Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly, an aggressive, offensive-minded riverboat-gambler who understands the value of putting pressure on your opponent, disdaining a fourth-and-one at the Michigan State 18 in overtime to settle for a field goal; and Michigan State coach Mark Dantonio, a conservative, defensive-minded old-schooler beating Kelly with a well-executed fake field goal.
Because Dantonio has run a fake play every year he's been at Michigan State. Not only the fake against Texas Tech in the Alamo Bowl -- Aaron Bates throwing to tight end Charlie Gantt just like Saturday night -- that Kelly referenced in his post-game press conference Saturday night. But at least four other times since Dantonio became Michigan State's head coach in 2007.
Dantonio also tried a fake punt against Georgia in the Capital One Bowl after the 2008 season (it failed). And he beat Penn State 35-31 with the help of a 17-yard gain on a fake punt -- talk about audacious, it came in the same game Penn State had scored on a fake field goal.
In fact, that was the third time in Dantonio's first season at Michigan State that he snookered somebody with a fake. He used a 14-yard gain on a fake field goal on the first possession against Indiana to set up a touchdown that paved the way for a 52-27 victory.
And how can Notre Dame fans forget the "fumble-rooskie'' that Dantonio pulled off to finish off the Irish in 2007? Quarterback Brian Hoyer faked a fumble, then threw a 30-yard touchdown pass to tight end Kellen Davis to put the finishing touch on a 31-14 victory in 2007.
Kelly blamed is team's poor execution for allowing the fake to work so well. ''We had a guy covering him who fell down,'' he told reporters after the game. That is true. But if one guy falling down can cause a play to succeed so spectacularly as it did Saturday night, Kelly might want to take another look at how they defend field goals. Because there's got to be a better way.