“Just because the atmosphere,” Render said. “The fans were crazy, but at the same time, they were polite.”
“It was like, ‘Good luck!’” Render said. “It wasn’t anything bad, like, ‘You guys (expletive)!’ It was always like, ‘Good game! I hope you guys had a good time.’ We were, like, ‘All right. Cool.’”
Render said his parents received similar treatment from fans, who asked them if they had had a safe trip to South Bend, Ind.
“It kind of took me off-guard,” Render said. “That’s the first time I’ve ever heard anything like that.”
Like Pittsburgh, Wake Forest played there in 2012, when punter Alex Kinal was a freshman, but he still remembers the noise. Also, lights.
“It felt like a lot of cameras were going off or something,” he said. “A lot of flashing lights. I don’t focus much around the atmosphere, but it was a fun place to play.”
Louisville defensive end Sheldon Rankins, from Covington, helped the Cardinals emerge with a 31-28 win.
“The most vivid memory was when they threw marshmallows on the field,” he said. “I thought it was snowballs at first. Then I picked one up. I was like, ‘No, these are marshmallows.’ I didn’t understand that.”
The Jackets will miss out on that. By school tradition, members of the Notre Dame senior class engage in a marshmallow fight at halftime of the final home game of the season.
Skov’s memories are not as fond. The Cardinal lost 17-14 last year when then-Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson converted a fourth-and-11 with a 23-yard touchdown pass with 61 seconds remaining.
“It’s a fun environment to play in,” he said. “Sometimes the refs get a little frustrating, but that’s out of your control. But, like I said, I’ve got a bad taste in my mouth from last year.”