Sept. 11, 2000
THE POLLS — Following Notre Dame’s overtime loss Saturday to top-ranked Nebraska, the Irish moved up two spots in the Associated Press poll, going from 23rd last week to 21st this week. That marks only the second time in the history of Notre Dame football and the AP rankings that the Irish have moved up following a defeat. The other time came in 1986 following Lou Holtz’s first game as Irish head coach. Notre Dame came into that campaign unranked, but after a 24-23 loss to third-ranked Michigan in the season opener in South Bend, the Irish moved to 20th in the AP poll the following week. In fact, that marked the first time in the history of the AP poll that a team entered the season unranked, lost its first game and moved into the rankings.
AFTER AN INJURY — In light of Arnaz Battle’s broken wrist, here’s what has happened over the last quarter century in seasons in which Notre Dame’s quarterbacks suffered injuries:
* 1998 — Starter Jarious Jackson sprained the MCL in a knee in the final moments of the home finale Nov. 21 against LSU. Junior Eric Chappell started in the season finale Nov. 28 at USC, and was 0-for-3 passing with two interceptions while also carrying seven times for 33 yards. He played the first four series and took 19 snaps. Freshman Arnaz Battle came off the bench in that game and was 7-for-19 throwing for 94 yards passing with two interceptions and rushed seven times for 25 yards. Jackson returned to start and play all the way against 12th-ranked Georgia Tech in the Gator Bowl, and was 13-for-24 passing for 150 yards and rushed 12 times for 12 net yards and scored one rushing touchdown.
* 1995 — Starter Ron Powlus suffered a broken left arm Nov. 4 in the home finale win over Navy. After an open date, Thomas Krug led the eighth-ranked Irish to an impressive 44-14 win Nov. 18 at Air Force, helping earn the Irish an Orange Bowl berth against Florida State. Krug against Air Force was 8-for-13 passing for 96 yards, with one interception, and rushed three times for 13 yards. In that Orange Bowl matchup between the sixth-ranked Irish and eight-rated Seminoles, Krug was 14 for 24 passing for 140 yards and three TDs (one interception) — also carrying 11 for 45 yards in the 31-26 loss.
* 1993 — Freshman Ron Powlus played impressively in preseason camp until suffering a broken right clavicle after being hit in an August 28 scrimmage. That left the starting job to senior Kevin McDougal, who performed brilliantly in leading the Irish to 10 straight victories to begin the season, including a win over top-ranked Florida State. The Irish eventually finished 11-1 that season and stood second in the final polls. McDougal missed the USC game that same season due to a sprained shoulder, with Paul Failla filling in as the starter that one Saturday (6-for-9 throwing for 78 and one TD — plus six rushes for 25 yards).
* 1987 — Senior starter Terry Andrysiak broke his left collarbone in the fourth game of the season, a 30-22 loss at Pittsburgh. That opened the door for sophomore Tony Rice who led the Irish to five straight wins as the starter prior to season-ending road losses at Penn State and Miami. Rice was 35 for 82 throwing for 663 yards, with one TD and four interceptions. He rushed 89 times for 337 yards and seven TDs. Then, in the Cotton Bowl vs. 13th-rated Texas A&M, Andrysiak returned and was 15 for 25 for 203 yards, with one TD pass and one interception.
* 1985 — Starter Steve Beuerlein suffered a shoulder injury in an Oct. 26 win over USC, then shared time the following two games with Terry Andrysiak. Beuerlein still started Nov. 2 vs. Navy, but when he struggled through the first three series Andrysiak came on to complete 11 of 17 throws for 195 yards and one TD in the 41-17 Irish win. Then Nov. 9 against Ole Miss, Andrysiak started and was four of eight for 60 yards and a TD in the 37-14 Notre Dame victory.
* 1984 — After Steve Beuerlein suffered a shoulder bruise Oct. 6 vs. Miami, Scott Grooms came on to play all the way a week later vs. Air Force, completing 12 of 35 throws for 117 yards and one TD in the 21-7 Air Force victory.
* 1977, 1976 — Rusty Lisch started the third game of the season in ’77 at Purdue, but with the Irish struggling Dan Devine turned to Gary Forystek who suffered what turned out to be a career-ending neck injury. That opened the door for Joe Montana, who led the Irish to victory thanks to 17 fourth-quarter points — with Montana taking over the starting role the rest of the ’77 national championship campaign as well as all of ’78. Injuries, however, also played a role in Montana’s career. He missed the last three games in ’75 with a broken finger (putting Rick Slager into the lineup) and also missed all of ’76 with a shoulder separation. In fact, Montana first gained a chance to play when Slager was injured in the third game of ’75 against Northwestern. Montana’s first significant playing time that day produced six-of-11 passing for 80 yards and a TD.