Notre Dame defeats the Spartans to finally deliver a victory

It only took us three weeks, but now we FINALLY have a win in the books!

In fact, when students (or really any fans) think about Notre Dame football, the image we have is exactly the way things went this Saturday.

First, and foremost, a victory!! 31-13 Irish…now that’s more like it! The talented Notre Dame team we all expected would show up every Saturday this season finally got the job done this week. We more than snuck by the #15-ranked Spartans, we made a statement about how capable we are of being a top competitor this season.

Now, was it a perfect performance? No, but we had several key components that led to our overall success on the field.

  • Turnovers: When we came out of the gates with two turnovers in the first quarter, a lot of us immediately thought: oh great…here we go again. Is it really that hard to hold onto the ball? And if we’re trying to go for most turnovers in the league this season then crown us national champions now. However, after what was a bumpy start, we turned it around and only gave the ball up one other time. Three turnovers might sound pretty bad, but when you compare it to our previous average of five/game, it’s a big improvement, and it showed.
  • Rushing: Another huge week by Cierre Wood, who once again proved himself to be an invaluable asset to our offense. He had 14 carries for 61 yards and 2 TDs. Right along side of him was Jonas Gray with 12 carries for 65 yards.
  • Defense: We held the Spartans to only 13 points, compared to the 44 and 28 Michigan State put up the past two weeks. This is more reflective of how we played at the end of last season when we gave up an average of only 9.8 points in our last four games. We’re getting back on track.
  • Holding onto a lead: For those of us at the Big House last week, this game we held our breath until time completely expired because we learned how quickly the tables could turn when you least expect it. However, we got up in this game, and didn’t give the Spartans a chance to take that back from us.

On top of the winning performance, the game day conditions were perfect, not a cloud in the sky and temperatures in the mid 70s. We could not have asked for better weather, which brightened everyone’s spirits despite the 0-2 start.

In all honesty, going into the game, people were cautiously optimistic. When Kirk Herbstreit talked about Notre Dame on College GameDay we had to make sure we really heard him correctly. In case you missed it, he said going into the season, he didn’t believe the ND hype about us being a BCS team. However, after watching our first two games, he thought we had the type of offense that BCS contenders have. As if that wasn’t a big enough statement, he predicted that we would win out from here until Stanford. Wow. Never would’ve guessed he’d say that.

Going through the last two weeks with such a strong emotional involvement in the games, we were all reluctant to get our hopes up too high because we didn’t want to go through the heartbreak again. After this game though, the team is building our trust back up. We can’t wait until next week now, as our march to turn this season around continues!

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