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    Fighting Irish
    An Interview With Bob Davie

    FIGHTING IRISH
    FIGHTING IRISH

    FIGHTING IRISH

    Oct. 24, 2000

    An Interview With: COACH BOB DAVIE

    JOHN HEISLER: Good morning. This is John Heisler here at the University of Notre Dame.

    A couple of quick notes, don't forget that the time changes in most places in the country this weekend on Saturday night. So by the time we are doing business next week, we will be on the equivalent of Eastern time. So those of you in Chicago, things will be an hour different from what they have been in the past.

    Also don't forget that because of the Open Date next week we will not have a press conference on either Tuesday or on Sunday the 6th. I think we will have a wrap-up this Sunday on the 29th after the Air Force game, but we will basically miss a whole week. Then we will get together on the Tuesday prior to the Boston College game again. That will be our next press conference on a Tuesday.

    For those of you on the satellite, we have about six minutes of highlights from the West Virginia game last weekend and again a reminder that our Sunday wrap-up is at one o'clock on Sundays and we will have one of those this week.

    Coach Davie is here at this time. He will make some opening comments, then we will take some questions.

    COACH DAVIE: First of all, kind of hard to believe that it is the 8th game of the season already. It is remarkable how the season is flying by. It is good to be back home. Seems like a long time since we played at Notre Dame Stadium. We played two straight games on the road. I was talking to some of our players last night, trying to really get a handle on why we were tired the second half of the West Virginia game. You know, some of them -- we talked a little bit about playing in those two games back-to-back weeks, both of them noon kickoffs, east coast time, which means your pre-game meal is basically at 7:00 A.M., both weeks South Bend time. So I heard John talk about the change in time. I don't think it affects this week, but it is good to be back home for a 1:30 kickoff, I believe, and to play in Notre Dame Stadium, just to get back on a rhythm.

    The other academy teams, I think when you look at Air Force there is no doubt in my mind that they are a talented football team. I remember getting ready for Navy, watching Air Force, at that time I had more of a chance to watch Air Force's defense and I remember watching them thinking how talented they look.

    I mean, they are really big as a football team, particularly for academies. When you look at their offensive football team, all their offensive linemen are big 300-pound guys. Maybe with the exception of their center.

    But their quarterback is a little different style than they have had in the past. He certainly can run. But he also is really a good passer. He is very accurate. They have a big receiver that is 6 foot 5 that I think is second in their conference in pass receiving.

    And as always, they have the complicated scheme that they always bring. So they are a talented football team. We all remember the last time Air Force came to Notre Dame Stadium. That was 1996. I remember we beat Washington the week before. The score of that game may have been 54 to 14 or something. We had Air Force coming in at that time, we were the 8th ranked team in the country. (inaudible) We had an Open Date after the Air Force game. We all remember the overtime game kicking the field goal to beat us.

    They are a 5 and 2 football team like we are coming in. I am sure they feel they should be 6 and 1. New Mexico is a good team. But their game was played at 10 o'clock in the morning and New Mexico jumped up 21 nothing on them right away. Air Force comes scratching and clawing back, just kind of ran out of time at the end.

    This is obviously a big football game. Any time you win, the stakes get higher. But more than that, someone asked me last night, what is my biggest concern. My biggest concern is just that we continue to improve and get better as a team because it is going to take the kind of effort we've had every week throughout this season to win in the upcoming weeks. We are just that kind of football team. It takes a great effort by us and, you know, as I have said before, I really enjoy this team. This is a group of guys that everyday show up excited about practice, excited about getting better.

    This week is a big challenge, particularly for our defense. And I don't think the last couple of weeks that we have played particularly well on defense. You go back and look at the Navy game. Certainly we had some great statistics up until the fourth quarter of that game. But I don't know that we played all that well. It is difficult to play Air Force the same way you played Navy because if you give them a week to look at the tape, they do a great job of diagnosing what you are doing.

    So it's a big challenge, but I really kind of like where we are right now. We all know that it comes down to late in the season, what really counts, but I think we are a football team right now that does have the potential to get better. And I am not sure every team in this country can say that, either because of injuries or because of attitude or because of different things.

    This football team right now, I will be disappointed if this football team doesn't continue to get better throughout the rest of the season.

    So it is one week at time and right now the challenge is Air Force, it is a big challenge for us.

    John.

    Q. A lot is made of tough schedules and how they can sort of (inaudible) come in early in the season can you talk a little about perhaps how your early schedule apparently has helped you and the reasons why and did it help the team emotionally?

    COACH DAVIE: Well, I think in our case that schedule has been discussed at length. I think what it probably did for us was -- the sense of urgency that we had had certainly in the offseason coupling that early season this year with how we finished last year, you can see that every second of our time from January up until August there was a tremendous sense of urgency to get off to a great start.

    Not that we got off to a great start, but we probably got off to a better start than most people on the outside would have anticipated, particularly the fact that we lost our starting quarterback in the second game of this season.

    I think when this season ends, we'll all look back and say: Was it a benefit to play a difficult schedule early or did your football team run out of juice at the end of the season because they played a difficult schedule early. But so far, other than Grant Irons, who may be one of our best players on defense and Arnaz Battle who is our starting quarterback, you know, we stayed pretty healthy and so far it has been really pretty positive for us. And I think this football team has a lot of confidence that it can improve and the best football is ahead of it because we are still intact after playing such a difficult schedule.

    Q. With the loss of Battle for the remainder of season and Rogers offensive demands at QB, has David Givens been given a look at a backup for LoVecchio?

    COACH DAVIE: No, we really haven't done that.

    Right now we are trying to get enough practice opportunities and enough reps for our young quarterbacks and David could probably go in there and do some things in the option game. But I don't know that David would be better than the young men we have. And I don't want anymore of a logjam there now than we have. It is such a fight for reps everyday in practice. So David -- you must have saw him throw that pass against --

    Q. (laughs)

    COACH DAVIE: We really haven't done that.

    Q. Is Mike McNair healthy?

    COACH DAVIE: Mike McNair is healthy. I am not sure he is 100%, but he is going to be able to play this week.

    Q. So many people have been talking about Notre Dame running the table, finishing up 9 and 2. Yet you already mentioned the upset to Air Force in 1996 and even Boston College throughout the years. How are you going to go about avoiding these upsets that have happened in the past and I don't mean just necessarily the Air Force game in particular, but any of the remaining teams that you would play, Air Force, Boston College, Rutgers USC, et cetera?

    COACH DAVIE: So we are saying that would be a tremendous upset if any of those teams beat us now, I guess, but, you know, Steve, it is simple for me and I think it is simple for this football team.

    We know exactly where we are and we know exactly what kind of team we are. Certainly the future, I think, is becoming brighter as we go. But we also know it is a week-to-week situation and if you look at how we have won, it is because we have done the things that are necessary to win. We have not turned the ball over. We have had great success in special teams. And we have probably given up a few more big plays than I would like to. But it is week-to-week for us. If you go back and look at any one of our games. You know, you look at the Navy game, which we had a pretty convincing lead, but you look back and you say, you know what, is Tony Driver going to pick up a fumble and run it up for a touchdown, is he going to take a pitch that bounces off the shoulder pads of the pitch back and run it in for a touchdown, are we going to be able to have a punt return for a touchdown every week?

    We realize that we need to continue to improve as a team. I think that is pretty clear to everybody. So all that talk and all that hype, if that really in fact is going on, doesn't really mean much to me and doesn't really mean much to this team.

    We are in a battle every week to win. And this week is no exception.

    Q. Looking back, the injury to Arnaz, the injury to Grant, how much did that adversity help shape maybe the chemistry that seems to be really good on your team right now? Along the same lines in looking at negatives and turning them into positives, in talking to Arnaz this week, have you had to do any of that? Have you looked that far ahead yet?

    COACH DAVIE: First of all, I think it would probably be a great script to write to say, well, the team's chemistry improved after Arnaz Battle was injured and Grant Irons was injured.

    But to be quite honest, I think the chemistry of this football team was something that was developed by doing the right things in the offseason, and really just being around each other and seeing that everyone was willing to make the sacrifice.

    So I don't think that there could be any positive spin put on losing those two players. Both those guys were important to this team and I don't think that that necessarily impacted us in a positive way. I think the chemistry was established before that.

    I think there is a little more confidence now that we have been able to handle some of that adversity that hit us that maybe could help us with some of the adversity that is going to hit us down the road.

    With Arnaz, you know, I have talked to Arnaz, as we have all along, and it is that old saying, it is what it is. I mean, the first thing is is Arnaz healthy to play. Arnaz is not healthy to play. That is the reason the cast is going to be kept on another month. So we closed that chapter. That chapter is over. And we start thinking about Arnaz right now for next football season and not this football season.

    I have talked to him about just the situation and it is another thing he has to handle. And you look at it -- you know, everything happens for a reason. I think back to Arnaz Battle his freshman year, hurt that shoulder against Baylor, came back and played in the Southern Cal game probably before he was ready to play. It really amounted into a lost year of football for Arnaz Battle. This year he worked tremendously hard in the offseason. He was injured in the second football game of the year. But when it all comes out, it is another year of football and he has two years left to play at Notre Dame. We have addressed that.

    I think, you know, the next step for us is probably to decide at quarterback, with Arnaz completely out of the mix now, that there is some closure on that, what we do for the remainder of the season, and that is something that we are in the process of discussing right now.

    Q. At the end of the last game, you were quoted as saying about Terrance Howard that -- you said: I am not sure he is not the starter right now. Would you mind elaborating on that thought for a moment?

    COACH DAVIE: Yeah, you know, as you know, I had a little bit of a virus after that game, so I was kind of curious what you were going to say I did say.

    But the bottom line -- you know, we made a decision, I think after the Nebraska game, that Julius Jones really needed to get his hands on the football. He was our go-to tailback. He was our starting tailback. We communicated that to Terrance Howard. We communicated that to Tony Fisher. I think we all saw why - the explosiveness that Julius has. That is the way we try to do it. Julius has been a little bit nicked up. He had the thumb. He had a hamstring pulled. He now has a hip pointer that happened in the first quarter of the West Virginia game. I think Tony Fisher has done some great things with particularly catching the football and, you know, a short yardage type runner and he is a darn good player.

    I think Terrance Howard going 80 yards shows the explosiveness he has. So like with any situation, you know, it comes down to who is the most productive and who has the hot hands, particularly at that position because we have some options there. You know, but I think going into this game, you know, it still Julius Jones if Julius Jones is healthy. Now Julius Jones has to take advantage of it and you know those other two guys have taken advantage of their opportunities, so it is still what it was.

    But because of Julius' injuries a little bit, I think it is probably a little bit closer than it was back there earlier in the season.

    Q. So we shouldn't be looking at Terrance taking over in any form?

    COACH DAVIE: I don't think just yet. I think we have all seen what Julius can do. I think we all realize there are different styles. You will continue to see all of them, and, you know, we are not going to make that thing bigger than it needs to be made or get into a whole lot of percentages or something.

    I just feel like Julius is still the starter. Terrance is certainly going to get his opportunities because he has earned them and so will Tony.

    Q. Considering he has a different running style, how do you see that playing into the tailback-by-committee-type setup you have there?

    COACH DAVIE: Terrance?

    Q. Yes.

    COACH DAVIE: Terrance is a guy that for a thin, you know, he is rather thin. You know, he is kinds of a blade. He hits it up in there hard and I don't know that that plays into it really that significantly, though, between whether it is Terrance or Julius. It is just that they do have different styles.

    Q. (inaudible)

    COACH DAVIE: It is difficult. You need some good fortune. You need a lot of things to happen. That is a difficult thing to say that you can go through a season without doing that, no question. To go seven games without doing it, I think is really remarkable, particularly when you have some options out of your offense. That is an amazing statistic, no question.

    Q. (inaudible)

    COACH DAVIE: That is why I don't want to talk too much about it. I gave you a dirty look when you brought that up. You kind of eased into that. I appreciate that.

    Q. You mentioned before about having some closure with the news that Battle is potentially going to be being out the rest the season. Obviously you would want him healthy. (inaudible) Is it almost a sense of relief now that you know exactly what the situation will be the rest of season, not to worry about that now?

    COACH DAVIE: I don't know-I would have liked to have heard that he could come back and play because I still think right now today he gives us our best option to win. If I went out there today and all things were equal, Arnaz Battle would be the quarterback. He is an explosive football player. And I'd really be curious to see where he would be right now if he would have played seven games. I think the upside to Arnaz is really high.

    So I am disappointed by the news. But in the same token, you learn to kind of deal with what you are dealt and it does put closure on it. We are done waiting kind of week-to-week - not that we were because we were pretty much made plans that he was done. But now I think that we have time to sit back and really look at the big picture of the situation and say: You know, with four football games left this year, and hopefully a Bowl Game at the end of the season, you know, who is the backup quarterback.

    There is a lot of football left. So this week is Gary Godsey. Let us get to the Open Date and let's see where we are and I think the fact that Arnaz is out for the season could impact that a little bit.

    Q. I know coaches hate hypothetical situations but hypothetically, if you were in a situation this week or a couple of weeks, whenever, like the Navy game a couple of weeks ago where you had a chance to put in a backup quarterback (inaudible), would you go to Jared Clark?

    COACH DAVIE: I am not prepared to say that right now. I think it depends on the situation of the game. Are we ahead in that game? Are we trying to win that game? What is the situation.

    I just think it is too much of a hypothetical right now to have a concrete answer. It would be a consideration right now, though, that it could be Jared Clark. So it just depends on the situation.

    Q. (inaudible)

    COACH DAVIE: I don't think he has anything to do with that. You know, they block low just like all option teams block low. And I don't see that being a factor as far as whether it is ethical or not ethical or that whole thing. I see what it is. It is difficult because it is a different style, first of all.

    The second thing, you know, they are averaging 430 yards a game offense. It is the combination of being able to run and throw the ball. They are a true triple-option team that can throw the football. And it is difficult. Every down of the game, it is kind of like it is first and 10. In other words, it may be third and 8 and they run the quarterback -- or it may be third and they run the fullback. You know, it may be first and 10 and they play action. So every down of the game it really doesn't matter what the down of distance is. You are defending their whole offense every snap whether the ball is on the one-yard line going in or the one-yard coming out. You have to defend everything in football.

    It is difficult. It is a challenge. I kind of enjoyed playing against it, in a sick kind of a way, I guess, but it is a challenge. I make no bones about it, we spent time in the offseason looking at this and we knew we had Navy and Air Force and the whole issue of do you play what you play or do you do something different, that whole thing, there is a lot of issues playing against them. But what it comes down to in the end, it is always players and Air Force has good football players. I don't know how they fit those guys in some of those cockpits, they must have some jumbo size cockpits now in our Air Force, because these guys need double big seats now. They are 300 pounds on that front. Must be a pretty big parachute for those guys doing some of those missions. It is a different looking team than maybe some of the academies. They are big linemen. Their quarterback's a baseball player that has a great arm. I mean, very accurate. They have a 6'5" receiver. They have a defensive linemen that is bigger than any football player that we have on our team. They have an outside linebacker that is a great looking athlete.

    They are talented. So it is all those things. It is the complexity of it and the fact they are good players and it the fact that they do a good job coaching. Their scheme is really good.

    Q. (inaudible)?

    COACH DAVIE: Big issue. As you know, Jabari hurt it in the Purdue game. He played the rest of that game. He probably shouldn't have played against Michigan State. It is about once or twice in practice, every practice he tweaks that thing again. We were doing a hands thing (sic) on Thursday, practicing hands things at the beginning of practice and we rolled the hands thing. He jumps up and catches the ball and hurt the ankle again. So there is no sense of putting it on the injury report because it is going to be something that is a chronic situation all year.

    Q. How has he been able to --

    COACH DAVIE: He's graded good. He hasn't played the way you would want him to play or not the way would you want him to play, I mean, the expectations. You know, I don't think he is as quick as he would be if he had two healthy ankles. But give him credit because he is playing. So I am disappointed for him. But I am kind of proud of him that he is sticking with it and playing as hard as he is.

    Q. This Arnaz, is this a medical decision or did he make the decision?

    COACH DAVIE: No. Medical all the way.

    Q. So he did have -- he was X-rayed yesterday?

    COACH DAVIE: He was X-rayed. The decision was made to put the cast on for another month. The thing is healing. But they want to make sure it heals right completely. And right now there is still some discomfort, still not completely healed, so rather than risk it, the reason they put the pin in to begin with is to get the thing healed right. So they are going to leave the cast on for four more weeks. Medical decision completely.

    Q. Before that determination was made, have you in your conversations with -- had Arnaz in conversations with you indicate a reluctance (inaudible) --

    COACH DAVIE: No, it wasn't -- sure, that was an issue just as it was with me, just if Arnaz was my son, just if I was Arnaz, I mean, sure you are looking a little bit to come back for three games, would I be better off saving a season. But we never got to that issue. The bottom line, if Arnaz could have helped us win late in the season, Arnaz would have played. The reality of it is, because of the condition of his wrist, we are never going to have that opportunity to even discuss those options.

    So it is a completely a medical situation with him. The thing that complicated it a little bit is I think all of us got our hopes up a little bit there probably three weeks after the injury, you know, that, you know what, maybe because it is his left wrist, maybe we can go with it. You knew you had a couple of Open Dates. Then all of a sudden he had the cut-down cast, he went out. He didn't really take a step back, but it wasn't as far along as we thought.

    Rather than risk something like that, you know, you have to do what is right. We did the right thing because it still isn't healed sufficiently. So you know, he will come back next year and be ready to go.

    Q. On signing day, everybody wants to know the thing about recruiting and stuff. (inaudible)

    COACH DAVIE: We are talking about the class of Jabari Tony Driver? That class, we got such a late start. I will never forget the first recruiting meeting we had as a staff, there really was no recruiting list. And we really -- we went on some guys, for instance, Darcey Levy had been in Michigan's camp, and Greg Madison knew that name, so we went on Darcey Levy and we were scrambling. We were scrambling to try to just get back to where we have some guys to recruit.

    And I thought looking back, we did pretty good. If you look at Jabari Holloway, really good football player, very productive. Certainly Joey Getherall has really been a heck of a football player for us. Anthony Denman. Teasdale is a starter for us, basically. You know, J.W. Jordan. I will tell you, what J. W. Jordan is as improved as much as any player on this football team. And he is a guy right now that is the backup center and I am comfortable that if something happened he could go in there and be the backup center. He is the guy that has impressed me. I look at Casey Robins. Casey Robins is a starter on our field goal team. We are pretty talented at that position. He is the guy that I mean, our players respect the heck out of him. I love the Casey Robins and the effort he gives. I'd take Casey again in a second. He is a good football player.

    Kurt Vollers is a guy that will probably have another year of football that will have a chance to be an NFL player. Keep going. Who else is in that class?

    Jason Murray, finally healthy, has two more years of football maybe. He is our starting fullback right now. He is a pretty good player when he is healthy.

    Grant, same thing. Grant is a guy that is a good football player. Probably be an NFL player.

    Q. With Getherall (inaudible) What sold you --

    COACH DAVIE: I tell you what sold me, first of all, the tape was like a highlight tape. The tape is just what you see now, just a guy that was unique making plays.

    But his dad and Joey in the meeting with me, because Joey really, you know, he had a couple of things going. He didn't have many things going as far as scholarship offers. And, you know, just his dad and Joey sold me. I mean, the passion they had of just there was something unique about the two of them. There was something unique, and I fell in love with them. The moment -- that was for five minutes, I said, this deal is done, you have a scholarship to Notre Dame. Just when you sit down with him and, boy, you wish you had another year. He is a heck of a player. And I don't think -- it's interesting you bring it up, the NFL scouts, we meet over in the stadium, and I was walking by and one of the scouts stopped me, he started talk about No. 18. He said: Coach, that kid is something else. He said, he blocks every play like it is the last play have of the game. He runs every rout like it is the last rout of the game. He plays the game the way you are supposed to play it. So he is really a remarkable guy.

    Q. The freshman class (inaudible) --

    COACH DAVIE: I think with the freshmen class, I think Vontez Duff is a unique guy. Maybe could be a heck of a corner for us. Still might be a running back. He is -- I think he is probably really, really a good running back, but you'd love to have a guy like that at corner.

    I think little Preston Jackson is probably every bit of Ivory Covington. We were in a situation where Ivory Covington was a true freshman. He played. P. J. is probably as far along as Ivory Covington. So I like him.

    I think Jerome Collins where he ends up playing, I am not sure, but he is up to about 240 and really is athletic. The receivers are all guys that I think can contribute quickly.

    Lorenzo Crawford certainly Omar Jenkins is playing. Ronnie Rodamer now is on a scout squad and he is healthy. He will be a player here. He is not a burner, but he will be a player here.

    The young tight end is a guy that will help us as a tight end. I like Goolsby. Goolsby starting on special teams for us. He is a linebacker that is a play-maker.

    The quarterbacks are as good a group as I have been around. That has been discussed. Those guys now are talented, all three of those guys. I doubt -- I know there is nowhere else in the country with young quarterbacks, the three of them collectively like that. Those are good players.

    Garron Bible has been injured a little bit. He is a guy that is a good little football player. Maybe a tailback for us. The two guys that jump out as much as anyone of the two guys that are hurt, no question, Jason Sapp is really a good looking guy and Greg Pauly probably early you'd say he would have been the highlight of the whole freshman class the couple of days we had him.

    So it is not heavy on linemen, but I think with the quarterbacks and with, you know, with some of those guys Gerome Collins, Goolsby, Pauly, you know, it's a pretty good class.

    Q. I am curious the last game against West Virginia consistently speaking was your best rushing effort. (inaudible)

    COACH DAVIE: First of all, our offensive line -- you know, our tackles are playing good. Maybe not great, but good. Jordan Black, he is a sophomore. Kurt Vollers hasn't played a whole lot. Teasdale has played and he is playing kind of as a backup, a third tackle. Our tackles are playing good. Brennan Curtin is playing a little bit. We are going to be good there. We could be really good there. Right now, we are okay there. We are good.

    Mike Gandy is playing -- Mike Gandy had his best football player since he has been here against West Virginia. He had nine knockdowns against them. He played his most physical game. We didn't play real good at the other guard, Sean Mahan came in, didn't play great.

    Jeff Faine is going to be really good. He is still young. So that is kind of how we are. We are good to sometimes a little bit better than good. We are not great. We can be great and we keep trying to, you know, if we can stay healthy and keep getting better, you know, I think we can really really be good there. So we are still not consistently running the ball like you'd like, but we are getting better, we are getting better. And staying healthy is the key.

    Those guys are all back, basically. You lose Gandy and you lose Jim Jones, but you are pretty strong coming back.

    Q. (inaudible)

    COACH DAVIE: I think the Purdue game and the Michigan State game because of our plan, you know, not the offensive staff's plan or Kevin Rogers plan or what -- the plan we had to do at that point to win set us back a little bit. We went back and became something we weren't. Because of that, that took two weeks of our evolution almost. So we kind of went backwards there. Since then, the Stanford game, I think we are -- we have locked into kind of what we are where we do spread it and we do give you a lot of formations. And now we are getting better at executing what we truly are. So you almost had A&M game, the Nebraska game, against really two good defenses. Then you had the Michigan State, Purdue thing. And then it was Stanford, Navy, West Virginia. So we are really -- we are in the 8th game, but for offense we are kind of like in our fifth game. And you combine all the things with the freshman quarterback, that is why you think you are going to get better, like you can get better. So the biggest thing we have done better is locked into the system which does require some mobility at quarterback and now we can get better at what we do. Because it is just repetitions of doing the same things over and over and I think we are getting better at what we do now.

    Q. (inaudible)

    COACH DAVIE: I don't even know where we are in that thing.

    Q. 19?

    COACH DAVIE: You can say that, but you can also say that you know what, that Purdue win is starting to look better and better. Or a loss never looks good, but if you look at Nebraska, when it is 38 nothing against Baylor in the first quarter, you know, I mean, that is pret -- Texas A&M beating Iowa State who was 5 and 1 beating them 30 to 7, biggest game in Iowa State in the last ten years, probably in that program, A&M goes in there beats them 30 to 7, 5 and 1 team.

    Of course. That Michigan State game hurt, but some of those other ones could have hurt too. So you kind of -- you put it behind you, you know, at that point in the season, us playing Michigan State, they were an undefeated football team, playing at home, with a lot of confidence and we all know what a fine line there is, so it is impossible to say, okay, Michigan State last week against Michigan was the same team that played Notre Dame back four weeks ago. You know, things change so much that you just can't play that game. You can't go back and -- that is the kind of thing we did when we were at Youngstown State, we will say, well, we beat Villanova. Villanova beat West Virginia. West Virginia beat Pitt. Pitt won the National Championship, Youngstown State ought to be the National Championship team. Right, you can't do it. So you let it go.

    Q. (inaudible)

    COACH DAVIE: I don't think there is any question because I think so many things are going to happen. You start looking at all those people in that pole and now getting into those heavy conference schedules and getting late in the season with injuries and how they may impact us just how they will impact other people. There is so much football left. And what I have seen is it usually ends up being pretty darn accurate at the end. So to sit and worry about who is 15th, who is 19th, what would have happened if on fourth and 10 we would have played zone and stopped Michigan State - in the end, it is going to be what it is. And if we are good enough -- if we are good enough, we are going to be good enough. If we can win it will be because we are good enough. It doesn't -- I don't care about any of that stuff. I just want to make sure we can line up this week and be as prepared as we can be.

    Q. You talked about the problems Air Force presents in terms of running and passing. How do you attack that? (inaudible)

    COACH DAVIE: You kind of do what you can do with your personnel and what your scheme is. That is an ongoing thing and one thing I don't want to do is just give it all out right now. I like -- I got respect for blue and gold, but I don't want you guys you probably wait until the game to maybe see if it's nickel or big people out there, or whether we do the same thing we did against Navy or not. That is kind of one of those things you want to at least make them work a little bit to figure out.

    But you get to the point in the season where your players that are your best players are your best players and you try to get them on the field, whether you are playing the wishbone or not, you know, you try to do what you can do best and not outthink yourselves.

    JOHN HEISLER: Thank you.

    FastScripts by ASAP Sports

     

     

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