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ND victory brings mixed reactions

Joseph McMahon | Monday, September 8, 2008

Although Notre Dame’s football team kicked off the season Saturday with a victory over the San Diego State Aztecs, the performance didn’t sit well with some students.

“I was kind of disappointed,” sophomore Robert Ward said. “I didn’t see a lot that signaled we were different than last year.”

Quarterback Jimmy Clausen threw two interceptions and running backs Armando Allen and Robert Hughes each fumbled once in the 21-13 win over the Aztecs. The Irish scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter.

But senior Matt Kernan said the team looked much better in the fourth quarter.

“It was two completely different feelings. During the first [half] I was already looking forward to basketball season, but during the second half after we switched to the hurry-up offense we looked much better,” he said.

Ultimately Kernan said he was just happy to see the team pull off a win after last year’s abysmal season.

“An ugly win is better than an ugly loss,” he said. “At least it’s not starting off like last year.”

Kernan also said he was excited to finally sit in the senior section, although at times it was difficult to follow some of the cheers.

“It’s easier to watch the game but harder to keep up with the cheers,” he said. “Our seats were awesome but there were some adjustments we had to make.”

The class of 2012 got their first introduction to Notre Dame football as students Saturday, and freshman Daniel Barrera said it was certainly a memorable game, albeit somewhat nerve-wracking.

“I thought it was an awesome experience, although I will say it was a nail-biter,” freshman Daniel Barrera said.

Barrera said the game was an emotional rollercoaster that, though thrilling, wore him out.

“The ups and downs were a highlight, although we were very tired afterwards and it led to a quiet night in the dorm,” he said.

The game also featured the new “crank me up” cheer, which was introduced during Friday’s pep rally. The new cheer confused some of the students who didn’t attend the pep rally.

“It was hard to understand at first because I didn’t go to the pep rally and I didn’t really like it,” sophomore Lauren Weber said. “But I think I’ll get used to it.”

Sophomore Chris Schiraldi said he thought the game was excellent, but would have been even better if kicker Brandon Walker had managed to score a touchdown on the play in the second quarter where a botched snap spoiled a field goal attempt.

“I just want to see him involved in the offense more,” Schiraldi said.