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Looking Back On Michigan State's Flag Plant After OT Win At Notre Dame

Sep 25, 2017

Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield is far from the first college football player to plant a flag on an opponent's field.

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Similar situations have occurred several times in recent years, most notably for football fans in Michigan when Michigan State defeated rival Notre Dame on Sept. 17, 2005.

The emotional, back-and-forth showdown included the Spartans blowing a 21-point lead in South Bend before rallying to win, 44-41, when Jason Teague an option pitch 19 yards for a touchdown in overtime.

The victory spoiled the home debut of coach Charlie Weis and gave the Spartans five straight wins at Notre Dame Stadium.

MSU players celebrated the win over the 10th-ranked Irish by running to the 50-yard line and planting a green-and-white, block "S" flag into the grass.

It was a landmark moment in the long and storied rivalry, but Coach John L. Smith later said he regretted the celebration.

"We would not have encouraged our guys to do that," Smith told The Associated Press four days later.

MSU offensive lineman Gordon Niebylski also agreed his teammates got carried away, according to the same AP report.

"Hindsight is 20-20 and we probably shouldn't have planted the flag on the field," he said. "But at the same time, it's emotional, and we made a mistake, and it happens. But we didn't mean any disrespect for Notre Dame."

Weis was largely silent about the ordeal in the days following the game, but star quarterback Brady Quinn wasn't shy about voicing his opinion.

"It's something that makes a lot of people upset to say the least with the fact that's how they deal with a win like that," he said. "Looking back to the season prior when we beat Michigan State, I don't think you saw any of our players sticking flags into other fields. I think that's not how we handle ourselves. It was disappointing to see that happen."

Mayfield made headlines this week for planting an Oklahoma flag on the "O" at Ohio Stadium following the Sooners' 31-16 win on Sept. 9. He later apologized, but was it necessary? Many say no, but what do you think?

Michigan State (2-0) hosts Notre Dame (1-1) at Spartan Stadium on Sept. 23. Kickoff is set for 8 p.m. on FOX.