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Setta not likely to play Saturday

Andrew Soukup | Wednesday, October 15, 2003

Nicholas Setta will most likely not play against USC Saturday, the result of an unspecified injury the senior kicker suffered in Saturday’s game.

Setta was apparently hurt on the kickoff following Notre Dame’s first-quarter touchdown Saturday, but Irish coach Tyrone Willingham wouldn’t specify what injury is keeping Setta on the sidelines.

“[Setta’s status] is somewhat day-to-day,” Willingham said, “but I’ll probably expand that and say Nick will be out this week.”

D.J. Fitzpatrick, who is normally the Irish holder, will handle Setta’s punting and kicking duties against the Trojans. Against Pittsburgh Saturday, Fitzpatrick made field goals from 19 and 34 yards while missing 52- and 32-yard attempts.

“It was nice to contribute more than just holding, and be a part of the win,” Fitzpatrick said.

Inside perspective

In addition to breaking game film down for hours on end, football coaches often double as weathermen by trying to simulate game conditions during weekly practices. That’s because they know how much weather can have an impact a game plan.

Saturday, for example, following Florida State’s 22-14 loss to Miami, Seminoles coach Bobby Bowden blamed a torrential rainstorm for making running conditions difficult and hampering Florida State’s outside running game.

That’s why, as heavy rains drenched the practice field Tuesday afternoon, Willingham looked at the forecast and saw that no rain was on the forecast for Saturday. So he decided to move practice indoors to Loftus.

“It’s something you take into consideration,” Willingham said about making the Irish practice in Tuesday’s inhospitable conditions, “but we wanted to make sure we got a good day of practice in.”

Hometown hatred

Sophomore receiver Rhema McKnight grew up in California as a UCLA fan, so it wasn’t too hard for him to get used to loathing USC when he committed to Notre Dame a year and a half ago.

“UCLA-USC, those teams are big rivals,” McKnight said with a grin. “I take this game a little more personally.”

Despite his hometown dislike for the Trojans, McKnight was still heavily recruited by USC. He ended up picking Notre Dame over the USC just days before signing day.

“Yeah, I looked at what they had to offer,” the La Palma, Calif. native said. “I just felt here was a better place for me.”

No Holiday for former starter

Even though former starting quarterback Carlyle Holiday is still taking most of his snaps in practice as Brady Quinn’s backup, Willingham said, he is starting to see some spot duty at wide receiver in practice. He stepped onto the field in both the Purdue and Pittsburgh games as a wideout, but has yet to catch a pass.

McKnight said that when Holiday does play receiver in practice, he’s always asking the established wideouts what he is supposed to do on a particular play.

“He’s coming along good. Hopefully, he can come out and make plays as well,” McKnight said