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Fans optimistic after Irish win over Purdue

Justin Tardiff | Monday, October 3, 2005

Notre Dame fans boiled over with excitement Saturday as the Irish racked up a big win over the Purdue Boilermakers in West Lafayette, Ind.

Notre Dame fans who traveled to watch the in-state rivalry and who caught the game in the South Bend were pleased by the team’s performance against the Boilermakers.

Freshman Dan Canders said he believes the win over Purdue Saturday bodes well for the next game, when Notre Dame will take on No. 1 University of Southern California at home on Oct. 15.

“I think [this win] is a big momentum boost for us,” Canders said.

Senior Eric Hess agreed and added that head coach Charlie Weis’s coaching tactics proved to be stellar against Boilermaker head coach Joe Tiller.

“If our offense keeps playing like this, there’s no reason we won’t beat USC,” he said. “I think the [Indianapolis Star] said it best when it noted, ‘The pro game requires an entirely different level of sophistication. Weis was playing chess Saturday night and Tiller was playing Candy Land.'”

Some Irish fans were able to travel to West Lafayette over the weekend to see Weis’s tactics in action.

Sophomore Brendan Ryan, who attended the Purdue game, said he also attended the Michigan and Pittsburgh games this year. Ryan said he was quite impressed by the way the Purdue fans received the Notre Dame fans in attendance.

“The fans there were pretty classy,” he said. “They weren’t giving us as hard of a time as they were at Michigan and Pittsburgh.”

Other fans were not lucky enough to attend the game, but watched the game on the Notre Dame campus. Game watches were held on South Quad and at Legends, as well as in many dorms. Most showed a high level of enthusiasm during the high-scoring game – the scene on South Quad after the Irish scored a touchdown looked as though it was pulled straight out of the student section of the stadium, with students doing push-ups and cheering as if they were really at the game.

As the Irish scored touchdown after touchdown and the starters were given a break near the end of the game, fan excitement did not wane. Many fans commented on secondary players who do not often get to play.

Junior Jon Brewis said he was especially happy about Weis’s decision to put tight end John Carlson in the game, saying Carlson showed he can benefit the team in future games.

“John Carlson is our most underused asset on offense, and his touchdown Saturday proves his ability,” he said.

Freshman Kate Crecelius – originally from West Lafayette – was in attendance at the game in her hometown Saturday. While Crecelius’s family has always had season tickets to the Purdue games, Crecelius said she changed her loyalty to Notre Dame this year when she became a student.

“It wasn’t hard for me to switch loyalties,” she said. “All my friends made fun of me for cheering for Notre Dame, but they were pretty quiet after the game was over.”