As a kid growing up in SEC country, Bartley Webb wasn't a Notre Dame fan, but somewhere between his first visit to South Bend in April, and his most recent visit for the USC game, he's become as devoted as any fan you will find.
"It was a heartbreaker," he said of Notre Dame's 34-31 loss to USC. "The atmosphere was great, but that doesn't take away the pain, but it makes it a little easier to swallow. It was unbelievable, just how many people where there, the students, the way they cheer, there's nothing that big at all, I can't even explain it.
"Other than the final seven seconds, they beat the No. 1 team in the country. You can't ask much more – well, except taking seven seconds off the game," he added.
While the Irish lost, they did earn the respect of many across the college football world. Bartley was excited by the way his future offensive mates competed.
"One thing I noticed was that Brady Quinn stayed in the pocket and held onto the ball," Webb explained. "He got a little bit of pressure every now and again, but it wasn't ever a point where it was dangerous. He didn't get sacked very many times. For the offense to be out on the field that long and only give up two or three sacks, obviously the offensive line was doing a great job. Coach Latina's done a great job with them in the short time that he's had them.
Comment: While talking to Webb, you would think he's been a Notre Dame fan since he was five years old. He was still bothered that Notre Dame lost, and it was easy to pick up in the tone of his voice. I think Irish fans are going to like the way this kid competes.