News and Notes

*The ever-changing weather patterns of South Bend can even wreak havoc on the Notre Dame football team's travel plans. Head coach Charlie Weis scheduled the group to leave today for their game Saturday night at Stanford. But a couple of inches of snow overnight and a gusty wind might push back the original arrangements. But as usual, Weis has a backup plan.

"I got it tracked out," Weis said. "We've been in contact all day long with Northwest (Airlines). We can leave as late as noon on Friday if we had to. If it's snowing, it's supposed to stop on Friday. We have it covered because we're leaving a day early. But right now, our plans are go as is but we're ready to change those if there is any imminent danger. That's one of the advantages of getting out there a day early."

The forecast for Thursday in South Bend calls for high winds between 25 to 35 miles per hour with three to five inches of snow and the temperature in the low 20's. The chance for precipitation is 70%. These conditions are drastic compared to what awaits the Irish players out in California. On Saturday in Palo Alto, the forecast calls for clear skies and a high in the mid-50's.

*When it comes to putting in the hours, Weis has already made a legendary mark. Known for his early morning arrivals and late departures, no one works harder than the Irish coach in getting his team ready for the upcoming game. In last Sunday's press conference, he remarked that his alarm clock is set for 4:15 in the morning.

With all this time comes a lot of film watching. Weis can watch as much game tape as he sees fit. Before the USC game, he said that his film studies for the Trojans had covered the past three seasons. Weis has more time than the Notre Dame players to break down the tendencies of the opposition because of NCAA time limit regulations for student-athletes. But the coaching staff makes sure they are adequately prepared.

"What we do is because we only have the 20 hours we can mandate, we make discs for them at the beginning of the week," Weis said. "When they come in, we give them discs of games. They are going to watch plenty of what the coaches make available during their meetings but as far as how much study someone does, it's optional based on how much they want to watch. By making discs, we make it easy on them for them not to be here."

*Stanford starting quarterback Trent Edwards injured himself in the Cardinal's 27-3 loss to California last week. The senior suffered a stinger and his status for Saturday's game is up in the air. Junior T.C. Ostrander filled in and completed 15-of-23 passes for 152 yards and will start if Edwards is not ready to go. Ostrander has played sparingly this season but defensive coordinator Rick Minter sees a lot of upside.

"The more you watch the guy who finished the game last week, the more you are impressed by him," Minter said. "He had limited reps coming into the game but the longer he played the more settled he became. He's got some spunk. He's got some ability. Personal opinion is that they don't drop off a beat. It doesn't alter what we do. I don't think it alters what they do. We're just business as usual."

Edwards has started every game for the Cardinal this season, completing 62 percent of his passes for over 1700 yards and 15 touchdowns. Ostrander has thrown only 52 passes on the year but the injury forces the Irish defense to prepare for two quarterbacks.

"They're both real good," Minter said. "That's a credit to their abilities and that the offense is centered around the quarterback's success. It's a well-designed offense and has all the elements that'll challenge you. We'll have a challenge on our hands."

*Notre Dame and Stanford are meeting for the 20th time with the Irish holding a 13-6 series advantage. The first time these two teams met was back in 1925. Knute Rockne took his team out to California to play Stanford's Pop Warner and Ernie Nevers. A 27-10 Notre Dame win gave the Irish their first-ever national championship.

*The Irish are still on pace to break the single-season scoring average set back in 1968. That team piled up 37.6 points per game. The 2005 Notre Dame team is currently scoring 38.2 PPG. The school record for points in a season is 426 set by the 1991 Irish. Notre Dame has 382 points on the year and need only 44 more to rewrite the offensive record books once again. Top Stories