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Students crushed after brutal defeat

Brian Metz | Monday, September 14, 2009

The Golden Dome doesn’t shine any less bright after Saturday’s defeat, but you wouldn’t know that talking with Irish students.

After a tough 38-34 loss at the hands of rival Michigan, Notre Dame students feel the gloom associated with being upset.

“Shock. Complete shock,” junior Sarah Borrmann said. “The entire game I was convinced we were going to win. It was obviously upsetting.”

To many students, the loss was especially hard to swallow considering the extraordinary play of the Irish offense.

“Armando Allen played the best I’ve ever seen,” senior John Yerkes said.

Quarterback Jimmy Clausen threw for over 300 yards and three touchdowns, while running back Armando Allen rushed for 139 yards and a score.

“The offense played out of its mind, and that’s what made it tough. We were in position to win that game,” freshman Michael McCarty said.

McCarty, who made the trip to Ann Arbor, was upset by the game’s final plays but attributed the loss to missed opportunities, simple mistakes and bad luck.

“In the end, as well as we fought on both sides of the ball, things just didn’t go our way,” he said.

Lost behind the shock of Michigan’s fourth quarter drive is the fact that the Irish had two late drives as well. Clausen led the Irish on two scoring drives to take the lead in the final quarter, the first capped by a 21-yard pass to receiver Golden Tate, and the second an 8-yard run from Allen.

“Jimmy has progressed so much as a player and leader. I really respect the grace he has handled himself with under such intense pressure,” Borrmann said. “The way Clausen acts under pressure – on and off the field – that’s something I respect.”

Yet, as well as Clausen and the team played, the difference in the game was missed opportunities. After a questionable reversal of an Allen touchdown in the first half, the Irish had to settle for a field goal.

“A missed field goal, a bad call, penalties, a special teams touchdown, a fumble and untimely injuries – the little things just piled against us. The breaks didn’t go our way,” McCarty said.

However, students were quick to give credit to the Michigan team, especially the Wolverine quarterback Tate Forcier.

“Forcier should be on top of the world. He played a perfect game,” Borrmann said.