If you thought celebrating on the field with the student body was a special moment, it was nothing compared to the one in the locker room.
“A moment that you really can't explain unless you're with us all the time," said Irish coach Brian Kelly.
It was a momentous win. For a team that could really use one.
"To steal a quote from Coach (Ara) Parseghian, adversity elicits traits sometimes that we didn't think we ever had,” Kelly said. “I think, for our guys, they saw themselves in a different light."
And we saw what seemed like a different group of guys - a Notre Dame team that finally earned the right to bask in that light, in that moment.
But Kelly said it's so much more than just a moment. It's momentum.
"It's not a moment. It's the culmination of what we've been working on since December. You don't just pull these out of a hat,” Kelly said. "I just can tell you that it's been moving in that direction.... It's going to happen. They're going to break through. Let's stay the course. And that's hard to do today in a society that wants instant information and gratification. It's hard to paint that picture to anybody, and sometimes to 18- to 21-year-olds. I believed in what we were doing, and obviously a great deal of our kids did too.