NOTRE DAME, Ind. - To cap off 14 practices, the offensive and defensive units suited up to
play in the 71st annual Blue-Gold game. The defensive unit managed to hold
on to win the scrimmage, 39-31.
Head coach Bob Davie and his coaching staff did devise a new look for the
scrimmage. This year, offensive and defensive units faced off against each
other with coaches making numerous substitutions with each play. The staff
developed an elaborate scoring system to reward the units for everything
from touchdowns to tackles to blocked field goals.
"We just put our heads together and tried to be creative," Davie said about
the new scrimmage format. "We wanted to allow it to be a competitive game
and give the defense a chance to score."
The defense did just what Davie and his staff had allotted for, score. On
the second series, linebacker Anthony Denman gave the defense the lead
early in the first quarter with his interception. Denman picked off Gary
Godsey's first attempt of the day and ran it back 39 yards for 12 points.
His 12-point play earned him MVP honors for the defense.
"Anthony Denman is one of the better linebackers we have," Davie said. "As
far as a playmaker, he has the best potential. He has put himself in
position to have a heck of a year.
The defense jumped out to a 24-6 lead in the first quarter. Besides
Denman's 12-point play, the defensive lead came off of three sacks of Gary
Godsey. Grant Irons, Darrell Campbell and Rocky Boiman all got their hands
on the quarterback, for major losses each time.
Tight end Jabari Holloway earned offensive MVP honors. He finished the day
with four receptions for 58 yards.
"I have told Arnaz that if he needs me that I am here," Holloway said. "We
have a lot of good receivers, tailbacks and players on this team so I am
not looking at being the only one he goes to."
Davie has repeatedly stressed that spring is the time for individual
improvement. No Irish player proved himself more worthy than Gary Godsey.
Many believed that Godsey's time at quarterback would be short lived.
Instead the Tampa native has secured himself some quality time at the
Davie believes that Godsey's play is one of the unexpected surprises this
spring. He also made it clear that Godsey would practice at quarterback in
"I am excited about Gary Godsey's development this spring," Davie said.
"He went out there and competed and made improvement."
Godsey finished the day with 12 completions on 23 attempts for 148 yards.
He took the majority of the snaps in the second half.
Battle had an equally impressive performance in his outing as the first
string quarterback for the Irish. He finished the game with 10 completions
for 117 yards. Neither Battle nor Godsey threw a touchdown in Saturday's
Joey Getherall had six receptions to lead the team for 63 yards.
Davie and his staff opted to hold off on announcing the new captains. He
stated in the press conference that he wants next year's captains to be the
ones who show leadership during the summer. The team will vote in the
beginning of the fall to see who will serve as captains for the 2000 season.
Tony Fisher, Julius Jones and Terrance Howard are still in a tight race for
the starting slot. Davie believes that Chris Yura earned himself some
playing time with his performance today. Yura led the team today with 11
carries for 46 yards.
Prior to the scrimmage, David Miller, Nick Setta and Matt McNew went
through kicking drills. All three took part in field goal drills as well
as kickoff drills. In the field goal portion, McNew and Miller went a
perfect 4-for-4. Setta missed two chances wide left, one from the 37
yard-line and one for the 35 yard-line.