April 29, 2000
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 position.
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 the fall.
"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 game.
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.