Aug. 30, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Optimism pervaded Irish head coach Bob Davie’s press conference.
He discussed the difference between this year’s squad and last year’s.
“It’s a team that I think has a lot of juice and a lot of passion, they enjoy each other and they enjoy playing and I think that’s pretty visible when you’re around and it is pretty apparent,” Davie said.
His excitement for Saturday’s game also stems from the overall health of the team. Last year at this time, the Irish already found themselves in the midst of trouble with injuries.
Sophomore Jason Beckstrom practiced last night, after many thought that he would be sidelined for several weeks with an abdominal injury. He sustained the injury in last Friday’s scrimmage.
The main concern is over the status of Julius Jones and Terrance Howard. Both tailbacks saw limited practice time over the past couple days.
Jones and Howard are each nursing hamstring injuries.
“Tony Fisher will be the first tailback out there as we start the game,” Davie said. “I’m certain Julius Jones will play. I’m certain (inaudible). I think all three of the tailbacks are going to be healthy and ready to play.”
Davie said it still remained uncertain whether Jones would see any action in the return game. He stated that Joey Getherall could just as easily return punts. Tony Driver and David Givens would be used to return kickoffs if Jones is held out.
The Irish expect to be able to go full force on Saturday. Davie made it clear how optimistic he is about this year’s squad and the team’s ability to remain relatively injury free up to this point.