SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. (WOOD) — It’s not hard to tell that Michigan fans have arrived in Arizona: the pep of the band, the cheers of the crowd and the maize and blue taking over Scottsdale Stadium where Michigan fans gathered for a pep rally on Friday night.

The Wolverines play Texas Christian in the Fiesta Bowl Saturday with a trip to the College Football Playoff National Championship on the line.

From the lows the program has faced to the all-time high after its first 13-0 season, one thing remains the same: ‘Hail to the Victors’ is the heart and soul of Michigan football. The Michigan Marching Band is proud to play even just a small role in the program.

“Just to be able to represent what Michigan football can be through the band and through our fight song, it’s really an honor and I’m so privileged to be a part of it,” Grandville native Sam Weller said.

“It’s been a monumental year for us, just to be able to celebrate the history that we’ve had for so many years,” Sukh Preetsingh, a Forest Hills Central graduate, said. “For us to be even have a small part in that is just an honor of lifetime.”

The support has carried Michigan to the national semifinal for the second straight year. University President Santa Ono says it’s not just the football team that’s in the spotlight.

“About 17 million people watched the Ohio State-Michigan game. There will be even more watching this game,” Ono said. “The whole country’s watching, the whole world’s watching, so there’s a lot of attention and visibility for the institution. Usually there’s an uptick in applications when something like this happens. There’s a huge amount of pride between the alumni base as well.”

That’s not hard to see. Everywhere from Phoenix back to Grand Rapids, Michigan fans are wearing the maize and blue with pride.

“I always fly my maize and blue flag outside my house,” said lifelong Michigan fan and Grand Rapids native Tim Ramsay, who now lives in Phoenix. “I feel like I’m alone, but not anymore. This is amazing.”