October 26, 2013 Updated: October 27, 2013 at 5:20 am
Matt Rochell spent the past week - months, really - thinking about how strange it would be to line up against his brother.
Turns out, it seemed normal.
"It wasn't as weird as I thought it would be," said Rochell, Air Force's sophomore left tackle of playing against his brother, Notre Dame freshman defensive lineman Isaac Rochell.
The two were on the field at the same time a bit more than expected as Isaac saw the most action he had all season. He made one big play, stopping Air Force quarterback Nate Romine on a third down to force a field goal.
The brothers spent several minutes talking before the game and snapped photos with family afterward.
"He got in a lot in the end and we were losing, so I was down about that, but it was still cool seeing him out there," Matt said. "It's always cool to see him play."
As expected, Notre Dame fans turned out in droves to tailgate and take in the game. Though the game wasn't a sellout, it brought 44,672 fans to Falcon Stadium.
Air Force athletic director Hans Mueh said the Fighting Irish faithful were well-behaved guests and called the fan base "classy."
Mueh also confirmed that, after talking with Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick, the scheduled neutral-site game between the teams in 2015 is likely canceled or at the least on hold because of the agreement the Irish made to play five games each year against ACC teams.
No bowl game
For the first time in the past seven years, Air Force's coaching and support staff will have Christmas at home.
The loss, Air Force's seventh, ruled out the possibility of a six-win season and bowl eligibility. This ends a six-year bowl run that started in coach Troy Calhoun's first season.
"Tough pill to swallow," Calhoun said.