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Students celebrate Notre Dame’s 17-10 win over Michigan

Jenny Hames | Monday, September 12, 2005

The usually deafening Big House was mostly silent Saturday.

Mostly silent, that is, except for the patches of hardcore Irish fans sprinkled throughout Michigan Stadium – cheering on Notre Dame in a win for the record books as Irish head coach Charlie Weis became the first Notre Dame coach to win two back-to-back road games to start off a season since Knute Rockne in 1918.

More than 111,000 fans in the Big House witnessed the historic victory. Tickets were hard to come by for Notre Dame fans who wanted to travel to the game, but senior Eric Staron, like hundreds of his peers, made it to Ann Arbor to cheer on the Irish.

“It was fun to hear the Michigan stadium go silent and only hear the Notre Dame fans cheering,” Staron said. “I was really surprised, though, at how quickly our defense improved compared to last season and last game. I’m excited to see what happens when the whole team clicks at once against a tough opponent.”

Sophomore Tim Goldsmith, who watched the game at Notre Dame, said he was impressed with Weis’ coaching tactics.

“Our opening drive went well,” Goldsmith said. “[Weis] really held his own. He put pressure on the team rather than on himself.”

The student body seems to have an optimistic attitude about this year’s football season, freshman Christine Clark said.

“I was a little scared in the fourth quarter when Michigan started coming back, but I knew the Irish would pull through in the end,” she said.

Freshman Ronald Kerelegon said he was surprised at the final score of the game, in which Michigan remained held to three points until its first touchdown in the fourth quarter.

“The game was surprisingly low-scoring,” Kerelegon said. “I didn’t think the Michigan defense would have played as well as they did. It was smart, though, how Notre Dame ran down the clock at the end of the game.”

Many fans, like freshman Megan Erikson, said the highlight of this low-scoring game was second-year Michigan quarterback Chad Henne’s fumble on the one-yard line.

“As a freshman, I am new to the whole Notre Dame football experience, and I found the game to be enthralling,” she said. “The touchback was so intense. It was definitely the best part of the game. It must have been embarrassing for the Wolverines.”

With two wins behind the team, many Notre Dame fans are anxiously looking foward to watching the Irish take on Michigan State this Saturday in the opening home game.