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Students passive despite decisive victory

Patrick Cassidy | Monday, October 9, 2006

October began on a positive note for the Irish and their fans, as Notre Dame emerged Saturday with a respectable 4-1 record through five games.

But while the Irish came out on top of the winless Cardinal of Stanford with a score of 31-10, for some students, the victory could have been much more decisive.

“We played well, but we could have done a lot more,” freshman John Altenberger said. “It looked like Stanford was overmatched but we just couldn’t capitalize as much as we wanted or expected.”

The game was still very much in question after a close first quarter, in which Stanford showed an unexpected ability to drive down the field on the Irish defense, which senior George Heidkamp saw as a sign of weakness.

“The key to our defense is the play of the front four,” Heidkamp said. “If they can penetrate and put some pressure on the backfield it makes up for our lack of athleticism and experience in the secondary.”

Freshman Andrew Saville expressed concern over Notre Dame’s failure to answer Stanford’s trick play – a halfback pass that wound up in the end zone.

“It seemed that in the fourth quarter we were a little more hesitant than usual,” Saville said. “I would have liked to answer their trickery with a couple more touchdowns and assert ourselves more.”

With the combination of low attendance at the weekend’s pep rally and a winless opponent, some said the student section seemed unenthusiastic.

“We [the students] didn’t seem into the game – maybe because it seemed like an easy win,” freshman Jenna Newcomb said.

The Irish are now ranked in the top 10 going into their bye week. With students looking forward to a fall break of their own, the entire Notre Dame community will have a chance to return with renewed enthusiasm.

“With the bye week coming up, both the Notre Dame fans and team will be able to rest and come back for the UCLA game with much more energy,” Newcomb said.