Big Notre Dame win against Maryland earns the Irish a spot in the Top 25

Two years ago it was the Alamodome in San Antonio. Last year it was Yankee Stadium in New York. Last night it was FedEx Field in Maryland. Despite the scattered locations, each of these neutral site Notre Dame football “home” games has ended in one very important result – a win.

Last night the Irish put on a dominating performance against the Maryland Terrapins outscoring them by 24 points, 45-21 Notre Dame.  Or should I clarify now, #24-ranked Notre Dame?

Notre Dame’s offense was explosive.  Jonas Gray rushed for a career-high 136 yards and two touchdowns followed by Cierre Wood with 99 yards and a touchdown. Tommy Rees also put up big numbers passing for 296 yards and 2 touchdowns. Our offensive productivity was no match for the Terrapins defense.

Although technically it is considered a “home” game at a neutral site, watching the game on TV and hearing stories from students who were there made it sound and look different than anything we’ve experienced in Notre Dame Stadium.  However, we definitely brought home and Irish spirit to FedEx field.

1. The Uniforms

As we’ve frequently done in one big or unique game of the season, we came dressed in our green jerseys. New to the ensemble this year was the helmets.

This shiny gold helmet with a huge green shamrock received mixed reviews from students. Many of us liked that we were trying something new; however, the texture on the gold was questionable as well as the size of the shamrock. The players said they liked them so most of us jumped on the bandwagon too.

2. The Field

Most talk of adding field graphics to Notre Dame stadium has been met with criticism. However, at this “home” game outside of Notre Dame Stadium, both end zones were marked with Notre Dame and gold helmets on either side. It looked great from what I could see on TV.

3. The Videoboard

With Coach Kelly coming out and expressing his desire for a Jumbotron in Notre Dame Stadium, he got a brief preview of what it would be like yesterday. Notre Dame created an intro video with highlights of good plays throughout the season accompanied by traditional Irish music. As students we’ll all be interested to see what ND fans at the game have to say about the video and the other uses of the big screen. Could we be inching any closer to putting one up in South Bend??

These three modifications were definitely different for Notre Dame, but many of us liked that we went in and tried something new.  It goes to show that Notre Dame still has the same great traditions even with these additions.

So, after a big win, we’re all looking forward to next week’s final home game of the season against Boston College. He we are 7-3, and hopefully next week at this time we’ll be 8-3 after another special Notre Dame Football Saturday.

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