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FOOTBALL:Irish itching for next game

Mike Gilloon | Tuesday, October 25, 2005

After record-setting performances from Irish quarterback Brady Quinn and receiver Maurice Stovall in Saturday’s 49-23 win over Brigham Young, the only impediment that could slow such offensive momentum would seem to be an incredible defensive effort. Or just the schedule.

The Irish enter their second bye week of the season after the victory over the Cougars and will have to wait until a Nov. 5 home game against Tennessee to play again.

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis has no qualms with an extra week to prepare for the Volunteers.

He and his staff expect to have scouting reports on Tennessee done by Sunday in order to spend all of next week game-planning. They will balance their work on the Volunteers this week with recruiting duties, as seven assistants will leave Wednesday night for two full days recruiting, hoping to add to their list of 19 verbal commitments.

“Wednesday night before we hit the road, we’ll have the Tennessee scouting report done minus the South Carolina game that they’re playing this week,” Weis said. “I’ll give them off on Saturday so they can spend some time with their families, but when we come back in on Sunday, I don’t want to be spending time working on the scouting report. I want to be worried about game planning.”

The Irish also had a bye week before almost upsetting USC on Oct. 15, and Weis hopes to use the time to create a successful scheme for Tennessee. But several Irish players have voiced disappointment over having to wait two weeks to take the field again.

“I want to keep playing,” Irish strong safety Tom Zbikowski said after a BYU game in which he returned an interception 83 yards for a touchdown. “But rest up, get an extra week of game planning is nice.”

An extra week of planning couldn’t hurt the Irish. Though Tennessee lost 6-3 to undefeated Alabama Saturday, the Volunteers are only surrendering 16 points per game and have given up just one touchdown pass through six games.

“They are extremely talented all across the board, offensively and defensively, [with] different athletes and the capabilities they have,” Quinn said.

But after the offensive display the Irish put on Saturday, it wasn’t time yet to focus on a game two weeks in the future.

“We’re just enjoying this win now,” Irish tight end Anthony Fasano said. “We’ll look at them next week.”


u Weis will focus on recruiting Thursday and Friday of this week and might even hit the road looking at prospects. When asked at his Monday press conference whether he would be going to talk to high school coaches or look at specific recruits, Weis indicated he wasn’t traveling for pleasure.

“If I’m going, I’m going for a purpose,” he said. “I’m not going to schmooze.”

u Irish running back Justin Hoskins did not play against BYU for undisclosed reasons. However, Weis indicated he is close to returning to action.

“He’s going to come back,” he said. “He’s been working out with [strength coach] Ruben [Mendoza], and we’re going to get back and see where we are right now here today. So we just had this little pow-wow on Friday on this very subject, and I’ll find out the answer to that, where we are, after I meet with him today.”