Notre Dame fans were in for a surprise when they entered the stadium Saturday night for the game against Michigan, where the Irish emerged victorious in a 31-0 shut out against the Wolverines.Although Notre Dame supporters came with high hopes of winning, no one expected the shutout.“I heard we were only favored by about three points or so, so I thought it was going to be a close game,” freshman Chandler Casey said.The idea of a shutout became more apparent as the game progressed.Zachary Llorens | The Observer “I was not expecting Michigan to not get any points, but after the first quarter, I was expecting we’d do really well,” sophomore and Notre Dame Marching Band member Ben Schultz said.As this was the final game between the University of Notre Dame and the University of Michigan for the foreseeable future, many students were disappointed to see the end, but were pleased with the outcome.“Last year, it was a bad game overall,” junior Liliana Sanchez said. “However, this year we ended it on our terms, and I’m really happy about that. Our house, our rules.”Freshman Quinn Brown agreed that the shut out was a great way to end the rivalry.“This being the first and last Notre Dame-Michigan game that I’ll be able to see here, that was an awesome way to go out, especially in our home stadium,” he said.Although Brown said he was sad to end the rivalry, he added that he was hopeful for the future of Notre Dame’s football games.“It’s a little sad that I don’t get to see more of these games,” he said, “But we have other great teams that we’re going to be playing that we’ve added to the schedule so it’ll be exciting to possibly see some new rivalries form.”Many students felt the band was integral to the lively atmosphere in the stadium.“I love the marching band,” Casey said. “The marching band accounts for half of the game day experience.”“[The band] always helps lead the student section chants and the victory march, which gets the crowded pumped,” Brown said. “I think they are very vital to the energy of the stadium.”Before the momentous game, the U.S. Navy SEAL Parachuting Team, Leap Frogs, parachuted into the Notre Dame Stadium. Two of the four Navy SEALs descended into the center of the field, one carrying a Notre Dame flag and the other an American flag. As the parachuters descended, both Irish and Wolverine fans were caught off-guard and in awe.“I had no idea what was going on at first,” Sanchez said. “But then when I finally realized they were going to jump and land near the stadium, I couldn’t believe it.”Sanchez said she was excited that the Notre Dame fans sang “Na Na Hey Hey Kiss Him Goodbye.”“I was planning in my head to do that, but the fact that everyone joined in at the same time was perfect,” she said.Fans from the University of Michigan expressed their opinions of the Notre Dame football experience as well.“The experience for a person who comes from [the University of Michigan] was great,” Wolverine fan Abby Schultz said. “People welcomed us to campus.”Emma Bozek-Jarvis, also a University of Michigan fan, said that not only were the ushers kind, there were “actual [Notre Dame] students as well who were very nice to us.”“I think it’s a great way to end the rivalry. I think it’s nice since it’ll get Michigan fans to be quiet for a little bit,” Ben Schultz said as he alluded to the “Chicken Dance” song that was played after Notre Dame’s loss against Michigan last year at the Big House. “We can end it with a bang and not as chickens.”Tags: football, Michigan, rivalry, shut out, Wolverines
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