As hard as it is for a Notre Dame fan to admit, Saturday's loss to Michigan can only be described one way—exhilarating.
So what were the best moments from the game? Everything from the atmosphere to individual performances elated onlookers.
The focus of this article is the game from a Notre Dame perspective, and while there are some things about Michigan I cannot avoid mentioning, this list is a Notre Dame fans' viewpoint.
These "moments" aren't just single plays, some even point to outstanding performances, but everything on this list made the game what it was.
In a newly renovated stadium, the setting was nothing less than spectacular. The night game was the very first under the new lights at the "Big House."
The stadium in Ann Arbor was a pristine atmosphere. Everything from the giant crowd of just under 115,000 fans (the most ever so far at the stadium), to the emotional entertainment provided by both team's bands, made the game extremely special.
Adding to the excitement were the new retro uniforms the teams wore for the first time. The jerseys, a mix of past and present were a small part of the game, but they contributed to the dramatic environment of the matchup.
The teams might not be as gloried as they once were, but that was hard to tell by the overwhelming feel of the game.
Cierre Wood had a number of great moments. The Notre Dame running back had another fantastic game for the Irish.
He did have a self-inflicted fumble after running into the back of two offensive linemen in the third quarter, but Wood rushed for 134 yards and a touchdown on 25 carries.
There were also a few times that he was stuffed in important situations, but that has more to do with predictable play-calling and failures of the offensive line to get push than Wood's performance (as soon as Wood touched the ball he was greeted by multiple defenders).
One bright spot from the Michigan loss that fans can hold on to, which was also highlighted after the loss to USF, was how Wood was again a handful for the opposition.
With 156 yards on 13 receptions, Michael Floyd was the best player on the field. He made big plays throughout the game.
Floyd was able to put up incredible numbers even with the focus of the Michigan defense on him (he did have quite a few plays with single coverage though).
Floyd presence opened up the whole Irish offense. Michigan was so worried about the dynamic receiver that the team forgot to cover Theo Riddick on Notre Dame's last drive.
If the Irish had won the first two games of the season, Floyd would be a serious candidate in the discussion for the Heisman Trophy.
Denard Robinson had another good game against the Irish, although his impact couldn't simply be seen by looking at the stat line.
Robinson brought the team back almost completely by himself, but he did throw a few questionable interceptions. His receivers consistently dropped passes that hit them on the hands, but after three subpar quarters, Robinson stuck with the passing game and it eventually paid off. His incredible ability to escape pressure was one of the main reasons the team came back.
When the Irish defense was able to get into the Michigan backfield, Robinson moved just enough or used his strength in order to get off a pass (most evident in the bomb that was caught at the end of the game and the rope that led to a touchdown while Kapron Lewis-Moore was wrapped around Robinson's feet at the end of the third quarter).
Robinson rushed for 108 yards, almost all of which came in the second half, and he also threw for 338 yards on just 11 completions. While four interceptions wouldn't be impressive on any quarterbacks resume, without Robinson, Michigan had no chance against the Irish.
The Irish's final drive of the game put them ahead of Michigan 30-27.
With the pressure on and needing a score, Tommy Rees drove the Irish down the field resulting in a touchdown reception by a wide open Theo Riddick.
The two interceptions and an awkward fumble late in the game put a damper on Tommy Rees' performance, but after his final drive Rees did enough to lead the Irish to victory. Watching Rees on that drive proved to most fans that Rees in fact does have the highly coveted clutch gene.
After scoring with 30 seconds on the clock to give Notre Dame the edge, it wasn't Rees' fault the Irish didn't come out of Ann Arbor with a win. He put the team in a great position to win.
The Michigan offense had three first downs in the first half and were lucky to come out of it behind 17-7.
Although Tommy Rees and the Notre Dame offense didn't have a perfect first half, they easily outplayed the Michigan defense. Two interceptions (one of which was capitalized on immediately for a long touchdown pass by Denard Robinson) and a litany of mistakes on the offensive line were not enough to derail the Irish in the first half.
But in the second half and in particular, the fourth quarter, things started to change dramatically.
The fourth quarter started with a fumble on third-and-goal by the Michigan offense that miraculously rolled right into Denard Robinson's hands, and he walked it in for a touchdown. That brought the score to 14-24 with the Irish still ahead.
Later in the quarter, in the red zone on first down as Rees was in motion to throw, the football popped out of his hand and a Michigan defender picked it up (the ensuing drive by Michigan was ended by a Robert Blanton interception).
And of course, there were the three touchdowns with two minutes left which led to a Michigan victory (one for the Irish and two for Michigan).
Other than the interception by Blanton and a great drive by Rees, the fourth quarter was all Michigan as outscoring the Irish 28-7. The end of the game will be remembered for eternity by Michigan fans while simultaneously being repressed by Irish faithful.
With 30 seconds left and the Michigan offense needing to drive the length of the field, the Notre Dame defense should have been able to hold Michigan to a field goal (which would have tied the game). So why couldn't they?
First, the Irish made a huge mistake. Both Zeke Motta and Harrison Smith were covering the middle of the field as a Michigan receiver tip-toed down the sideline for an open reception.
After a 65-yard gain and with only eight seconds on the clock, Denard Robinson found Roy Roundtree for his first catch of the game to take a 35-31 lead.
Even though the Irish defense shouldn't have given up a touchdown with such little time on the clock, the team needed to put Michigan away earlier considering they had numerous chances to do so.
The end of the game was difficult for Irish fans to watch, but it will go down as one of the most riveting games in the series' long history.