Notre Dame falls to Michigan
Christopher Daniel | Monday, September 9, 2013
The Irish traveled to Michigan Stadium this weekend to face off against one of their historic rivals: the Michigan Wolverines. In a nighttime battle under the lights, the Wolverines defeated the Irish 41-30 and left ND fans disappointed.
Saturday’s game marked the second time that Notre Dame has played a night game in the Michigan Stadium “We just came up short on a couple of key plays … we weren’t able to come up with [them] offensively,” Irish coach Brian Kelly said after the game.
John O’Brien, a senior studying mechanical engineering, said that Michigan Stadium was an extremely exciting environment.
“It’s a great rivalry,” O’Brien said, “There were 115,109 people there, but there was a lot of yellow.”
Junior defensive lineman Stephon Tuitt’s fourth-quarter end-zone interception, which cut the Wolverine lead to 34-27 raised hope for many Notre Dame fans.
Sophomore Luke Kiefer said that the small section of Notre Dame fans around him at the game got very excited.
“People just went crazy during the interception in the end zone,” Kiefer said, “The small patch of green that was around me went nuts.”
Kiefer said that although there were an overwhelming amount of Michigan fans, plenty of support could be seen from Irish fans as well.
Thy Notre Dame Marching Band returned to Ann Arbor for Saturday’s game despite an aggressive run-in between band members and Michigan fans in 2011.
Freshman band member James Ryan said he experienced verbal insults but little physical hostility this year from Michigan fans.
“Yells of ‘Go home,’ and ‘Play a song,) could be heard from their fans,” Ryan said. “One woman behind me insisted on hitting me with her pom-pom whenever she could since I was in the back row.”
Despite a few unpleasant encounters, Ryan said the Michigan band was respectable and cordial. “It was a really cool place to be, even though we lost,” he said
While fans are upset over the loss, others are more upset that Michigan is being dropped from Notre Dame’s schedule. The teams are not scheduled to play again after 2014.
Last week, Michigan head coach Brady Hoke said Notre Dame was “chickening out” of the rivalry.