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September 26, 1997 - Image 13

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1997-09-26

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BASEBALL Minnesota 5
Boston 3, Atlanta 3
Kansas City 2, MONTREAL 3
MILWAUKEE 1 Florida 2
N.Y. Yankees 5 HOUSTON 9
CLEVELAND 4 Chicago 1
Baltimore 3 Cincinnati

Los Angeles
N.C. State 18

September 26, 1997


V ( §t'.
i r i

Michigan's opponent this week is 1-2, unranked and has already lost to Purdue and
Michigan State. But the Wolverines maintain that Notre Dame will be ...



sn't gold
*for Davie
ree weeks into his dream job,
Bob Davie has to be feeling a bit
more heat than he expected at
this juncture.
What happened to the proverbial
luck that's supposed to come with the
turf of being the head football coach at
Notre Dame, the most glamorous job
in all of college athletics?
What happened is that luck can only
take you so far in this business, and
Davie is realizing this now.
Notre Dame is 1-2 for the first time
since 1986 - ironically, the year
. Davie's predeces-
sor, Lou Holtz,
debuted as the
;y Irish front man.
But 1-2 for
Davie is worse
than 1-2 for any
9 other coach in
AAN the nation. Davie
7§OOWENBACH does not have
a' Bronx many of the
eBorber advantages, nor
the patience of
the South Bend
thful, that Holtz had 11 years ago.
"First of all, Holtz took over for
Gerry Faust, who had the second-
worst winning pecentage in Notre
Dame coaching history. The Irish had
gone five years since finishing in the
top 10, the longest drought in more
than 20 years. National titles weren't
an issue then, just getting over the
.500-mark was good enough.
Davie has to deal with the Bowl
Alliance, something that Holtz did not
have to concern himself with for the
majority of his career. Notre Dame
0had this comfort zone with bowl selec-
tion committees where the Irish would
always receive a bid to a bowl on New
Year's Day as long as they didn't fall
The Matchups
This time,
the edge
goes to tM
By Danielle Rumore
Daily Sports Editor
Notre Dame and Michigan have both
looked forward to this day since Remy
' Hamilton kicked the game-winning
field goal to give the Wolverines a 26-
24 win over the Irish in South Bend in
1994. Well, the day has finally arrived.
After a two-year layoff, the rivalry
between the Irish and the Wolverines
will be renewed tomorrow at Michigan
Stadium. And you better believe that all
of the emotion, hatred and competition
that exists between the two teams will
still be there. But a great, classic, hard-
osed battle may be missing.
. The Irish, with new coach Bob
Davie, have looked anything but new
and Jpolished, dropping their past two

pgames to Purdue and Michigan State
, -° nd barely squeaking by Georgia Tech
72i-he opener. Notre Dame's schedule
doesn't get any easier, and as of now, a
mg season - it would be the Irish's
Tirst since 1986 - is a real possibility.
The Wolverines, on the other hand,
,are yolling in the early going. Besides
Sthobvious Michigan-Notre Dame
hoopla, the Wolverines have a certain
%.revenge factor on their minds directed
fat Notre Dame defensive coordinator
ZGreg Mattison.
Mattison pulled the ultimate
48Idict Arnold move of college foot-

Not much luck of
late for Powlus

By John Lrol
Daily Sports Editor
This season was supposed to be a
whole new beginning for Ron Powlus.
The golden boy and the golden dome.
Once logical mates, their relationship has
Notre Dame's quarterback - the
dream position on college football's
dream team - was struggling. Nothing
went right for Powlus. The fans booed
him. His coach berated him in public. He
didn't fulfill any of the lofty expectations
laid upon him.
But then Lou Holtz left after 11 sea-
sons guiding the Fighting Irish and
defensive coordinator Bob Davie
replaced him. Powlus, having already
graduated and married to his long-time
girlfriend, gave serious thought to leaving
the most storied program in college foot-
ball for the NFL.
But Davie's promotion was enough to
convince Powlus to stay. Now, Powlus
thought, would be his chance to win.
But Powlus hasn't been as successful
as he would have liked. Davie, whom
Powlus endorses as a better coach than
Holtz, hasn't been up to task. So when the
Fighting Irish (1-2) kick off tomorrow's
game with the sixth-ranked Wolverines
(2-0) in a nationally televised contest at
Michigan Stadium, Powlus will still have
more than 106,000 critics to answer to.
"This is not what I expected," Powlus
said. "This is not what any of us expect-
ed. But we can't let it ruin our season."
For the first time since 1986, Notre
Dame is under.500. The Irish barely held
on to beat Georgia Tech in their season
opener before being embarrassed by
Purdue and Michigan State. Now the
Irish are staring at a schedule that could
easily drop their record to 1-4 after road
games with Michigan and Stanford.
A sub-.500 record is not only unac-
ceptable in South Bend, it isn't an option.
And most of the blame is falling on
Davie and Powlus.
The much-maligned quarterback was
supposed to be more comfortable under
Davie's tutelage. A new pass-happy
offense and a more relaxed atmosphere

GameDay retums to the Big House:
Chris Fowler, Lee Corso and Kirk
Herbstreit will broadcast ESPN's
GameDay show from outside Section 12
of Michigan Stadium at 11:30 a.m.
were Powlus's reasons for staying.
Finally, he was going to have the room he
needed to shine.
But this season has been a disaster for
Powlus. Statistically, he's performed well
- 72-for-109 for 691 yards, two touch-
downs and three interceptions --- but he
hasn't blossomed into the leader Notre
Dame needs him to be, a leader that can
carry a team to victory on his oWn:
"It'll get better" Powlus said.' "Look
what happened before. It has, too."
Until Davie replaced Holtz before the
1997 season, Notre Dame was nver a
good fit for a passing quarterback.
Holtz's idea of a good offense was to
run the option until the opposing defense
shut it down, and then do it some more.
But Powlus, the most heralded high
school player in the nation when he, came
to Notre Dame was not nimble. He didn't
like to run. He wasn't any good at it.
His prolific passing ability was all but
ignored by Holtz. His limitless potential
thus far has gone untapped. The three
Heisman Trophies he was supposed to
win went to other players.
Now Powlus has enjoyed none of the
changes he was so adamant about hav-
ing. He can only hope to turn his season
around now. Reverting to cliches, Powlus
said he is going to take it "game by
game." And the Michigan game is a good
place to start.
The Wolverines are Notre' Dame's
biggest challenge this season. You would-
n't think that one of the country's best
defenses would be a sight for sore eyes
for Powlus. But Powlus still believes he is
one of the best passers in college football
and he welcomes the challenge of play-
ing against a defense that hasn't allowed
a touchdown in two games.
Nobody is really giving the Fighting
Irish a fighting chance. But that's just the
way Powlus wants it.

Believe It or not, Ron Powlus was Notre Dame's quarterback the last time Michigan and Notre Dame met, way back in 1994.
Powius has struggled early this season, as evidenced by the Irish's No. 45 national ranking In passing offense.

Remy Hamilton's game-winning field goal beat the Irish In 1994, despite the
efforts of then-Notre Dame cornerback Bobby Taylor (21).
tin Sa
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