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Phil Taylor's Sidelines

Sept. 15, 2003
Sept. 15, 2003

Table of Contents
Sept. 15, 2003

Phil Taylor's Sidelines

LUCK OF THE IRISH

This is an article from the Sept. 15, 2003 issue Original Layout

The tape of Notre Dame's 29-26 overtime win over Washington State
revealed exactly what Irish coach Tyrone Willingham expected.
"Tons of mistakes in every area," he said. "You get that kind of
thing sometimes in an opening game. [Michigan] is not going to
let us get away with that kind of performance."

The Wolverines will test Notre Dame's ability to pick up the
blitz, which gave the Irish problems against Washington State,
particularly in the first half. The Cougars sacked Notre Dame
quarterback Carlyle Holiday six times and hurried him numerous
others.

But Willingham was heartened by his team's comeback: The Irish
wiped out a 19-0 deficit before winning in overtime on Nicholas
Setta's 40-yard field goal. Senior tailback Julius Jones was a
key contributor to the fourth-quarter rally, with a 19-yard
touchdown run that gave Notre Dame a 23-19 lead. Jones has made a
comeback of his own this season, after leaving school last year
because of academic problems. He took classes at Arizona State
before returning to South Bend with his grades in order this
summer. "Julius has put himself in a position to contribute,"
Willingham said. "Now it's up to him to continue to do so."

NEVER FAR FROM HOME

After they returned from their 31-26 win at Alabama State last
Saturday, most of the Bethune-Cookman players went home to their
dormitories. Wildcats coach Alvin Wyatt went with them. Wyatt has
lived in the same first-floor apartment in Bronson Hall, the
building where most of the players live, for more than 20 years.

Living in the dorm helps keeps expenses down for Wyatt, who is
single, but that's not the only reason he does it. "When I tell a
mother that I'll take care of her son if he comes to
Bethune-Cookman, she knows I mean it," he says. "I'm walking the
same hallways, using the same showers as they are. If something
happens, I'm there. I'm not hard to find."

The togetherness apparently breeds success. The Division I-AA
Wildcats won the MEAC championship with an 11-2 record last year,
Wyatt's sixth as coach after guiding the women's basketball team
for 18 years. As long as they continue their winning ways, his
players should find Wyatt an easy guy to live with.

TELLING NUMBERS

109,580 The attendance at Michigan Stadium for Michigan's 50-3
win over Houston.

150,000 The projected attendance for Houston's entire home
schedule.

16 The age of Louisville defensive tackle Amobe Okoye. Cardinals
coach Bobby Petrino originally planned to redshirt the 6'2",
300-pound Okoye. "We'll probably wait until he shaves before we
put him out there," Petrino said. But Okoye played a few snaps in
the opener, a 40-24 win over Kentucky. Said Petrino, "We went out
and bought him a razor."

EXTRA POINTS

The NCAA's crackdown on excessive celebration was itself
excessive in several games over the weekend, most notably in
Miami's 38-33 win over Florida, in which four such penalties were
called, including one after Hurricanes wideout Ryan Moore bowed
to the crowd. LSU's Skyler Green was penalized for, in the words
of the referee, "high-fiving a fan." But the Tigers survived
against Arizona, winning 59-13.... Bowling Green upset No. 16
Purdue on a play called All Go. Facing a fourth-and-15 from the
Boilermakers' 32-yard line with 2:17 left, Falcons quarterback
Josh Harris (22 of 40, 357 yards, three TDs) hit Charles Shannon
in the corner of the end zone for the game-winner. "To be dead
serious with you, we expected to win," said Bowling Green
linebacker Mitch Hewitt. "It's just the fashion that we did it
that takes your breath away."

COLOR PHOTO: JOHN BIEVER (JONES) JonesCOLOR PHOTO: NIGEL COOK/DAYTONA BEACH NEWS-JOURNAL (WYATT) WyattCOLOR PHOTO: AMIR GAMZU/ICON SMI (HOUSTON/MICHIGAN) Houston-Michigan