Nov. 16, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Irish head coach Bob Davie has spent the initial part of this week trying to find a way to have a hard practice without exhausting his team.
A rash of injuries, which add up, especially when piled on top of suspensions, currently devastates Notre Dame’s squad.
At Tuesday’s press conference, Davie confirmed that his team had 16 scholarships players who were injured. Those 16 players compiled with the five who either departed the team or are suspended, mean that a total of 21 scholarship players are out or questionable for the match up against the Eagles of Boston College.
“We have no excuses because we have enough players to go out there and play,” Davie said about this weekend’s match up.
The following players are listed as out for the rest of the regular season. Junior right tackle John Teasdale sprained his right arch against Pittsburgh and is out. Sophomore left tackle Jordan Black suffered a torn MCL in his right knee and will be out. Tailback Terrance Howard appears to be on the mend after he injured his hamstring against Tennessee but he is not expected to return for the last two games.
Defensive end Jason Ching underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this week and he will not be back. Junior Jason Murray is still recovering from surgery on his shoulder and he too is out. Sophomore Mike McNair is still out with the arch injury.
Also senior left guard Jim Jones sprained his arch versus the Pitt Panthers and is not expected to return either. Freshman corner Albert Poree will be out for the rest of the season. He underwent arthroscopic knee surgery this week as well.
Freshmen Jamaar Taylor is out and can not practice. Freshman Sean Milligan was out with a shoulder and now is out with an elbow injury so he will not play. Sophomore cornerback Shane Walton is out with a quad. Safety Ron Israel is out with the broken hand, which he suffered against the Vols.
Senior linebacker Ronnie Nicks is out with a quadriceps injury as well but he is expected to play. Freshman corner Jason Beckstrom is probable for the game after spraining his ankle against Pitt. Expect Jim Sanson to continue with the place kicking because David Miller is questionable with a hip injury. Senior Raki Nelson probably will not play because he is still recovering form the knee injury.
“Those that have a lot to give, we need a lot from,” Davie said. “Those who have a little, we need a little from. We need every ounce of juice that we can get.”
Then Davie and Co. still have several other players who will play on Saturday but are too banged up to practice this week. Those players include Julius Jones, Grant Irons and Anthony Denman will not practice. Deke Cooper will sit out a couple days of practice as well.
“We have enough players and game plan to go and beat Boston College,” Davie said. “If you look at our defense, the starting defense remains pretty much intact. Our problems are really with the depth and in the backups.
“It doesn’t mean that we are so startled by all this that we don’t have enough in us to win. That is not the point at all. The point is that these kids are going to have to put it all on the line.”
Notre Dame has to put it all on the line this weekend. In order for the Irish to qualify for a bowl birth they must win the final two games. It could be a tough order especially against a solid Boston College team who currently boasts a record of 7-2.