Dec 29, 2007

The All-Davieham Team... Part 1 Offense



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Things need a little lightening up around NDNation. I realize that even the slight utterance of Bob Davie and Tyrone Willingham has the opposite effect. However, many of the players on these 2 buffoon's teams are quite loved and respected. To honor these players and to change the topic around the blogosphere (recruiting, depth charts, etc.) I bring you The Subway Domer All-Davieham Team. To be a member of this team, a player would have had to been at least a 2 year starter during the years of 1997-2004. Enjoy...

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Quarterback: Jarious Jackson. Surprise! I know some of you are already yelling at the computer screen for Brady Quinn, but Jarious started more games in his 2 years and set passing records that Quinn didn't break until his Junior year (with the help of Weis). Jarious had a very up and down 2 years at the helm, but managed to beat USC both years and had an amazing comeback victory versus Oklahoma. Need more to satisfy? Well, The House That Rock Built put this paragraph together that is quite poetic:

By far one of the gutsiest quarterbacks ever to don the blue
and gold,
particularly since he was unfettered week to week with anything
resembling an
offensive gameplan or playbook. Nay, Jarious was instructed to
run around in the
backfield, dodging potential career-ending tackler after
career-ending tackler,
then fling the ball haphazardly downfield and pray
for a miracle. Surprisingly,
he set an impressive array of school records
doing this. You can read more about
this proven offensive strategy if you
buy ESPN Insider. Bob Davie's columns
alone on the "Run & Fling" offense
will make it all worthwhile.
Tailback: Autry Denson & Julius Jones. There was no way I was going to chose between the two great ones. Denson left ND as its all-time leading rusher (4318 yds.) and second in rushing TD's (43) behind Allen Pinket (49). Denson was a very smart runner and ran the draws and screens better than anyone that ever put on a Gold Helmet. (Yes, better than D. Walker). Jones was one of the most electrifying players in Irish history. Whenever Jones carried the ball or was returning a kick, you held your breath in anticipation of something magical. Jones holds the single game rushing record of 262 yards and is currently 5th all-time in yardage. Jones was a Ty victim. If he was fed the ball, we won. Instead, he played second fiddle to a then fumbling and less explosive Ryan Grant. Jones won the hearts of many Irish fans with his perseverance in a time of adversity. Jones left school for academic reasons in 2002 and worked hard at a Junior College in Arizona to comeback to play for the Irish and graduate.

Wide Receiver: Bobby Brown & Rhema McKnight. Of all the wide receivers to play during this era (and a lot were underused by Kevin Rogers) these 2 were the only ones to lead the team in receptions and yards in 2 different years. Bobby Brown might be more remembered for his personal foul penalty against Michigan in 1999 after a touchdown that helped the Skunkbears to victory. (It was a bullshit call...Q-Dogs!What!) Brown was THE go to WR in a system that didn't know how to use one. McKnight came to ND as a 5-Star recruit and put together a very good career at ND. During the Ty era McKnight was used as the bubble screen runner extraordinaire. It was as if ND didn't have any other route for him. Rhema did have some spectacular catches at ND but was ridiculed by fans and media his senior year for some dropped balls. McKnight will always be remembered for his season ending injury in 2005 (against the Skunkbears) that helped jumpstart the Legend of Samardzija.

Fullback: Tom Lopienski. After the great fullbacks of the Holtz Era (Bettis, Zellers, and Edwards), the Irish have been pretty bare at this position which continues even today. Tom, however was a 3 year starter and a very gritty special teams player. Had only 1 TD in his tenure at ND and it was a pass reception. Tom was a very good blocker and continued on to the NFL to do more of the same dirty work as he did at Notre Dame.

Tight End: Jabari Holloway. The Irish have had a long history of great tight ends. Holloway will never really fit into this category, but was very good during his time at ND. He was a three year starter and a clutch option for Jackson. Holloway was a ferocious blocker and in the system provided, that was priority #1.

Offensive Tackles: LT Luke Pettigout & RT Kurt Vollers. Back when the Irish had actual depth on the O-Line, There were generally only 2 year starters in a career. Pettigout was one of these guys. Luke was a stout run blocker and protected the quarterback fiercely. Kurt Vollers was an enormous specimen at tackle. He had a decent career at ND, but was called for holding quite a few times. Never the less, he held his own against some of the nations top defenses during his tenure at ND.

Center: Jeff Faine. Quite possibly the greatest center in Irish history. He certainly was the most pissed off. Faine wasn't just intense, he was downright NASTY. Watching him block was a clinic on blocking from snap to whistle. His ability to give 120% on every play and still wanting more, created a spot for himself in legions of Irish fans hearts. Jeff liked to mix it up with the opposing defense and was called for more than his fair share of personal fouls. But, that's what you get from a offensive lineman with a defensive lineman's mentality. Think: Zorich at center. Jeff was a 3 year starter and then moved on to the NFL as one of the 1st round draft picks in this dreadful era.
Guards: Mike Gandy & Sean Mahan. I really have no stats or reasoning for these selections, but I would like to think that I would. Both Mike and Sean were standouts at their positions as they benefited from depth to compete against. (Thanks again Ty!)
I will provide Part 2 (defense) and Part 3 (special teams) along with a short editorial on this era of players soon. On another note, as I was writing this post I started to wonder if this had been done before. Meaning: it's a good idea and probably a few years too late. Lo and behold, after I wrote this piece and before I published it, I stumbled onto a Blue-Gray Sky post that covered these topics already. Man those guys are good. Looks like I won't even waste my time with the All Holtz-team. But as I said, I will continue with parts 2 & 3.

32 comments:

Leo said...

fantastic stuff! Always good to review past players and realize that they suffered along with us through those two morons.

Face Mask said...

SD,I'm reading "Saturday Rules" by Austin Murphy.In the book he points out that the ND O line played poorly through out the Quinn years.I've been trying to locate some stats from 97-06 to see just when this steady decline began but no joy.Do you have any thoughts on when this o-line decline began and under which coach or O=line coach?

SubwayDomer26 said...

I think the decline really got going in the Willingham years. The numbers caused a lack of depth, which on the line can cause weak play. Ty recruited like an asshole.

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