December 26, 1998

AP Sports Writer

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.- Notre Dame quarterback Jarious Jackson went through practice without any problems Saturday, although coach Bob Davie said it was too soon to tell if he would be able to play in the Gator Bowl.

“He ran and threw, did everything we asked,” Davie said. “Tomorrow will be more telling. We’ll be in full pads, there will be more contact. And we’ll know more as the week progresses.”

Both the No. 17 Irish (9-2) and No. 12 Georgia Tech (9-2) arrived in Jacksonville and went through light workouts, comparable to what the teams would normally do on a Sunday after a game.

They meet Friday at Alltel Stadium, the venue formerly known as the Gator Bowl.

Jackson’s health is the big question leading up to the game. He suffered a knee injury Nov. 21 while taking an intentional safety at the close of a 39-36 victory over LSU.

With Arnaz Battle at the helm the next week, the Irish lost 10-0 to Southern California and saw its hopes dashed for a bid into the Bowl Championship Series.

Regardless of Jackson’s health, Davie said Battle would play against the Yellow Jackets. He feels it’s crucial for the team to prepare to play behind both Jackson and Battle, a freshman who went 7-for-19 for 94 yards and two interceptions in the loss to the Trojans.

“You don’t want to put all your eggs in one basket,” Davie said. “What if we get geared up for Jarious to play and he goes out after five plays? That can take all the air out of your balloon.”

Jackson has thrown for 1,740 yards and 13 touchdowns this season and went 9-1 as a starter.

Neither team reported academic casualties or new injuries.

All but one player – Notre Dame’s John Teasdale – arrived on time. Teasdale had two flights canceled because of bad weather as he tried to make it to north Florida from his home in Kansas City.

Georgia Tech coach George O’Leary said he had few complaints about his team’s workout or its overall health.

“Everyone who played against Georgia is here,” he said, referring to the 21-19 victory in Tech’s last regular-season game.

“We got the kinks out, not much else,” he said.