Oct. 18, 2000
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – The Irish enter this weekend’s game with little to no injuries to take into account.
The loss of quarterback Arnaz Battle and defensive end Grant Irons is long behind this team.
“Grant Irons has been gone a long time,” Irish head coach Bob Davie said. “That is way behind us. So we are healthy. We have got a good attitude right now.”
The Irish are healthy and happy as well, having found solid replacements for the spots left vacant by Battle and Irons. Freshman Matt LoVecchio rose to the challenge when he became the starter after Notre Dame’s open date in late September. Ryan Roberts also exceeded expectations after taking over for Irons, registering four sacks over a span of six games.
After sitting almost an entire month out, the question is will Battle be back. Davie believes that it is a question, which is still up in the air.
“You know, he is our No. 1 quarterback, but it is going to be his decision if in fact he is healthy to play,” Davie said. “It will be something that he’d have to come and convince me that he really wanted to do. It doesn’t really matter what I want. It is what he feels he can do and what he really wants to do. “
Davie did state that Battle will not play against West Virginia nor will he play against Air Force. With those two games out of the picture, the only games remaining would be the games against Rutgers, Boston College and USC.
“What is best for Arnaz is what is best for us,” Davie said.
One must realize that at a certain point in the season, the Irish may opt to hold him out. Battle is eligible for a fifth-year if he does not play in any more games. The rule if a player is injured and plays in less that 20 percent of the season then he can apply for a fifth-year of eligibility.
The same is true for Irons as well. He underwent surgery back in September and will not dress for the rest of the season.
Heading into Morgantown this weekend, the only Irish player listed as questionable is Jay Johnson. The rest should be taking the field to take on the Mountaineers as the Irish try for their first road win in an opposing team’s stadium in a long time.