Holiday In; LoVecchio Out

With the Irish offense in a dismal state after its 0-2 start, Bob Davie said he wants a spark. That's good news for Carlyle Holiday; bad news for Matt LoVecchio. Will it make a difference?

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September 24, 2001

Holiday Gets The Starting Nod

By The IrishEyes.Com NewsService

NOTRE DAME, Ind. (IE) – Hey! Hey!

Our glee is not over the fact that Bob Davie chose Carlyle Holiday over Matt LoVecchio as his starting quarterback against Texas A&M; it is over the fact that Davie made a decision. Or did he?

Davie has been torn among the three quarterbacks—LoVecchio, Holiday and Jared Clark—since he recruited them, apparently concerned that one or more may transfer if there was no prospect for bona fide playing time.

Davie has been consistent in saying that based on last year's seven straight wins when he started that LoVecchio gets the nod, but that others would see playing time as well. In the spring, Davie went so far as to see all three quarterbacks might play.

On Monday, Davie said that in an attempt to put a spark in a dismal offense, Holiday would start against the Aggies Saturday at Texas A&M. He also said, however, that LoVecchio may play as well.

 "The bottom line is that we're not scoring enough points," Davie said Monday. "I thought Matt LoVecchio really played good at times (against MSU). In some ways, it might not be the fair thing. Matt has done some great things for us over the past two years. And he is going to continue to do some great things for us this year. But we all see that we need a spark to get points on the board."

 Since winning those seven straight with LoVecchio as the starter, the Irish have now lost three straight, including last year's Fiesta Bowl. And they face the prospect of becoming the first team in Irish history to start a season 0-3 if they lose on Saturday.

Davie said he thought the Irish have made "dramatic improvement" since their 27-10 loss in the season opener against Nebraska. But so far this season, the offense has had only two touchdown "drives"—if you want to call them that—six yards and four yards. One came after a punt runback and the other after a Nebraska turnover.

"We've got to try and get some more explosions, some more big plays," David said. "Carlyle provides us with the chance to do that. The encouraging thing is that there are some things we can build on from what we did Saturday. We just need to take the next step."

Holiday played in two series in the 17-10 loss to MSU. One of them Davie called "wasted" because it came after the Irish drove for a field goal using power running plays with Tony Fisher at tailback and LoVecchio at the helm. When Holiday came in on the following series, the first play called was a quarterback draw. The Irish went three and outl

Davie is still playing nice guy, though. Although announcing Holiday as the starter, he also says LoVecchio could see action.

 "For Matt LoVecchio, it's no different than what it was for Carlyle Holiday last week. There is a good opportunity for him to play in this game," said Davie. "There is a good opportunity for him to become the starting quarterback before this year is over. Carlyle Holiday deserves the opportunity and our football team deserves a chance to put some more points on the board."

Holiday, from San Antonio, Tex., couldn't be happier.

"There is a lot more pressure, but that's what I came here for," he said after practice. "I've really got to generate points and do what I can. I like pressure. I like to compete. Hopefully, I can get something good.

 "I'm not nervous at all. I feel I can make some plays."

 --30—


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