Sept. 29, 1999
NOTRE DAME, Ind. – Notre Dame comes into this weekend’s contest with an added advantage, rest. At the Tuesday press conference, Irish head coach Bob Davie stated that the team had taken some time to heal.
“It [bye week] gave us a chance to get some players, probably some coaches too, physically and emotionally, rested and refreshed,” Davie said. “Make no mistake about it, these last three weeks have been difficult and have been grueling.”
Davie discussed how the only way his team is going to feel better is if they win. He announced that some of his players appear healthy and ready to run on Saturday.
Perhaps the most devastating losses for the Irish appeared to be in wide receiver Joey Getherall and running back Tony Driver. Getherall injured his shoulder against Michigan just as he appeared to find his role in the offense as well as on special teams. The wide receiver sat out both the Purdue and Michigan State game as a result of the injury.
“Tony Driver is back practicing,” Davie said. “We are holding him out of heavy contact, but he is cleared to go Saturday full speed.”
Driver suffered a torn muscle in his left shoulder against Michigan State. The junior is a vital part of the running game, sharing the duties with Tony Fisher.
“John Owens who had a calf muscle did some work last night. He has had a calf muscle problem,” Davie said. “Jarious’ toe seems to be fine. Other than Mike McNair who has an arch injury that is still bothering him, think we are pretty healthy going into this football game.”
Another of note of concern for so many lay with the mentality of Irish captain and starting quarterback Jarious Jackson. Jackson has managed to avoid the media spotlight since the devastating loss to Purdue. The question is whether or not he has managed to regain some of his lost confidence.
“Jarious last night at practice threw the football extremely well,” Davie said. “His mechanics are something that we have been addressing with him. His mechanics looked better last night in practice. We will know more come Saturday because the reality is you have got to go play a game. I think Jarious’ confidence really is fine. He is not a guy that goes in the tank easily and I think he is going to be fine.”
Davie also answered the questions swirling around about a supposed quarterback controversy. He stated that in order for backup Arnaz Battle to get the start, he must prove himself, which he has yet to do.
Despite having two solid weeks of practice, Davie felt the only way to see his team’s progress is by watching them play in an actual game.
“Well, it is kind of like what I said when I started, you have to go play. We can all try to make ourselves feel better because we practiced for two weeks, but the reality is we have to go out and have success in a game. That is obvious.”