UCONN 33 NOTRE DAME 30 (2 OT)
November 21, 2009
By Wayne Norman


Joe D'Ambrosio, E. B. Davis, Wayne Norman, and Kevin Nathan in the broadcast booth before the game at Notre Dame Stadium.  The computer screen behind us is the stat monitor.  Not only one of the nicer booths we've been in, but one of best positions--about the 45 yard line.

It was an incredible day for me, our broadcast team, and the UConn football program.  It took them three heartbreaking losses before finally getting the first win since the murder of Jasper Howard--and what a way to do it!
 
After the game, I called former parter Bob Heussler (voicemail) then passed the phone to Joe, who told Bob, "You had the Tate call, I had the Notre Dame call."
 
Before we took off, Coach Edsall played a voicemail over the plane PA from Governor Rell who giddily congratulated the team.  Edsall also relayed a message from Jasper Howard's stepfather, who said how proud he was of the team and that the team has already done so much to help, and now this.   Sweet.
 
Then when we landed and phones could be turned on again, Coach Edsall read an email from the head of Big East officials, who sent congrats on the win, then added that neither of the holding calls (which negated late UC touchdowns) were anything close to being a penalty.   The team cheered. 
 
Coach Edsall told us on our postgame it was the biggest win in program history.   I agree.  Who cares if ND is down?  UC put them farther down.    Our sideline guy Kevin Nathan said Cincy (35,000) was louder than ND's 80,000 (which also included close to 4000 UC fans and about 300 members of the UC marching band, which had no seats, but stood for the entire affair).
 
UC quarterback Zach Frazer transferred from Notre Dame.  Before the game they honored ND's 33 seniors.  If he had stayed, he would have been the 34th.  Turns out he helped spoil senior day for those 33.
 
I rarely bring a camera to games, but this was a special game--win or lose.


From Friday's brief walk though--Going down the ramp into the north end zone.  Those are national championship banners over the ramp. Visitor's (UC) locker room is at upper left


Coach Edsall standing near midfield


Edsall (center) addresses the troops


Our outstanding engineer E. B. Davis



UConn starting offensive Guard Eric Kuraczea (L).  Some of the coaches' wives in center.


Outside north end of stadium, facing Touchdown Jesus.  A lot of history has been made here.


The legendary Touchdown Jesus





We always get police escorts from airport to hotel, from hotel to game, and from game to airport, but this one was different.  Besides more cruisers, about 20 miles from campus we got a chopper escort, which hovered low over us right to the stadium.   We've never gotten THAT treatment before.


Usually its one cruiser in front of us.  With 80,000 people on the way, the Indiana State Police put TWO cruisers adjacent, in front of our first bus, with other ones along side the buses and one behind.  Here we round a corner.  You can see the first 3 buses (we bring up the rear in #4) and a trooper taking charge at the intersection.  I guess those lights are used after dark.


Pulling up outside the stadium's north entrance (near Touchdown Jesus).  I expected those to be a lot of ND fans, but at noon (2.5 hours before kickoff) those were mostly supportive UConn fans.
 

The UConn Marching Band doing the same routine it has done since 9/11 at home games--a terrific version of "Battle Hymn of the Republic."  The two white humps beyond the stadium are the Joyce Center.  The hoops games are played at the hump on the right.
 
 

Two F-15's did a flyover during the anthem.  They seemed as low as the escort chopper.  I felt like I could reach up and touch a wing.  Filling-rattling loud.  Note Touchdown Jesus.
 

Notre Dame kicks off to start the game
 

The celebration moments after Andre Dixon's 4-yard run to the left wins the game in the second overtime.  UConn had the far sideline--note the teammates rushing the field.
 

Then the Huskies ran over to the other corner to salute the great UConn fan section and the band. Meanwhile, the leprechaun consoles the Irish in the lower left.
 
 

A view from just outside the UConn locker room (where we interviewed Edsall and 3 players)--those National Championship banners hang over the runway that enters the field from the north end zone.  That's the ND band marching up the runway, loudly playing drums.
 

Touchdown Jesus at night.  On this day, he became Field Goal Jesus, which allowed UConn to win the game with the Dixon touchdown.

THESE PHOTOS FROM WILI SALES MANAGER DONNA EVAN:





The Husky sideline before the opening kickoff as 80,000 spectators look on


UConn linebacker Gregg Lloyd makes a goal line stop of Notre Dame halfback Armando Allen which knocked Allen's helmet off


After Andre Dixon crossed the goal line with the winning touchdown



The Huskies came back to salute the band and the UConn fans


Whodathunk the UConn cheerleaders could help celebrate a win at Notre Dame?


The crescent moon rising over the historic moment


Andre Dixon scores the winning touchdown


AP Photo -- Michael Conroy


Kashif Moore caught UConn's first overtime touchdown


Gregg Lloyd's goal line stand hit of Irish halfback Armando Allen -- Chicago Sun-Times photo












Linebacker Sio Moore holding Jasper Howard's jersey -- AP photo by Michael Conroy

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