Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 24, 2014 Issue

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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Page 111 of 114

THE FIFTH QUARTER LOU SOMOGYI T hroughout Notre Dame's history, we've heard amusing stories of the elite head coaches having a low threshold for mistakes. One example is upon arriving at Notre Dame in 1986, Lou Holtz told senior q u a r t e r b a c k S t e v e Beuerlein, who had thrown 10 touchdown passes compared to 31 interceptions the two previous seasons, that he promised he would not toss more than seven interceptions under his guidance. That's because af‑ ter the seventh one, Beuerlein's rear end would be ensconced on the bench. Indeed, after Beuer‑ lein tossed his sev‑ enth pick that season — which USC's Lou Brock Jr. returned for a touchdown early in the game — he was removed from the lineup by Holtz. Frequently not told is, as Paul Harvey would say, "the rest of the story." Realizing Beuerlein still provided the best chance to win while the Irish fell behind 37‑20, Holtz reinserted him in the 38‑37 comeback win. The moral of the story was while a coach can be firm, he also is going to be realistic. Because current senior quarterback Everett Golson had been a part of 17 turnovers in the six games from Syra‑ cuse (Sept. 27) through Arizona State (Nov. 8), head coach Brian Kelly and his staff have been cited a s a n y w h e re f ro m over‑tolerant to weak because of the refusal to sit Golson even tem‑ porarily as a reminder that the volume of mis‑ haps is unacceptable. That's not necessar‑ ily an unfair critique, but Kelly and Co. also recognize where their bread is buttered. Trail‑ ing 34‑3 at ASU, they realized Golson was still the centerpiece of any comeback chances … and darned if the Irish weren't on the cusp of their greatest comeback ever at 34‑31 with only 6:37 left before faltering. Also bemusing is that despite his recent proclivity of not protecting the football, Golson stands fourth on Notre Dame's all‑time chart for low‑ est interception percentage (minimum 150 attempts) at 2.61 — just ahead of No. 5 Dayne Crist (2.66), who did get benched by Kelly. Mistakes Remain Eternal In Imperfect World John Lattner's five lost fumbles at Purdue didn't prevent him from later becoming a Heisman Trophy winner. PHOTO COURTESY NOTRE DAME MEDIA RELATIONS

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