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Students hope team can redeem itself at USC

Katie Kotarak | Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Following Saturday’s disappointing loss to Syracuse, students hope the Fighting Irish football team will look to rebound and close their regular season with a win over a heavily favored No. 5 USC team.

“Even if [Notre Dame] doesn’t win, I hope they look better than they did [last week] by showing some effort,” Saint Mary’s junior Ashley Peterson said. “Even if the odds aren’t looking good for [Notre Dame’s], they should still go into [the game] with an intent to win… and leave [the Coliseum] with some dignity.”

Many students will be traveling to Los Angles for the game next Saturday. Senior Nicole Yergler said she is excited about seeing the Irish on the road over the Thanksgiving weekend, despite that fact most experts have predicted a Trojan victory.

“It will be awesome to experience my last ND football game [in the] Coliseum… with my whole family and a big group of friends, ND and USC fans included.” Yergler said. “It should be an exciting day, regardless of our underdog status.”

Last Saturday’s loss aside, Yergler said she is optimistic about the game against the Trojans this weekend.

“Saturday’s loss to Syracuse was a huge let-down, but November 29 is a new day. The players need to get pumped up for their last game of the season [and] go out there and do what they’ve practiced,” she said.

However, many Notre Dame fans are not as optimistic. Senior Garrett Busch said he simply hopes the Fighting Irish just don’t embarrass themselves.

“I think we are going to lose, and by lose I mean get absolutely obliterated, however I always have hope for a miracle … and being Notre Dame I figure God owes us a miracle about now.” Busch said. “All I can hope for is [Notre Dame] putting up a decent fight and not embarrassing [themselves] like [they] did the last two times [they] matched up with [USC].”

While not all students will be traveling to Los Angeles, some will be returning to campus to watch the game with friends. Saint Mary’s sophomores Janine Kingsbury and Franca Peluso said they will be watching the game in Alumni Hall.

“Hopefully [Notre Dame] goes into the game with positive attitudes,” Kingsbury said. “[The players] need to play like they know how and hopefully we’ll see a win.”

Yergler said players searching for inspiration must simply remember the rich tradition of Notre Dame football, and hopefully the Fighting Irish will be able to pull off the stunning upset.

“We need to step up to the challenge and be confident in the talent we have. We need to play some Notre Dame football,” said Yergler.