Let us do a little scouting work on both team’s offense and defensive philosophies prior to replaying this classic matchup. After watching all available footage of this game on YouTube, I have compiled the most frequently used offensive formations for each squad.
Michigan State Spartan offense vs Notre Dame Fighting Irish defense
Michigan State Offense: They are using 31 personnel (3 running backs/1 tight end) and are in their Power I formation. The Power I formation is primarily used in the running game, however, it easily allows two receivers two release to both sides of the field (boundary and field) and provided maximum pass protection.
Notre Dame Defense: The Fighting Irish are in their base 4-4-3 defensive alignment. Notice how both defensive tackles are slanted in a 3 technique (outside shoulder of the offensive guards), both inside linebackers are three yards off the line of scrimmage positioned in the both “A” gaps, the outside linebackers are positioned inside the defensive ends at the 8 technique and responsible for the offense’s “C” gap. The defensive ends are playing the “wide 9 technique” and are responsible for setting the edge in the run game and pressuring the quarterback in the passing game. The secondary players (not shown) are playing “Cover 3” which ensures the middle of the field is “closed” and in zone coverage.