Sunday, September 24, 2006

Irish Use Huge Fourth Quarter to Top Spartans 40 - 37: Quinn sparks improbable Irish rally

EAST LANSING, Mich. -- Forget flag plantings. Forget game trophies. And forget alleged summertime guarantees.
None of that fodder mattered Saturday night.
In fact, all of it paled in comparison to the improbable, unbelievable (you-pick-the-adjective) game that unfolded in Spartan Stadium. It was billed as the 40th anniversary of the 1966 "Game of the Century" -- a tie that eventually helped Notre Dame win the national championship -- but truth be told, the 2006 version deserves its own special one-of-a-kind billing.
The Fighting Irish, left for dead entering the final quarter, somehow erased a 16-point deficit and turned it into a 40-37 win that saved their season just before it went hurtling off the tracks and into the surrounding Michigan farmland.
"There's a lot of crazy things that can happen out there, especially with last year's game and how that all worked out," said Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn, who ended up with 319 passing yards and five touchdowns. "Until it hits all zeroes on the scoreboard, then it really sets in.
"Once we got in our two-minute mode, we kind of found a rhythm and really realized we could move the ball on them. It kind of got our confidence back. Coming off of last week's game, you can't build that confidence until you get in a game situation and start moving the ball."
The bottom line: One team showed up and one team was shown up again. Then they flipped the script and reversed roles in this game for the ages.
By David

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