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September 06, 2013 - Image 11

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The Michigan Daily, 2013-09-06
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Underneath the hype, game is full of emotions


Daily Sports Editor
Beyond the week-long
bantering between Brady
Hoke and Brian Kelly,
beyond the tradition of
the Michigan-Notre Dame
rivalry and beyond the lights
being turned on at Michigan
Stadium again, there are
only two feelings that seem
to matter to the Michigan
football players who have
faced the Fighting Irish
The first was the inde-
scribable electricity of Mich-
igan Stadium before, during
and after the Wolverines'
now legendary come-from-
behind win in the first Under
the Lights game in 2011.
The second is about as
far-flung off the first as pos-
From Page 4
The new policy doesn't
affect anybody that has sea-
son tickets - those prices
stay the same regardless of
the game. But season tickets
aren't cheap, as mandatory
donations and personal-seat
licenses raise the price well
above the face value of the
The fans this ticket policy
affects are people like Kara
From Page 5
seats to students who attend-
ed the most games, skipping
the line was rampant. And
the wait, with no televisions
to watch the early Final Four
game, created a mixture of
boredom and frustration.
Proppe said some stu-
dents equated the gen-
eral-admission policy to
Atlanta, where "there's
this perception that you're
being herded like cattle."
By the morning after the
announcement, in a Face-
book poll conducted by the
Daily with 643 responses,
77.2 percent of voters said
they hated the policy.

sible: leavingSouth Bend last
year after takinga literal and
figurative drubbing from the
Fighting Irish.
Both feelings are motiva-
tors for Michigan this week.
The players know it. The
coaches know it. It's Notre
Dame week, after all.
"It's a rivalry game to us,
that's us picking up inten-
sity," said fifth year senior
wide receiver Jeremy Gal-
lon. "The whole game of
football is changing for that
60 minutes. It's a different
level. There's more to it than
just playing football, it's
about winning it and hav-
ing the upper hand on your
Last week against Cen-
tral Michigan provided a
relatively easy test for the
Wolverines and their new

pro-style offense. Now it's
time to see how redshirt
junior quarterback Devin
Gardner and the rest of the
Wolverines will stack up
against a team that was on
the cusp of a national cham-
pionship last year.
Gardner threw two inter-
ceptions last Saturday, and
according to offensive coor-
dinator Al Borges, one was
preventable and the other
was not.
But considering six turn-
overs against Notre Dame
proved to be Michigan's
downfall last year, the
challenge for Gardner will
be walking the fine line
between ball security and
making the necessary big
Gallon said he doesn't
mind what Gardner does,

because at the end of the day
he said he has trust in his
quarterback. For the most
part, Hoke shares those sen-
timents, but there's always
that lingering feeling of con-
"For Devin, believe me,
we started this conversa-
tion in July about how we're
going to make decisions, how
we're going to take care of
the football," Hoke said. "I'd
rather have a quarterback
like Devin that you have to
pull back a little bit than I
would a quarterback who
you have to kick in the pants
to get out there to compete."
Where nerve-wracking
might be the resound-
ing phrase Hoke uses to
describe some of Gardner's
spontaneous tendencies,
the one adjective he picks to

describe Tommy Rees, his
Notre Dame counterpart, is
And when it comes to
the Fighting Irish's defen-
sive line? Maybe the best
words to use there are huge
and experienced, especially
when considering Notre
Dame defensive tackle
Louis Nix III, who weighs
in at a hefty 342 lbs. With
that mind, Borges is putting
even more pressure on the
offensive line to take care of
Gardner and prevent a 2012
"(Former quarterback)
Denard (Robinson) took a
lot of physical and figurative
hits in (last year's) game,"
Borges said. "A lot of those
balls he got intercepted, he
was hit on, which tells us
we need to take care of our

quarterback so he can see
the throws."
Saturday will be the last
Michigan-Notre Dame game
in Ann Arbor for the foresee-
able future. But amidst all
the glitz and glam of the all-
day festivities and the lights
turning on, the game is, first
and foremost, a measuring
"I think (Michigan-
Notre Dame) was always a
game that really (gave) you
a little bit of a true north of
what kind of football team
you're going to have," Hoke
said. "You've got two tradi-
tional national powers play-
ing each other. I remember
coach Schembechler all the
time talking about, how that
game, you kind of get an
idea of where you were as a

Notre Dame
at Michigan

Jasina, a 2012 alumni who is
in graduate school at Wayne
State for social work. She
lives close, but can't afford
season tickets and wouldn't
be able to afford single-
game tickets with the new
policy. Her plan was to tail-
gate in Ann Arbor and watch
the game on TV before she
won the right to buy tickets
in a lottery run by the Foot-
ball Saturdays program in
the Alumni Association (see
chart). Without that lottery,
she wouldn't have been able
to go to the game.

The ticket policy affects
people like the engineer
who works for one of the
automotive companies in
the area and who gradu-
ated last year but is using
student tickets again this
year. He requested his name
be withheld because of his
unauthorized use of student
tickets. He couldn't afford
season tickets, and through
a loophole in the system, got
student tickets again this
year (see chart). After his
remaining friends still in
school graduate, he won't be

able to afford season tickets
anymore and will have to
scalp them.
Most of all, it affects
people like Bonges, who
has younger children and
lives in Chicago. Every year,
he goes to one Michigan
game with his college bud-
dies. This year, it will be
Notre Dame. He won tickets
through the lottery, but two
of his friends didn't. They
couldn't afford the single-
game ticket, and are going
to scalp beforethe game.
Again, tickets were going

to be expensive anyway.
Either the Athletic Depart-
ment makes the money or
the secondary marketplace
Feldman, the economics
professor, compared it to
concert tickets.
"Musicians set their tick-
et prices really low because
they want their base fans to
be able to afford it, but they
know a lot of those tick-
ets are going to be bought
up by a lot of people who
intend to re-sell them,"
she said. "Because they

don't want to turn off their
fans, the performers don't
want to charge the $500
a ticket for their concerts.
What's happening is that
the alumni are saying, 'Is
a football game more like a
Bruce Springsteen concert,
or is it more like buying an
airplane seat.' The alumni
reaction is saying that it's
more like a concert ticket,
where you want to make it
affordable for everybody."
At what point does it
become too much for just a
football game?

Daily Sports Editor
One more time we go, into the
dark, looking out on the lights, the
Victors and the Irish. Michigan and
Notre Dame.
The ghosts come out at night,
under the stadium glow. Raghib
returns and Desmond dives. Denard
runs and Te'o chases. The legend of
Tate Forcier is born and disappears
again. Mike Hart takes a stand. Rick
Leach makes his speech.
Ghosts of Rockne and Yost. This
rivalry, and that's what it is, started
with hate. Fielding Yost blocked
Notre Dame from the Big Ten. Fritz
Crisler feared Michigan's Catholic
students would cheer for the Irish.
Notre Dame didn't forget.
The Irish laughed last in 2012.
Michigan didn't forget.
The ghosts won't come back
until... we don't know when. So turn
on the lights and hold your breath.
It's Michigan and Notre Dame.
Magic happens in this stadium at
Michigan pass offense vs. Notre
Dame pass defense
To say the secondary is the weak
spot of the Irish defense isn't exact-
ly fair. Remember last year?
Last year, it seemed as if Michi-
gan could punish Notre Dame
through the air. The inexperienced
secondary seemed vulnerable.
But constant pressure took care
of that. The secondary proved
itself worthy last year and should
be improved in 2013 with three
Cornerback Bennett Jackson is
one of four Irish players on the Bed-
narik Award watch list for the best
defensive player in the nation. His
battle with senior receiver Jeremy
Gallon is important. But pass pro-
tection will be more important.
Notre Dame's defensive line
is back, and it's just as terrifying.
Fifth-year senior left tackle Taylor
Lewan should contain All-Ameri-
can end Stephon Tuitt. Expect him
to attack the other side of the line

Devin Gardner can elude rush-
ers. He'll need to. He'll also need to
improve on his blitz recognition or
more bad decisions and crippling
turnovers await.
Players to Watch: CB Bennett Jack-
son, DE Stephon Tuitt
Edge: Notre Dame
Michigan rush offense vs. Notre
Dame rush defense
Notre Dame's front seven led the
team last year. The unit was one of
the best in the nation and returns
five starters.
Manti Te'o has graduated - a
good thing for Michigan. In 2012,
Te'o harassed the Wolverines all
over the field. We'll skip the fake-
girlfriend joke because we're better
than that.
Michigan probably won't play
against an end this year better than
Tuitt, who was an All-American as
a sophomore. He'll draw two block-
ers. Likewise, Louis Nix III is the
size of two people (he's 6-foot-2,
342 pounds), and redshirt sopho-
more center Jack Miller will also
likely need additional help. That
will allow the athletic linebackers
to run more freely.
Michigan's line is inexperienced
but has potential. It's got lots of
depth at running back. Both will be
Players to Watch: Tuitt, NT Louis Nix
I1, LB Prince Shembo
Edge: Notre Dame
Notre Dame pass offense vs.
Michigan pass defense
No Tyler Eifert. No Michael
Floyd. No Golden Tate.
That's good news for Michi-
gan. Notre Dame's top two targets,
T.J. Jones and DaVaris Daniels,
have flown under the radar. Both
are dangerous. Last week against
Temple, Jones hauled in six catches
for 138 yards. McDaniels had three
for 69 yards and two touchdowns
before sitting out the second half.
Butthe Wolverines' deep second-
ary has seen stiffer challenges from
the Irish in the past.
Quarterback Tommy Rees has

Senior quarterback Tommy Rees is in charge of the Fighting Irish offense after Everett Gholston was suspended for the season

senior safety Thomas Gor-
The green that don.
makes blue go The Michigan Athletic
Department is a bigbusiness.
All student sections, at Brandon told the Regents
Michigan and elsewhere, are he projects $146.4 million
subsidized. In the case of 78 in revenue and $137.4 in
FBS teams, student tickets expenses in the upcoming
are free. year. On Wednesday, Ste-
As Dave Brandon told phen Ross donated $100 mil-
AnnArbor.com: "If we're lion - out ofa $200 - million
going to sell you a ticket at gift - to athletics.
a substantial discount, we But, as LSA prof. Andrei
want you to be there." Markovits notes, schools
Butmanystudentsweren't still have an incentive to
there in 2012. Students aver- keep strongstudent sections.
aged 5,434 no-shows per A strong football team has
game in 2012, up from 4,376 become part of Michigan's
in 2011. The team noticed. image, he said. It attracts
"You just look up there applicants and even boosts
and see that your peers are the reputation of a Michigan
not up there supporting you degree. A rabid fan base is
in a sense," said fifth-year part of that brand.

"And in that context, the
student section is actually
essential," said Markovits,
a co-author of Sportista:
Female Fandom in the Unit-
ed States. "They would not
give it up even if they could
make a lot more money giv-
ing it to the free market, no
Michigan continues to
make tickets available to
all students at the Univer-
sity. Less than half of FBS
schools, 51 total, don't put a
cap on student ticket allot-
ment. Of those, only 19 are
from one of the five major
conferences or Notre Dame.
In fact, Michigan will
make less money off stu-
dent tickets in 2013 than in
2012, even with the price

increase. The Regents' plan
to upgrade the University
recreational sports facilities
and the Union requires the
use of $1.8 million of Athletic
Department revenue. The
Athletic Department says
the entire increase in student
ticket prices will go toward
that project. With roughly
20,000 season-ticket hold-
ers, that covers about $1.05
Since 2,000 fewer stu-
dents bought tickets this
season, Michigan loses about
$390,000 in revenue.
According to Dr. Mark
Nagel, a professor at South
Carolina who has researched
student fees, many schools
charge an athletics fee and
then charge for tickets.

Michigan has no such fee.
"In that regard, Michigan
does it right," Nagel said.
Assigned seating
going extinct
In an interview with
AnnArbor.com, Brandon
revealed that when Michi-
gan decided to switch to a
general-admission policy, he
felt he had no other options.
"We had Denard Rob-
inson doing appeals and
(Michigan) coach (Brady)
Hoke doing appeals," Bran-
don said, referring to the
attendance issue. "And we
were talking about it in the
student newspaper, and we
were going around campus
and we were really trying

a reputation for being turnover
prone, but he's shown improve-
ment since the game two years ago,
when his mistakes gave Michigan
the victory. He's nothing to laugh
at. Against Temple last week, he
was 16-for-23 for 346 yards with
three touchdowns and no turn-
overs. Yes, Temple was picked near
the bottom of the American Ath-
letic Conference and had numerous
breakdowns in the secondary. Still,
those numbers command respect.
But senior safety Courtney Avery
should be back. Michigan just has
more talent here.
Players to Watch: WR T.J. Jones,
WR DeVaris Daniels
Edge: Michigan
Notre Dame rush offense vs.
Michigan rush defense
Notre Dame's linemen have a
combined 81 starts, includinga sec-
ond-team All-American left tackle,

Zack Martin.
Still, there are holes. A new
center. A new right tackle. New
running backs. And Michigan's
constantly rotating front seven
should stay fresh.
George Atkinson III is the No. 1
back, and they could look to get him
downhill in the pistol formation.
Like Michigan, they're deep at the
position. Look out for Amir Carlisle.
He sat out last year with a broken
ankle but opened the game with a
45-yard rush last week.
Players to Watch: RB George Atkin-
son Ill, RB Amir Carlisle, RB Cam
McDaniel LTZack Martin
Edge: Michigan
Special Teams
Notre Dame will be praying for
the end zone, because field goals
could be an adventure. Brian Kelly
is deciding between Nick Tausch
and Kyle Brindza at place kicker.

Both missed their only attempts in
Week 1.
A rare Brendan Gibbons missed
field goal crippled the Wolverines
in last year's game. But he has been
reliable. Returner Dennis Norfleet
has the capability for a big return
every kick. A call by special teams
coach Dann Ferrigno created a
blocked punt and a score against
Central Michigan.
Michigan owns the better spe-
cial teams. And in a close game, that
could be the difference.
Players to Watch: PR Jones, KR
Edge: Michigan
If you were at Michigan Stadium
two years ago, you know. If not,
you'll find out soon.
Edge: Michigan
FINAL SCORE: No. 17 Michigan
27, No. 14 Notre Dame 21

6 1 FootballSaturday - September 6, 2013

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