Saturday, October 9, 2004

Irish's fake punt in rout
still gnaws at Cardinal


The Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. - Many Stanford players have fond memories of Notre Dame coach Tyrone Willingham. Last year's game against the Fighting Irish is not among them.

The Irish beat Willingham's former team 57-7 - the Cardinal's worst home loss - and ran a fake punt with four minutes left.

Stanford's team hasn't forgotten going into today's rematch.

"When you run a fake punt up 50-7, yeah they're trying to run up the score," center Brian Head said.

The score was actually 57-7 when the Irish ran the fake on fourth-and-17 and failed to get the first down. But Willingham doesn't regret the play, saying the punter is supposed to make that call any time he sees an opponent coming with an all-out rush. But he understands if the Cardinal use it as motivation.

"If I were sitting on the other side and could twist that in such a manner to use it as motivation, I would try it," he said.

TEXAS: Mack Brown and his supporters believe his tenure at Texas should not be defined by a four-game losing streak to Bob Stoops and the Oklahoma Sooners.

Oklahoma pounded Texas by a combined score of 177-54 the past four years, scoring more than 60 points twice. The truly embarrassing part for the Longhorns is they've gone into each game ranked as high as third and no worse than 11th.

The No. 5 Longhorns will get another chance to clear their coach's reputation today against the No. 2 Sooners. Both teams are 4-0, 1-0 in Big 12 Conference play.

LSU: Florida was 3-3 and seemingly out of the Southeastern Conference race last season when it traveled to Baton Rouge and upset LSU 19-7. The victory sparked a five-game winning streak that salvaged the Gators' season.

Now, the roles are reversed. The 24th-ranked Tigers enter today's game at No. 12 Florida having lost two of their last three games.

"This game's going to say a lot about who we are," LSU defensive end Marcus Spears said.

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