping catch on a fourth and eleven play in the back of the endzone for a 21-yards touchdown pass from Jeff Smoker, to give the Spartans a temporary 17-14 lead with just 1:45 to go.
But back-up Irish quarterback Pat Dillingham hit Arnaz Battle with a 60-yard pass with 1:15 left for the game winner. Rogers also made caught another 38-yard
touchdown pass in the fourth quarter to get the Spartans back in the game but Rogers heroics simply weren't enough.
2003:Jaren Hayes scored on a 71-yard touchdown run, and Greg Taplin had a big 40-yard interception return for a touchdown in the 22-16 Spartan victory.
2004:Notre Dame's Tom Zibikowski had a 75-yard yard fumble return for touchdown as he wrestled the ball out of the hands of Jason Teague. Zbikowksi also added another interception that led to a Irish touchdown. Marshall Campbell blocked a punt for MSU that was recovered by Jerramy Scott for a touchdown, and DeAndra Cobb had a 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown, but Notre Dame had more big plays in their 31-24 victory.
2005:Jason Teague got revenge for his costly fumble from the year before by going 19-yards for a touchdown in overtime to pull out a 44-41 victory that saw the Irish push the game to an extra session by scoring 21 unanswered points after trailing 38-17.
had a "pick six" going 30 yards with an interception return early in the second quarter to send the Spartans soaring in the right direction. Matt Trannon also had a 65-yard touchdown
Again, this is the type of game where the "stars" rise and make big time plays. The Spartans have no time feeling comfortable and cozy with their 3-0 start. They need to keep the 'pedal to the metal' if they are planning to have the season they want to achieve.
But if nothing else, count on this contest to produce some more dazzling memories