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Student body relieved after close victory

Molly Madden | Sunday, September 20, 2009

There was a collective sigh of relief across Notre Dame Stadium as the final whistle blew signaling the end of the Irish’s 33-30 victory over the Michigan State Spartans on Saturday. It took Irish safety Kyle McCarthy’s interception within the final minute of the game to secure the win and save the Irish from another last-minute defeat.

“It was like Michigan all over again, minus us losing,” junior Bradley McDonald said.

Sophomore Josh Sandler agreed the game was much too close for his liking.

“It was ugly,” Sandler said. “But I guess there’s something to be said about being able to win an ugly game.”

With 11 penalties against the Irish costing a total of 99 yards, the officiating was something that many students found fault with.

“It was more balanced than Michigan,” junior Kyle Bailey said. “But I thought they made a bad call when they brought back Michael Floyd’s touchdown.”

Sandler said he very upset with the officiating and thought that it really hindered the Irish.

“To me, it’s mind-blowing that another Big 10 crew comes to our game and reviews as many plays as they did,” he said.

Most Notre Dame fans were incredibly thankful for McCarthy’s interception on the four-yard line with 57 seconds left in the game, in the middle of a Michigan State drive that was poised to score.

“If he hadn’t made that interception I think MSU would have scored at least a field goal which would have put us into overtime,” junior Eddie Corrigan said. “But I have faith that we would have won overtime and the defense would have been able to make at least one stop.”

McDonald said that he thinks the Irish would have won regardless of McCarthy’s interception.

“There’s always a chance of anything happening but I think that we would have only allowed MSU a field goal and that we would have won in overtime,” he said.

One thing that is a concern for Irish football fans is the injuries from yesterday’s game.

Quarterback Jimmy Clausen missed two plays after sustaining an injury he received to his right foot when he was sacked in the second quarter.

“If he’s really hurt it’s particularly unfortunate because he’s gotten really accurate,” Sandler said.

Other students don’t think that there is little cause for concern in regards to Clausen’s injury.

“He’s still a pocket quarterback,” McDonald said. “Hurting his foot won’t really affect his arm so I don’t think it will affect his playing much overall.”

Bailey agrees that Clausen will be healthy.

“He played through whatever happened yesterday,” Bailey said. “He’s a football player; it’s just the typical bumps and bruises.”

Despite playing with an injury, Clausen still threw for a total of 301 yards. This is the fourth consecutive game that Clausen has passed for over 300 yards.

“That’s typical Jimmy Clausen,” Corrigan said. “He’s so good he can get away with things like that.”

While Clausen’s injury does not appear to be serious, sophomore wide receiver Michael Floyd’s injury from yesterday could be detrimental.

Floyd was taken out of the game in the first half and it was later reported that he had broken his collarbone. Floyd had surgery on Sunday morning but it appears that he might be out for the rest of the season.

Prior to Saturday’s game, Floyd was second in the nation in receiving yards per game and was first in yards per catch.

“I have one word that describes Michael Floyd’s injury – devastating,” Corrigan said. “It’s a huge loss and really hurts our offense.”

Bailey agrees that Floyd’s absence from the game will be damaging to the Irish’s season.

“It really is heartbreaking,” he said. “Now we really need some new receivers to step up.”