September 21, 1985 - Tim Brown makes himself known
Gerry Faust was not having good luck at home, losing eight of the last twelve at home. The previous season fans were getting restless and after the third straight loss began booing. Notre Dame started the 1985 season ranked #14 but a 20-12 loss at Michigan in the season opener dropped Notre Dame out of the twenty team AP poll the following week. Now, Notre Dame returned home to play in the third ever night game in Notre Dame Stadium against Michigan State.
On the first possession of the game, Michigan State went 82 yards and scored a touchdown in four and a half minutes. Lorenzo White (who you should remember from the 1987 game) made it into the end zone on a four yard rush. After trading a series of punts, Notre Dame would score a touchdown after a 54 yard drive and tied the game 7-7 near the end of the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Irish defense would shut the Spartans down. Michigan State gained only 31 yards and two first downs before halftime. However, Notre Dame's offense would have their own woes leading up to the half. The first gaffe was on a fourth-and-1 pass on the Michigan State 27 that sailed over a wide open Frank Stams. Next, John Carney attempted a 57 yard field goal. It went wide left but would have had plenty of distance if it was on target. Last, Faust inserted the entire second team offense to start a drive. The ploy was working and John Cusack (not the same John Cusack) caught a pass in the red zone that was called back due to a penalty. At halftime, the scoreboard still read 7-7.
Michigan State kicked off to start the second half and Tim Brown caught the kick at the 7 yard line. 1984 was Brown's freshman year and quietly he finished the season as the team's second leading receiver.. Few knew of the soon to be star player from Dallas. However, Brown would take the kick 93 yards in 11 seconds for a touchdown and put the Irish ahead 14-7. Michigan State had not allowed a kickoff for a touchdown since 1977. Everyone knew who he was now.
Michigan State would connect on a 21 yard field goal to give them 10 points and that's all they would score on the day. The next Irish possession would take only four plays to score another touchdown. Tim Brown caught a 49 yard pass at the State 2 yard line on the third play of the series that set up the touchdown. When John Carney missed his first extra point in twenty eight attempts, Notre Dame led 20-10. After a fourth touchdown, Notre Dame won the game 27-10.
Since this is the first mention of John Carney, it is worth mentioning that he joined the Tampa Bay Buccaneers after college in 1988. He would move between seven different teams over the next twenty three years and play his last game in 2010.
Keywords: football, michigan state, gerry faust, tim brown, night game, john carney
Posted On: 2011-09-21 03:15:00 by IrishTrpt07
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