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Fans flock to Blue-Gold

Katie Peralta | Friday, April 20, 2007

Saturday afternoon will have the feel of a typical fall football weekend at Notre Dame, complete with the fans, the concession stands, the cheers and the Fight Song. But as added bonuses, Saturday is expected to bring beautiful spring weather along with legendary Notre Dame coaches Lou Holtz and Ara Parseghian, in town for the annual Blue-Gold spring football game.The game squares members of the team against each other in a bout that will give fans a taste of what to expect for next year and who to watch out for. The game has a running clock of four 15-minute quarters. After a coin toss Wednesday, starting positions were conferred to early-entry freshman quarterback Jimmy Clausen and rising sophomore Zach Frazer. Frazer’s classmate Demetrius Jones and rising junior Evan Sharpley lost their tosses for the Blue and Gold teams, respectively. The four are competing to replace former Irish standout Brady Quinn, who is preparing for the NFL Draft, which starts April 28. Clausen, Frazer, Jones and Sharpley will alternate series.Freshman Jessie Jenkins plans to attend and is excited because it will be her first Blue-Gold Game.”The dynamic is just going to be so different without Quinn, so I’ll be interested to see who wins out,” said Jenkins, who added that she will miss former safety Chinedum Ndukwe and Quinn.Junior Andy Ostrowski, who has attended Blue-Gold game each of the last two seasons, is looking forward to watching some of the new quarterbacks play. “With Brady Quinn gone, it will be interesting to see where the spotlight will shine,” Ostrowski said. “I think that Jimmy Clausen will do well. I don’t expect him to let us down.”Freshman Jackie Mirandola Mullen, who hails from the same town in Georgia as former running back Darius Walker, shares Ostrowski’s enthusiasm. Since this is her first Blue- Gold game, she is excited to see all of the new players after the departure of Walker and last season’s seniors.”I think that [running back] James Aldridge will do well next year. I am also excited to see [cornerback] Munir Prince as well as the new quarterbacks,” she said. The Notre Dame ticket office expects a record high of ticket sales for this year’s game. Ticket prices are $12 and $10 for adults and children, respectively, if bought in advance. On game day, the prices go up to $15 for adults and $10 for children. Notre Dame and Saint Mary’s students are admitted for free with a valid ID and are to enter through Gate E. The game begins at 1:30 p.m.Holtz, head coach at Notre Dame from 1986 until 1996, will be the honorary head coach for the Gold team. Ara Parseghian, head coach from 1964 until 1974, will be the honorary head coach for the Blue team. He was recently inducted into the AT&T Cotton Bowl Hall of Fame.