Copyright by Global Electronic Telecommunications, publishers of IrishEyes™
October 27, 2001
Lack of Preparation
Evident in Irish Backfield
By Alan Tieuli
The IrishEyes.Com NewsService
CHESTNUT HILL, MA (IE) – One long-time, respected member of the Notre Dame traveling party describes Julius Jones thusly: "No player has ever practiced less and played more at Notre Dame than this kid."
Offensive coordinator Kevin Rogers wasn't particularly charitable in his observations of Jones in the aftermath of Notre Dame's 21-17 loss to Boston College Saturday night.
"There's nobody out there that's such a salty veteran that can they can miss 2-3 practices a week and perform at a high level on Saturday," said Rogers. "That's been a problem since camp."
Jones, despite all his talent, is not legendary in his pre-season conditioning. So when he misses a week of practice and then fumbles a clean pitch with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, he isn't in position to be cut a break by the coaching staff.
Notre Dame was also missing tailback Tony Fisher for the entire contest due to a hamstring injury. "We definitely had some continuity issues out there," said Rogers. "It affected us, no question."
On the surface, the Irish rushed the ball reasonably well (59 carries, 233 yards), but there was also five unforced fumbles (only one lost), an illegal motion on Terrance Howard on third-and-one, and various missed blocking assignments. "It's not our finest hour," said Rogers of his offensive troops.
GREEN WITH ENVY: Linebacker Tyreo Harrison found it difficult to deal with the fact that the Irish defense, basically, was beaten by one player Saturday – tailback William Green.
"We weren't stupid, we prepared for more things than (Green)," said Harrison. "But we thought we had their game-plan figured out. It turns out they had us figured out."
Green ended up 195 yards on 28 carries, had the longest run of his career (71 yards) and is now the only BC player ever to rush for 1,000 yards twice in a career. He accounted for 233 of BC's first 241 total yards in the game.
Davie was particularly impressed with Green's 71-yard touchdown run on third-and-one in the first quarter.
"It was third down and one and he hit an isolation on us, I mean he hit it,"said Davie with emphasis. "I mean, on that artificial turf, he really comes at you downhill."
At Chestnut Hill they're pumping up Green for a late run at the Heisman. It might be a pipe dream, but the Eagles do have a week off to prepare for a Nov. 10 home clash against No. 1 Miami. If Green comes up very big that night, and the Eagles can pull the upset, anything is possible.
HOLIDAY OK: Despite bruising his right knee on the Irish's final series – and watching helplessly from the bench as Matt LoVecchio came up short – Carlyle Holiday is expected to play next Saturday at home versus Tennessee.
"He's fine," said Rogers. "The doctors said there is nothing structural (wrong)."
"I'll be ready," said Holiday. "What hurts more is our execution. It is frustrating. We played pretty well on offense, we moved the ball whenever we wanted to. We just couldn't get the win."
THE NOTEBOOK: An encouraging item lost in the sting of defeat: Grant Irons made an outstanding interception in the first quarter, keeping his balance while being cut block and then timing his leap perfectly to snag a Brian St. Pierre swing pass. It set up Notre Dame's first touchdown……Green's 71-yard touchdown run was the longest by an ND opponent since Tony Dorsett had a 71-yarder 26 seasons ago, Nov. 15, 1975……Nick Setta's missed field goal on Notre Dame's first drive was his first FG failure in 10 tries…….True freshman tailback Ryan Grant had his first career carry in the first-half, a four-yard gain…..Vontez Duff continues his improvement in the secondary, earning his second pick in as many weeks…..Notre Dame last loss in October on Oct. 18, 1997, 20-17 at home versus USC……BC won for only the fourth time in 13 meetings with the Irish, but are now 2-2 in four match-ups at the remodeled Alumni Stadium. The Eagles won here in 1994, ND prevailing in 1996 and 1998 (thanks, Deke Cooper). Alumni is a tidy, dark but noisy facility and is made a much nicer spot for media with the presence of Sports Information Director extraordinaire Mike Enright, formerly of Notre Dame……Nose guard Andy Wisne suffered a concussion in pre-game warm-ups and did not play……It's difficult to see a scenario where Notre Dame would be attending any Bowl now. With Syracuse defeating Virginia Tech, it looks like the Big East will only get one BCS Bowl berth. The loser of Virginia Tech/Miami would almost certainly go to the Gator Bowl. Syracuse or Boston College would be more deserving than Notre Dame for the Insight.com Bowl in Phoenix. Those are the two non-BCS Bowls the Irish have an agreement with. The Irish, if they win six games, could accept an at-large bid to such third-tier Bowls as the Humanitarian in