September 20, 2009 - Golden Tate does a true leap of faith

Golden TateIn what would end up being Charlie Weis's final year, Notre Dame was coming off a disappointing loss at Michigan and was ready to take on Michigan State at home. Notre Dame had not beaten Michigan State at home since 1993 (there were 6 losses in the span) and Notre Dame had won at Michigan State three of the past four times. It was an interesting streak in that neither team could win at home it seemed. But the year prior MSU won at home so perhaps it was time to end both streaks.

Notre Dame held Michigan State off the opening kick and would then go down the field to score immediately leading 7-0. Michigan State would respond with a field goal and Michael Floyd would score the second touchdown for Notre Dame in the first quarter. After a missed extra point, Notre Dame led 13-3. In the second quarter, Michigan State would score a 30 yard touchdown on a halfback pass. Later in the first half, Floyd would leave the game with a potential broken collarbone on what would have been a touchdown. Instead, Nick Tausch would kick a 22 yard field goal for Notre Dame and with a minute to go Michigan State would get a second touchdown. At halftime, Notre Dame trailed 17-16, the missed PAT being the difference.

In the start of the second half, Notre Dame would give Michigan State a little of their own medicine as RB Armando Allen tossed a 5 yard touchdown pass to WR Robbie Parris. Tausch would add a 46 yard field goal and Notre Dame now had a two score lead 26-17. Luckily for Michigan State, they would get two touchdowns. When one of the extra points was blocked, Michigan State now led 30-26 with 9:33 to go.

On the following possession, Jimmy Clausen would lead the offense methodically down the field. Spreading passes around to Armando Allen, Kyle Rudolph and Duval Kamara and with Allen rushing for a first down, Notre Dame quickly got down to the Michigan State 33 yard line. The next play Clausen floated a pass to the end zone that Golden Tate caught, got one foot in bounds and scored the go ahead touchdown. After the touchdown though, Tate still had a little momentum in his stride. Seeing the band lined up before him, he leaped into the air with his arms spread wide ready to be caught by the little bandies under him. Except he fell straight to bleachers. Apparently, the Michigan State band wasn't expecting, nor willing, to catch the opposing team member.

So why would Tate make such a grand gesture into the opposing team's band? Well quite frankly, he thought it was our band. Our band would have caught him and lifted him into the air for push ups. Michigan State looked quite scared and parted instantly (save one poor mellophone player who never stood a chance).

Notre Dame now led 33-30 and Michigan State had the ball with 2:58 to go and 80 yards to go. Kirk Cousins led the Spartans all the way down to the Notre Dame 18. Cousins then overthrew a wide open receiver for what would have been a touchdown and the Irish got another chance. On the next play, Kyle McCarthy would intercept Cousins at the 4 and save the game. Clausen lined up in the victory formation and Notre Dame beat Michigan State at home for the first time since 1993, 33-30. The players realized what they had done. Once they returned to the locker room they shouted "Well there goes that streak!"

Golden Tate would leave early for the NFL after his junior season and is still playing for the Seahawks. Seattle drafted Tate in the second round as the 60th overall pick. Golden also played baseball during his time at Notre Dame. He was drafted out of high school by the Diamondbacks but he declined. In 2010 the Giants would draft Tate in the 50th round (the 1,518th overall pick). But again, Tate stuck with football (unlike fellow two sport star Jeff Samardzija). Tate's junior season helps explain why he stuck with football over baseball and what the Seahawks saw in him. Tate broke the record for single season receptions and receiving yards held by Samardzija. At the end of the season, Tate was awarded the Biletnikoff Award for the nation's best wide receiver. When he's not eating donuts, Tate is still playing for the Seahawks and scored his first NFL touchdown in this season's first game.

Keywords: football, michigan state, golden tate, michael floyd, jimmy clausen, jeff samardzija

Posted On: 2011-09-20 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07


      Were you there? Have more to add? Leave a comment and let us know!

   Posted By: Seņor Chops at 2011-09-20 07:09:43[#2]
And of course, another crushing blow in the mellophone's quest for respect.
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   Posted By: Erin at 2011-09-20 04:22:19[#1]
hmmm... donuts... wonder what that is all about... speaking of, kinda wish I had a donut. :)

great post.
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