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Game prompts cheers, changes

Katie Perry | Monday, September 26, 2005

The highly anticipated contest between Notre Dame’s former head football coach Tyrone Willingham and his newly-endeared replacement, Charlie Weis, was lackluster – much like the game itself, students said.

Freshman Megan Flynn said she didn’t expect there would be much tension between the coaches during Saturday’s game at Washington.

“It is just a football game,” she said. “The players and coaches from both sides knew that going in, and I think people were making a big deal out of it for no reason.”

Jonathan Floyd, a sophomore, said he didn’t think pregame expectations of a dramatic matchup were manifested during the game.

“It really didn’t seem like there was much drama,” he said. “I’m sure there was some tension, but they didn’t really play that up on television or anything.”

Many students agreed that the clichéd scenario of a battle of old versus new was nothing more than unfounded hype. Junior Michael McConnell said the game was “definitely hyped-up.”

“I thought it was people talking, trying to make the game more interesting,” he said. “[Willingham] was leading his team, Charlie was leading ours. It really wasn’t a grudge match. I think [Weis] and the players made that clear.”

Freshman Michael Cammie was another student who described the game as “over-hyped.”

“I didn’t think [the Willingham-Weis match-up] was too interesting,” Cammie said. “I don’t like Ty, so I guess it was somewhat interesting to see them go against each other.”

Cammie said he thought it was an overall exciting game to watch.

“I’m from Pittsburgh, so I like the slower, more defensive game,” he said. “It was fun.”

Many students disagreed with Cammie, however, and felt the game- much like the hyped-up clash between Willingham and Weis – was generally unexciting.

“I thought it seemed like everything was lackluster performance-wise,” Floyd said. “The team just didn’t seem to into it, and everything wasn’t as fired up.”

McConnell said the game was “nothing special.” Flynn agreed.

“It wasn’t as exciting as other games, but I think that’s to be expected when the opponent isn’t as high-caliber as some of the other teams we’ve played,” she said.

Those students who did not make the 2,000-mile trek to Seattle for the game congregated in dorms, LaFortune Student Center, Legends and other places around campus to watch the Irish improve to a record of 3-1.