Headlines from the South Bend Tribune- Oct 20, 1956Looking back at a historic game…..
This was perhaps the most important rivalry game between MSU and ND as the #1 & #2 Heisman candidates were playing. ND had the winner #1 Paul Hornung, QB. The Spartans had Clarence Peaks who finished second much to a huge outcry nationally of injustice. Notre Dame lost to MSU 47-14. I was at the game and had traveled down on the student excursion train. What a time we had. The train was three or four cars filled with students, 75% were co-eds (ahem). We left Lansing early and arrived in SB several hours before kickoff. In those days the train pulled up right next the the stadium where upon embarking students mingled and toured the campus. I had a friend from high school at ND and went to his frat to a pep rally. Back then most of us were not wearing the school colors and we kept our mouths shut but were talking to each other how the Domers were about to get drilled, and drill them the Spartans would do.
The first quarter was scoreless. The second quarter started with Irish scoring first, The Spartans came back and scored. Then, MSU's Peaks intercepted a Hornung pass on the 5 yd line. then swept through the entire ND defense on a 92 yard run only to have it called back for a clipping. We did score on following plays. The quarter ended with the score tied at 7. Third Qtr saw the Spartans take a 21-7 lead. capped by MSU's Mendyk explosive run through the ND defensive line and outrunning their secondary for a 62 yard TD. Score MSU 14 -7. The 4th quarter saw ND pretty well exhausted as State scored at will making it 47-14. Hornung did all the quarterbacking, punting, and kicking the extra points on that day. He was a special player but so was Clarence Peaks. To me the greatest player to come out of Flint and there have been many.
It was an amazing game and before I boarded the train for the trip home I picked up a copy of the South Bend Tribune as they had already printed the story and were selling on the campus. I dug tmy copy out of my archives for this post. Also at home, I bought the Det Free Press and have that original copy too. You gotta save these important papers for historical purposes. Today, with few newsprint being printed one wonders if these stories of games will be possible ten or twenty years from now, let alone 50+ years. Go Green