By TOM COYNE
Associated Press Writer
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) - Notre Dame knows how to break in a quarterback.
Since 1985, the Irish are 11-1 with a quarterback making his first
including 2-0 this season. The latest success was Gary Godsey leading the
16th-ranked Irish to a 23-21 victory over No. 21 Purdue on Saturday when
Setta kicked a 38-yard field goal as time expired.
"That's a heck of a story," coach Bob Davie said Sunday.
Even for a school with a history as storied as Notre Dame's, Godsey's
is unusual. He was not supposed to be a quarterback at Notre Dame, and he
definitely wasn't supposed to be starting the third game of his sophomore
But because of a recruiting snafu, a player being dismissed from the team
an injury to Arnaz Battle, Godsey is Notre Dame's starter.
Godsey was a 6-foot-7 high school quarterback recruited by Davie as a
end. He passed up scholarship offers from other major schools to play
quarterback because he wanted to attend Notre Dame. On Saturday, he joined
Rice, Kent Graham, Rick Mirer and Ron Powlus on the list of Irish
winning in their first starts.
But Godsey's tale might be the most impressive. Some of those 11
by other Irish quarterback came against weaker opponents, and some of those
quarterbacks had at least played some downs at Notre Dame. Godsey had never
taken a snap in a game.
"We spent basically two years to get Arnaz Battle in a position to lead
this football team," Davie said.
The coaches had five practices to get Godsey ready.
Godsey went to bed after the overtime loss to top-ranked Nebraska on
as a little-known, never-used backup who most Irish supporters believed
return to tight end once one of the three freshmen quarterbacks were ready
take over as Battle's backup.
The problem was, Battle got injured before the freshmen were ready. The
Irish coaching staff had spent so much time getting Battle ready that Godsey
hadn't gotten much chance to prepare.
They knew from the outset they would have to scrap the option. So the
coaches had to alter Notre Dame's whole style of play.
The Irish tried to establish the run against Purdue, but weren't
Just as they had done with Battle, the Irish coaching staff started Godsey
conservatively. He attempted just two passes in the first quarter,
one. However, trailing 21-20 with 3:39 left, there was no more time for
Asked what Godsey was thinking at that point, Davie answered: "I was
to ask him."
Godsey let his teammates know his thoughts, though.
"I went up to the guys and told them, 'Let's not leave the field
Godsey said. "They all looked at me confident."
Notre Dame was just 3-of-12 on third-down conversions before converted
all three during the final drive, including Godsey's 15-yard completion to
Javin Hunter on a third-and-10. He followed that with an 11-yard pass to
"That's a couple of huge plays right there," Davie said. "He found a
to get us down there and get us a field goal at the end of the game."
After passing for 75 yards through three quarters, Godsey passed for 83
yards in the fourth quarter. He was 14-of-25 for the game, completing one
pass than Purdue's Drew Brees and one more than Battle had through Notre
first two games.
"I did? Wow. Sweet," Godsey said.
Davie said he was impressed by what Godsey was able to accomplish with
limited game plan. The goal now is to try to get more of the offense in for
Irish game Saturday at No. 23 Michigan State.
"Our coaching staff has a tremendous challenge this week trying to do
things with Gary Godsey to be successful," Davie said.
Davie said he doesn't know why the Irish have been so successful with
first-time starting quarterbacks. But it did get him thinking.
"Maybe we ought to start (freshman Matt) LoVecchio this week."