With fall break approaching, Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick took an interesting message to the dining halls Wednesday, where he addressed students a little over a week before the premiere home football game of the season.
It’s clear that while Brian Kelly and the Irish haven’t officially turned the page to USC yet, the school and student body, not to mention the rest of ND Nation, are ready for their annual date with the Trojans.
Douglas Farmer, Editor in Chief of The Observer, had this to say about Swarbrick’s message to students as the university prepares for Notre Dame Stadium’s first night game in over two decades:
“We have a really important football game the Saturday you return from fall break,” Swarbrick said to a full dining room in South Dining Hall, referring to the Oct. 22 game against USC. “I need two things from you to make that night successful.”
Swarbrick acknowledged a hotly contested sentiment among Irish fans, commented on the energetic atmosphere, or lack thereof, of Notre Dame Stadium and encouraged the Irish student body to take matters into its own hands.
“I need your passion,” he said. “I travel around with our team, and our stadium is the quietest place we play. I want you guys on that Saturday night at least once to make USC have a false start penalty.”
Swarbrick’s plea to the students should also be echoed to the rest of the game day patrons that spend Saturday afternoons in Notre Dame Stadium. The nighttime atmosphere has the chance to be electric, but it’ll require fans that have gotten used to sitting and watching be ready to spend the majority of the evening on their feet cheering.
Of course, the second part of Swarbrick’s plea to the students was for responsible behavior leading up to the game. A 7:40 p.m. kickoff is plenty late, and gives students and tailgaters an extra four hours to enjoy the pregame festivities, as long as they do so responsibly. If Notre Dame wants to turn a night time kickoff into a near annual tradition, they’ll need to get through this test run without any major incidents.