Football: Anello breaks leg making tackle on return
Fran Tolan and Greg Arbogast | Tuesday, December 2, 2008
Notre Dame kick coverage standout Mike Anello was injured midway through the first quarter covering a punt. Anello made the tackle, but he injured his leg in the process. Anello was subsequently carted off the field with a full-leg brace, and reports after the game were that he fractured a bone in his leg. The tackle was Anello’s 23rd of the season, good for 10th on the team.
Two down, one to go
Armando Allen left the game in the first quarter. Weis said he had a lower leg injury, and Allen was on crutches in the second half. Robert Hughes was ejected in the fourth quarter for fighting, and by NCAA rule will miss the first half of any bowl game Notre Dame goes to. This means Robert Hughes will see the majority of the carries in a potential bowl game.
Early bird gets the points
When USC tailback Stafon Johnson scored on a two-yard plunge with 4:06 remaining in the opening quarter, it was the first time an opponent scored a first-quarter touchdown on the Irish defense since Sept. 27. On that day, Purdue tailback opened the scoring with a 22-yard scamper for a touchdown during Notre Dame’s 38-21 victory.
With a tackle late in the first quarter on Anthony McCoy, Irish strong safety Kyle McCarthy registered his 100th tackle of the season. With the tackle, McCarthy became the first player in the Notre Dame secondary to hit the century mark for tackles.
It took until the last play of the third quarter for Notre Dame to pick up their first first-down of the game, but the accomplishment was duly noted. When James Aldridge burst through the middle of the line for a 15-yard gain, the entire crowd – Irish and Trojan faithful alike – gave the Notre Dame offense a standing ovation.
Future of the program
Notre Dame athletic director Jack Swarbrick said he will meet with Weis next Monday to discuss the season. Speculation swirls that Weis will be fired, but Iris safety Kyle McCarthy said the rumors didn’t affect the players.
“It didn’t affect us at all,” McCarthy said. “Our players really practiced hard this week and had a good game plan going in. We really had our mind on the game only and unfortunately this is how the game turned out. We’re a couple wins away from being a nine-win team and that falls on the players.”