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Students disheartened after home night game loss

Adam Llorens | Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The football team’s new helmets shone bright gold under the Notre Dame Stadium lights Saturday night, but many students left the stadium feeling lackluster after the Irish’s 31-17 loss to the Trojans.

Senior Paul Lively said campus energy before the game was electric because of the later kickoff time.

“The parking lots were really packed before the game, and all of the fans seemed to be having a great time with those few extra hours of tailgating,” Lively said. “It was also great to see the alumni and other fans on their feet for most of the game.”

While fans were more energized for the game, Lively said he became frustrated once he got in the stands.

“It was a disappointing result because it seemed like we were the better team on paper going into the game,” Lively said. “[Dayne] Crist’s fumble on the goal line really changed the outlook of the game as going from a possible tie game to down 14 points is hard to overcome.”

Sophomore Tom McGuire said he was disheartened by the loss.

“I thought we had the chance to have a statement game, and really show that we deserved to be ranked among the top teams in the country, but instead of playing up to our potential, we regressed,” McGuire said. “I know this team has a lot of talent and potential, but they didn’t play like it Saturday night.”

The match was the first home night game played in Notre Dame Stadium since 1990. McGuire said the energy on campus before the game did not live up to his expectations.

“The pep rally should have been later, so that students coming back from fall break could have actually gone,” McGuire said. “The University should have ran with the student-organized green-out and publicized it. I believe Notre Dame Stadium can and should be an intimidating place to play. Saturday night was a step in the right direction, but we can do better.”

Sophomore Erin Killmurray said she was excited for Saturday’s festivities leading up to the game, but was disappointed that the day did not end with a win.

“I was not impressed with the football team’s performance, by any means, especially on the defensive front,” Killmurray said. “However, I thought [George] Atkinson’s punt return was awesome.”

As she looks to the upcoming game against Navy, Killmurray said she hopes for a similar atmosphere in the Stadium, but a different final score.

“The best part of the weekend was probably tailgating and getting to see a bunch of different people because we had so much time,” Killmurray said. “I’m hoping Navy will be just as fun and intense but will produce a different outcome on the field.”