The Observer is a student-run, daily print & online newspaper serving Notre Dame, Saint Mary's & Holy Cross. Learn about us.



Football: Weis takes hit in sideline altercation

Chris Khorey | Monday, September 25, 2006

EAST LANSING, Mich. – Generally, it’s the players that take the hits.

But on one play Saturday, Irish coach Charlie Weis found out what it’s like to get “hit in the mouth.”

In the second quarter, Spartan quarterback Drew Stanton scrambled out of the pocket and headed for the Notre Dame sideline, where he was hit hard by Irish safety Chinedum Ndukwe.

Ndukwe was flagged for a late hit out of bounds and, when Michigan State wide receiver Matt Trannon ran over to help his quarterback up, a melee ensued near the Notre Dame bench.

Weis, who had been standing near the play, took a blow to the face. Although Trannon was called for a personal foul, the Irish coach said he wasn’t sure who hit him.

“Might have been one of my guys that slapped me for all I know,” Weis said of the incident. “You don’t see that whole pile in there, all the stuff that’s going on.”

Weis said his biggest concern when the fight broke out was for his son, Charlie, Jr., who stands on the Notre Dame sideline for every game.

“When the fight takes off, I don’t know where he is,” Weis said of his son. “Thankfully he’s got more common sense than his old man. He was out of the way.”

Samardzija moves into

second place in TD catches

Notre Dame senior wide receiver Jeff Samardzija caught two touchdown passes Saturday, giving him 19 for his career and tying him for second all-time in Irish history with Tom Gatewood, who played from 1969-71.

Derrick Mayes is the all-time touchdown catch leader in Notre Dame history with 22 from 1992-95.

1966 “Game of the Century” remembered

Michigan State honored its 1966 team on the field before Saturday’s contest as part of the ceremonies commemorating the historic 10-10 tie between the No. 1 Irish and No. 2 Spartans. Former Michigan State basketball player Magic Johnson also attended the game.

The Spartans wore throwback helmets similar to those they wore in the mid-1960s and both teams wore special “Game of the Century” patches on their jerseys.

Before the game, the Spartan Stadium scoreboard read 10-10 and the Jumbotron showed highlights of the 1966 contest.

Former MSU great honored

Former Michigan State defensive tackle Charles “Bubba” Smith had his number 95 jersey retired in a pre-game ceremony. Smith was taken with the first pick in the 1967 NFL draft by the Baltimore Colts.

Spartan defensive end Justin Kershaw currently wears number 95. He wore the jersey Saturday, but will change numbers next week.

Moment of silence for Waters

Former Michigan State player and coach Frank “Muddy” Waters, who led the Spartans from 1980-82 and played from 1946-49, died Wednesday. He was honored with a moment of silence before Saturday’s game.

Holding penalties

With 1:52 left in the third quarter, a Michigan State lineman was called for holding. It was the first time this year that an Irish opponent had been called for offensive holding. All of Notre Dame’s games this year have been officiated by Big Ten referees.

Coin toss

Notre Dame won the coin toss and elected to receive. Michigan State chose to go with the wind in the first and third quarters, but ended up with it in the fourth quarter as well when the wind shifted.