The Michigan Daily - Friday, September 21, 2001- 13A
Irish set to exploit
NOTRE DAME (AP) - Notre
Dame cornerback Shane Walton tries to
contain a smile when asked whether he
is looking forward to trying to block a
punt against Michigan State.
"The whole team is," he said.
Walton can't help himself, though.
Like the rest of the Irish, Walton simply
can't hide the fact he can't wait for a
chance to go after Spartan punter Craig
"There's no doubt we're going to try
to block a punt. We'll probably try to
block the first one," Irish coach Bob
The cause of the Irish giddiness is the
fact that during Michigan State's last
game, a freshman from Central Michi-
gan blocked four punts against the Spar-
tans to tie Division I-A individual and
The Irish excelled at special teams
last year, blocking five punts and a field
goal and once tackling the West Vir-
ginia punter before he could get the punt
off. They also returned two punts for
Even in struggling against Nebraska
two weeks ago, Walton managed to
block a punt that set up Notre Dame's
lone touchdown in a 27-10 loss.
The thing the No. 23 Irish (0-1) find
hardest to believe is that James King,
the freshman who blocked the four
punts for Central, did. it from the same
outside spot every time.
"We made this guy a national hero,"
Michigan State coach Bobby Williams
said. "He was very good at what he did
and clearly challenged our protection.
He really put us in a bad position
because he's shown people what they
can do against our punt protection."
The problem for the Spartans (1-0) is
the fact that they couldn't stop one Cen-
tral Michigan player, even when they
knew where he was coming from.
The Irish have several players who
have blocked punts. In addition to Wal-
ton, David Givens blocked three punts
last year, Chad DeBolt blocked one and
Glenn Earl blocked a punt and a field
Notre Dame special teams coach Bill
Sheridan, who coached special teams at
Michigan State last year, said it could
turn into a chess match for the coaches.
"Do you try to exploit the outside
Continued from Page 12A
Wisconsin. Two players, R.J. Luke and
T.C. Cosby, have continued to practice
despite being arrested last week for
charges that stemmed from a fight at a
fraternity party in late July.
Both the Nittany Lions and the Bad-
gers are coming off losses to top-15
teams. Wisconsin fell to Fresno State
despite a 20-10 second half lead. And
Joe Paterno was unable to tie Bear
Bryant's major college record of 323
victories, losing to Miami 33-7.
The Badgers have played three games
already this season and should be much
closer to midseason form then Penn
State. Wisconsin's uncharacteristically
high-powered offense will overcome the
Nittany Lions' desire to win a big game
Wisconsin 31, Penn State 23
Louisville (3-0) at Illinois (2-0),
12:10 p.m., ESPN: It will be a battle of
the unbeatens when the Cardinals go to
Champaign to battle the Fighting Illini.
After a dominant offensive performance
in its opener against California, Illinois
was extremely unsteady in a close win
over Northern Illinois.
Louisville has displayed a versatile
offensive game plan - putting up 31
points in its last game despite a sub-par
performance by star quarterback Dave
Ragone, who leads the nation with 858
passing yards this season. If that Western
Carolina game is any indication of the
rest of the Cardinals' talent, Illinois will
have a difficult time stopping them.
Both teams come into this weekend
undefeated, but both have faced weak
competition this season. Louisville
showed that it can win without Ragone
being totally effective, and will
outscore Illinois in a battle of explosive
Louisville 36, Illinois 27
Utah (1-1) at Indiana (0-1), 5:00
p.m.: If Indiana has a chance to wil
against the Utes, Antwaan Randle El
will have to take more snaps under cep-
ter than he did in game one. He is by fr
the best player on Indiana's roster -int
may be its only weapon.
The Hoosiers were completely unsuc-
cessful in trying to move their.star to
wide receiver in the opening game. Ran-
dle El only caught four passes for 30
yards and the Hoosiers lost to North Car-
olina State 35-14.
Utah lost to a talented Oregon team
24-10 in its last game. But the Ducks are
on a different level than the Hoosiers.
The Utes will be able to move the foot-
ball on the ground against Indiana. The
key for Utah is to play a more controlled
and careful game. Against Oregon, ten
flags cost the Utes 89 yards. Look for
fewer penalties and more points from
Utah 27, Indiana 10
Notre Dame coach Bob Davie and his Fighting Irish plan to attack the Spartans'
special teams, who allowed four blocked punts against Central Michigan.
again, or do you figure they're going to
go on the outside so you go on the
inside?" he said.
Sheridan wouldn't say which move
he would make. He also wouldn't say
who will to line up on the right side
where King lined up against the Spar-
tans, saying several players will get a
chance to play there.'
The Irish also have been working 'on
defending against fake punts, figuring
the Spartans might use that approach to
keep Notre Dame off guard.
"We're a rush team," Sheridan said.
"We'll try to get them back on their
Gwynn, after retirement, will head the
coaching staff at his alma mater.
SAN DIEGO (AP) - Tony Gwynn
isn't quite finished with his old job and
he's already got a new one.
The San Diego Padres' batting star
was hired yesterday by his alma mater,
San Diego State, to replace baseball
coach Jim Dietz following the 2002
Gwynn was given a three-year con-
tract beginning June 1. He will serve as
an unpaid volunteer coach next season
and will earn a base salary of $100,000
per season beginning in 2003.
"Tlis is the dream gig for me. What I
think I do best is teach," Gwynn said at
a campus news conference. "I can't
believe I'm standing here. This is really
Athletic director Rick Bay said
Gwynn is one of San Diego State's
most famous alumni and "one of the
city's true icons."
"The passion he carries for this uni-
versity, and for the baseball program in
particular, is obvious to all who know
him," Bay said.
Gwynn, who's won eight NL batting
titles in his 20-year big league career,
has 16 games left before retiring from
His final game will be at home on
Oct. 7 against Colorado.
He's been lobbying hard for the San
Diego State job since the school
announced in late May that Dietz will
retire after next season, his 31st.
The Aztecs play in Tony Gwynn Sta-
dium, which was financed by Padres
owner John Moores. Gwynn's son,
Anthony, is a sophomore outfielder for
And now they've got arguably the
best pure hitter of his generation to take
over a program that could use a boost.
"This is the job I wanted. I want to
make sure the kids graduate, I want to
teach them everything I know about
baseball and I want to teach them
everything I know about life. That's my
challenge. I wish I could start today,"
The 41-year-old Gwynn played for
Dietz and also was a star point guard on
San Diego State's basketball team from
1977-81. He still owns the Aztecs'
game, season and career records for