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Quinn says he will start against Navy

Heather VanHoegarden | Wednesday, October 13, 2004

After suffering a concussion in Saturday’s win over Stanford, Irish quarterback Brady Quinn is ready to play against Navy.

“I think Brady is fine,” Irish coach Tyrone Willingham said at Tuesday’s press conference. “What we have to do is always go through the normal steps any time a guy has an injury. This one requires that you look at him, but I think he’s fine.”

When asked if he expected Quinn to play Saturday, Willingham responded, “Absolutely.”

Quinn practiced Tuesday, and answered questions afterwards.

“I feel fine,” Quinn said. “I’m feeling good. I was out there practicing today, so everything’s fine.”

He said he wasn’t sure which particular play he was injured on, whether it have been the quarterback sneak into the end zone or a previous play.

“It’s hard to tell,” he said.

Quinn described his injury by saying, “I got my bell rung.”

Third-down conversions

Saturday against Stanford, the Irish converted 10-for-19 third downs, an unusually high percentage, especially this season. Willingham said a lot of it was good execution on first and second downs.

“Ideally, those downs play a huge part of it because if there’s less ground to cover, it’s easier to cover it,” Willingham said.

He also said the majority of converting on third down comes down to execution.

“But the second part of it is, and the major portion of it is, you have to execute on third down,” he said. “That’s whether it’s third and short, or third and long, third and medium. You’ve got to execute. If you’re executing and putting things in the right place, it happens. We were fortunate Saturday, our guys, that was a pretty high percentage. You normally don’t see that.”

Before Saturday’s game, the Irish were 26-for-78 on third down conversions. Purdue leads the nation in that category, converting 22-for-70 third downs, good for 60 percent.

Hoyte back home, but

different situation

The last time Irish linebacker Brandon Hoyte played Navy in his home state of New Jersey, he was filling in for a sick Courtney Watson.

Hoyte played well in the absence of the middle linebacker, registering a team-high nine tackles, including two for a loss.

“Anytime that you have a chance to go home, it’s a big deal, it’s important,” Willingham said. “So not only was the opportunity to step in for Courtney, when we found that out, we reacted as coaches always do. We expect the next guy to step in and [say], ‘Let’s go play.’ Of course, he was well-prepared and ready for that. Yet at the same time you’re not ready for it because it does come as somewhat of a surprise. He handled it very well.”