Sept. 8, 2000

NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Each week the FANSzine will take a look at Notre Dame’s opponent and feature one of the key players in Saturday’s game. This week the Irish face the Cornhuskers of Nebraska and the series stands at 7-6-1. With his blazing speed and powerful arm, this week’s enemy is without a doubt Heisman candidate Eric Crouch.

Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch packs a double punch and that’s why he is this week’s enemy.

The quarterback is a threat in the air but even more so on the ground. He has scored at least one rushing touchdown in the 12 of the last 14 games. The Heisman hopeful involved himself on four of Nebraska’s touchdowns in their 49-13 win over San Jose State last weekend.

The sign of a good quarterback also hinges on his ability to scout the opponent. Despite all of the rumors and talk about this game, Crouch has never written off the Irish’s ability.

“They’re definitely going to be giving us their best shot,” Nebraska quarterback Eric Crouch said. “We know that. Every school is gunning for us. But Notre Dame has that same kind of program. Everybody is gunning for them, too. Everybody wants to give Notre Dame their best shot. They’re definitely going to get ours.”

Crouch is no stranger to the Irish. He found himself being courted by the likes of Notre Dame. The quarterback opted for Nebraska based on the Notre Dame’s suggestion of switching to a wide receiver instead of his current position as the signal-caller.

“It’s not a situation where we feel that just because we’re No. 1, that we can go in there and win the game,” Crouch said. “That’s not the situation at all. We have to be prepared to play.”

The quarterback finished the San Jose St game with eight carries for 57 yards and three touchdowns. Crouch completed four passes for 67 yards and another touchdown. While his stats may not be the most impressive, his play making abilities are astounding.

Crouch provides an interesting threat for the Cornhuskers but a lot of questions remain about his consistency. There is no question about his ground game but the question is can he hit his receivers in tight coverage situations. Nevertheless, Crouch will be the focus of a lot of Notre Dame’s defense in Saturday’s game.