Fans disgruntled by Irish performance
Owen Lane | Sunday, November 9, 2014
The Notre Dame football team suffered a tough loss to Arizona State University (ASU) on Saturday as the Sun Devils scored 28 points off turnovers on their way to beating the Irish, 55-31, at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Arizona.
Senior John Doran, the Leprechaun mascot for Notre Dame, cited the injuries on defense and multiple turnovers as major contributing factors to Notre Dame’s poor performance.
The Irish also faced a noisy stadium full of loyal ASU fans looking to support a Sun Devils team trying to prove its place in the top 10.
“The Arizona State crowd was also impressive,” Doran said. “The crowd was loud, and the band did a good job of leading their ‘A-S-U’ chant. As it was really our second true away game, it was second only to FSU so far in loudness.”
Lorraine Sedlacek, a devoted Notre Dame alumna who has attended at least one football game in most of the years since her graduation in 1978, said she traveled with her family from their home in New Jersey to see the game.
“The atmosphere in the stadium was electric,” she said. “The ASU fans were pumped, and there were tons of them. There was lots of tailgating, a large, packed, vocal student section and proud alumni and fans. There was a sea of gold shirts in the stadium. The band was a big and active part of the crowd much like our band. The reaction to the big plays was pandemonium.”
Despite ASU’s distance from Notre Dame, the Irish managed to attract a considerable fan presence in Tempe.
“The Notre Dame fan base out here was terrific,” Doran said. “We have Friday night pep rallies with the local alumni clubs when we are on the road, and this was one of the best ones. Hundreds of Notre Dame fans and alumni came out to see our pep rally. John Huarte, Reggie Brooks, Troy Niklas and John Carlson all spoke at the rally. I had a lot of fun doing that.”
At the game, Sedlacek said the stadium contained two large sections of Notre Dame fans.
Doran and Sedlacek both attested to the fans’ loud enthusiasm during Notre Dame’s brief turn-around in the second half, but Sedlacek said at the end of the game, Notre Dame fans could hardly believe what they had seen.
“The ND fans reaction to our abysmal performance was complete shock and disbelief,” Sedlacek said. “It was the same disbelief I felt while sitting at the BCS Bowl against Alabama. For me, I couldn’t believe this was the same team that played against FSU. [The third quarter team] was the ND team we expected to play the whole game. I just feel bad for the team. They are better than they played.”
Some supporters found positive takeaways.
“At the end of the day this team showed that they will always keep fighting,” Doran said. “We have a solid, young team, and we still have a great opportunity to do big things this season and in the future.”
The loss drops the Irish to a 7-2 record with a home game against the Northwestern Wildcats on Saturday at 3:30 p.m.