Tyrone Willngham led the Irish through their final preseason scrimmage on Friday (Aug. 27) evening.

Football Scrimmage Report - Aug. 27

Aug. 27, 2004

The Notre Dame football team held its final preseason scrimmage on Friday night (Aug. 27) and in a special twist, allowed the Notre Dame family (students, staff, faculty) into the Notre Dame Stadium for the activities. The crowd witnessed the White Team defeat the Blue 23-10. Over 4,000 people attended the scrimmage on a warm muggy evening. Notre Dame was split into a white team and blue team, with the roster split just about the same way as the Blue and Gold Scrimmage in the spring. Much of the first and second team made up the White Team, while a few were sprinkled into the Blue Team (mostly projected second team players and the rest of the Irish depth chart). The White Team captains were senior Derek Curry, senior Carlyle Holiday, senior Billy Palmer and senior Kyle Budinscak. The Blue Team captains were junior Travis Leitko, senior Lionel Bolen, senior Zach Giles and senior Jared Clark. The White Team won the toss and elected to receive. Brady Quinn immediately led the team down the field for a touchdown, completing passes to Rhema McKnight (20 yards) and Anthony Fasano (10 yards) along the way. Marcus Wilson finished off the drive with a seven-yard touchdown run. The Blue Team, quarterbacked the entire scrimmage by freshman David Wolke, quickly went four and out (though Jerome Collins did make a six-yard catch) to put the White Team right back on the field. Quinn engineered another drive, completing passes to Wilson (six yards), Marcus Freeman (15 yards) and McKnight (six yards). Travis Thomas also had a 15-yard run on the drive which eventually stalled just into Blue Team territory. D.J. Fitzpatrick came on and easily drilled a 51-yard field goal to put the White Team ahead 10-0. The Blue Team came back to get their first (and only) touchdown of the scrimmage on the next possession. Freshman Darius Walker started the drive with a 10-yard run, followed by six-yard runs from Jeff Jenkins and Justin Hoskins. Wolke scrambled on a third and 10 play to keep the drive alive, then hit freshman Chris Vaughn in the back of the endzone for a 23-yard touchdown pass. Just before halftime, the White Team utilized a two-minute offense drill to get in position for another Fitzpatrick 51-yard field goal. Wilson busted open for a 20-yard run and Quinn hit Travis Thomas (10 yards) and Maurice Stovall (25 yards) for key gains. The Blue Team did assemble a short drive in their two-minute offense (helped by a Walker 20-yard run and a 10-yard completion to Jared Clark), but a bad snap on a punt attempt left the White Team in position for a field goal just before halftime. Sophomore Carl Gioia drilled his first attempt (25 yards) to put the score at 16-7 at halftime. Entering the second half, several players switched sides and the clock was left running to quicken the pace of the contest. Hoskins starred during one drive for the Blue Team, putting together runs of five, eight and 20 yards to get the team in position for a Gioia 30-yard field goal. With Dillingham now at the controls of the White Team, Walker took over to rush for 19 yards on a drive highlighted by a 46-yard pass from Dillingham to sophomore Chase Anastasio. Anastasio was pushed out of bounds on the three-yard line, giving way to Jeff Jenkins to end the scoring with his touchdown run. Some quick and unofficial defensive statistics (# of tackles in parenthesis) – Blue Team: Nick Borseti (3), Leitko (1), Dan Chervanick (1), Jake Carney (1), Maurice Crum (1). White Team: Brockington (2), Tuck (sack), Ellick (1, plus pass deflection), Laws (1, plus sack), Lionel Bolen (2), Mike Goolsby (1), Derek Landri (sack), Corey Mays (3), Victor Abiamiri (sack). Notre Dame head coach Tyrone Willingham spoke briefly to the media after the scrimmage: On the kicking issue, have you named the starters? Willingham: “Not yet. We are working on becoming consistent. There is still very much of a competition there. I though the Gioia place kicks looked good and Fitzpatrick’s field goals were very nice.” On the freshman running backs… “I was very pleased with our two freshmen running backs. Justin Hoskins and Darius Walker did some key things and showed some athletic ability. That is very encouraging. With that kind of athleticism, you hope it will show up in special teams play. Hopefully they have the ability to be electrifying.” On the running back situation with projected starter Ryan Grant sidelined with a minor injury… “I think they have all stepped up. Travis Thomas has shown he can do some things. Marcus Wilson, tonight, showed what we are looking for. We have seen a fair amount of improvement in all of them. I am not sure what our rotation we will be. We are getting deeper every day. We will work over that next week and during the season to allow (the running back depth chart) to define itself.”