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For Robinson's friends and family, a familiar memory, then silence

By Zach Helfand, Daily Sports Editor
Published September 23, 2012

“It’s close, man,” Durrel said.

For the first time, Durrel was nervous.


Remember when it was over a year ago, you hugged your friends and waved your pom poms and screamed? This year, the Notre Dame students embraced their players and waved Irish flags and yelled.

Remember how late you stayed? Sang songs into the night? This year, the Notre Dame fans stayed until well after the game, singing “Oh What a Night!” while the band danced.

For all the fireworks, magic and electrifying runs that have marked Robinson’s first two games against Notre Dame, this one ended with a thud.

The Fighting Irish had finally solved the problem of Robinson on the game’s final possession: don’t let Robinson have the ball of the game’s final possession.

The game ended with two Notre Dame first downs and a Tommy Rees kneel.

“It’s about time,” said Eugene Sharp, the usher in the parents section. “About damn time. I was still mad from last year.”

Durrel and his companions lingered for a few minutes. Usually, Robinson doesn’t like to talk after a game, and Durrel said he hadn’t planned anything to say to his little brother.

Under the stadium, Robinson called the loss “the most disappointed I’ve been in myself” in 22 years.

Finally, Robinson’s big brother, best friends and girlfriend — shocked, just like you — got up and left.

There was nothing to say.

— Helfand was without a credential this weekend, but he received lots of help from his friends. He thanks them. Helfand can be reached at or on Twitter @zhelfand