Wolverine Spirit Soars Leading into Notre Dame Game

Julie ReichlmayrContributor ISeptember 12, 2009

ANN ARBOR, MI - SEPTEMBER 05:  Denard Robinson #16 of the Michigan Wolverines runs for a first quarter touchdown while playing the Western Michigan Broncos on September 5, 2009 at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan.  (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

There’s a shared agreement amongst students on the University of Michigan campus, and if you’ve ever been around State Street on a week day afternoon, you know what we mean.

As a driver, you can’t stand the perpetual hoards of pedestrians. As a pedestrian, you cannot take the impatient, cumbersome drivers. But both parties can agree: bikers are by far the worst. 

Luckily for drivers, pedestrians – and even bikers - this predicament will not transpire this Saturday afternoon.  This is because every student, incoming alumni, local or national fan, will all be in the same place. 

The same House, in fact. The only House that matters in Wolverine country.

In tomorrow’s Big House showdown against Notre Dame, Michigan students and all Michigan fans alike can agree: this game is big, to say the least.

Tomorrow’s game will denote whether national respect will be earned by a talented and highly mobilized Michigan team. Even more importantly, a victory for the Maize and Blue will prove that road to redemption is a feasible reality. 

No doubt, Notre Dame cannot be underestimated. 

Big plays, especially air attacks from quarterback Jimmy Clausen, could potentially frustrate the Michigan defense. To counteract this threat, we need to generate constant pressure – both on the quarterback and in the backfield, where it is probable many of Notre Dame’s big plays will show up. 

Besides the big play factor, the offensive attack will need to be merciless. A solid offensive game can conceivably make or break Michigan’s game performance.  It will be important for Tate to utilize his read of the field and maintain composure, and for Denard to take advantage of his running game and control the speed of play. 

Perhaps most imperative to a Michigan victory, however, will be the crowd itself. 

If there were a drawback to the design of the Big House, it would be the sound level omitted by the crowd.  It is safe to say a resounding challenge to this accusation will be made tomorrow afternoon.

Ann Arbor is alive - to go all high school cliché – with nothing other than team spirit.

The Michigan football program's allegations of rule violations seem a thing of the past amidst an almost fierce allegiance to the Wolverines. ‘In Rod We Trust’ banners hang from campus housing, almost as a symbolic gesture of this team loyalty. 

Each and every Michigan student is aware of the impact of this game – as is evident by an energy felt and shared everywhere on campus. Topics of discussion most prevalent include:

- The knowledge that a lot rests on the shoulders of Tate Forcier, whose impactful throwing game led the way for a season opener 31-7 win against Western Michigan. 

- The effectiveness of the Michigan defense was impressive last week – an equally powerful force will be necessary to take down the Notre Dame passing game.

- We’re counting on Stevie Brown, Brandon Graham, Martavious Odoms, Donovan Warren, Greg Mathews, and Brandon Minor to bring the heat. 

- And one more thing. There is a common sentiment shared by all Michigan students that needs to be voiced: Denard Robinson should never tie his shoes. 


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