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Irish Insider: Wooden’s injury not threatening

Tim Dougherty | Monday, September 18, 2006

Irish cornerback Ambrose Wooden is OK to play. He was cleared to play by team medical staff Saturday, soon after he delivered a crushing hit to Michigan receiver Adrian Arrington in the third quarter of Notre Dame’s 47-21 loss to Michigan, but coach Charlie Weis held him out of the game in order to “err on the side of caution.”

“We figured the best thing to do would be to go ahead and get him out of there,” he said. “His head was fairly clear. [Putting Wooden back in] just didn’t seem like the right thing to do.”

The Irish have a policy where players must be cleared by the medical staff and answer football-related questions from a position coach before returning to the game after a head injury.

Notes: – Penalties hampered the Irish all day Saturday, as the team committed 11 for 84 yards. Michigan tallied five whistles for 70 yards. The Irish have 28 penalties in 2006, having also committed 11 penalties against Georgia Tech in the season opener.

The Irish were penalized five times for holding Saturday, giving them 10 total on the year. Irish opponents have not been whistled for an offensive hold in the first three games.

– Saturday was the first time Notre Dame has lost to Michigan at home since 1994. It also snaps a two-game win streak against Michigan. The win certainly pleased Michigan coach Lloyd Carr who has heard grumbles in Ann Arbor after losing three of his last four games against rival Ohio State and, before Saturday, three of his last four against Notre Dame. Carr, who is 4-1 against No. 2 teams and 16-6 against top-10 teams, downplayed the connection between the win and his job security.

“If you coach in enough of these games or play in enough of them, you’re going to win some and you’re going to lose some,” he said. “I’ve done both. Certainly today was our day.”

– The 47 points Notre Dame gave up marked the most it had allowed at home since a 51-19 loss against Purdue in 1960. Additionally, Notre Dame’s five turnovers on three interceptions and two fumbles were the most it surrendered since the 14-7 loss to Boston College in 2002, the first loss of Tyrone Willingham’s three-year tenure as head coach.

– Geoff Price set a single-game record by booming seven punts for an average of 51.9 yards per punt, including a long of 59. He currently ranks third in the nation with a 49.8 average. Michigan’s combination of Zoltan Mesko and Ross Ryan combined for a 37.5 yard average. More importantly, they successfully kicked away from Irish returner Tom Zbikowski, allowing him only one return for four yards.