Saturday, September 27, 2003

Irish mum about starting QB


Be it Holiday or Quinn, No. 22 Boilermakers feel prepared

The Associated Press

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. - Notre Dame is still trying to decide which quarterback to start today against Purdue. The Boilermakers' reaction: So what?

Whether Irish coach Tyrone Willingham sticks with veteran Carlyle Holiday or switches to freshman Brady Quinn, No. 22 Purdue has the same game plan.

"We are an aggressive defense by nature, so I don't think we'll be more aggressive if a freshman goes in there," linebacker Gilbert Gardner said.

The Irish (1-2) gave up a school-record 38 sacks last season and have allowed 12 this year.

"We're making too many mental mistakes, too many assignment mistakes, too many costly mistakes," center Zachary Giles said.

The Irish rank 113th out of 117 Division I-A teams in total offense. They have gone three-and-out or worse on 19 of 41 possessions this year and have scored three touchdowns, all in the fourth quarter.

Holiday, 36-of-73 passing with one TD and four interceptions, guided the Irish to just one touchdown. Quinn, 10-of-27 with one TD and one INT, led the team to two touchdowns.

It may not matter who plays quarterback against the Boilermakers. The Irish are 3-0 against Purdue the past three years even though Purdue (2-1) has averaged 149 yards more a game than Notre Dame and held the Irish to two offensive touchdowns.

That's because Notre Dame's defense scored three touchdowns, and special teams added two.

But the Irish defense hasn't scored this season.

"We need to make things happen," cornerback Vontez Duff said.

FLORIDA STATE: The husband of a rape victim said he's outraged that coach Bobby Bowden wrote a letter on behalf of the attacker.

Michael Gibson, a former Seminoles running back, was sentenced to life in prison in 1994 for his attack on a woman who was shot, raped, robbed and left for dead in her apartment in 1993.

Gibson, 30, received six life sentences. Four were for rape, one was for armed burglary and one was for attempted felony murder.

But the Florida Supreme Court ruled there was no crime of attempted felony murder, so Gibson is awaiting a new sentencing hearing Oct. 7. He's also serving two 40-year sentences for two other rapes.

Bowden wrote to Circuit judge Kathleen Dekker that Gibson was "no problem" when he was on the team but left after the first year.

"It may have been because of his grades," Bowden wrote. "It surely wasn't his conduct."

John Witherspoon, a South Carolina lawyer who is married to the victim, said his wife, who earned her bachelor's degree from Florida State in 1992, was a loyal alumna who was devastated by the letter.

An FSU spokeswoman said school officials had no comment on the matter. She said a message seeking comment would be relayed to Bowden before Florida State plays at Duke today.




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