Whittingham speaks highly of ND's tradition
It's a broken-record description of a program's storied past meant as a respectful nod by coaches escorting their teams to Notre Dame for the first time.
First it was Western Michigan coach Bill Cubit. Then it was Tulsa's Todd Graham. This week it's Utah's Kyle Whittingham, whose squad's national title hopes were reduced to ashes last week in a 47-7 loss to Texas Christian, turn to opine about Old Notre Dame.
"When you think of Notre Dame, you think of the Four Horsemen, Knute Rockne, `Rudy' the movie -- that was one of my favorite movies," Whittingham said. "I saw that a bunch. The tradition, the guys they had there -- Joe Montana, Joe Theisman. That's everything that embodies what Notre Dame is."
"They are 4-5 and have lost a couple in a row," Whittingham said. "Their quarterback was injured against Tulsa, but backup Tommy Rees came in and did a fairly good job. They have a tremendous receiver in Michael Floyd. He has caught over 50 balls. They have good size up front and good size on defense. Manti Te'o is a big, physical presence in the middle. It's just what you expect out of Notre Dame."
Utah defensive end Christian Cox will decide for himself when the team will take an uncharacteristic walk-through at Notre Dame Stadium Friday.
"You get to relax and see what their stadium is really like and see if it's all that it's cracked up to be," he told the Deseret News.
Whittingham's task this week was to keep his team from fracturing to pieces after an eviscerating loss to the Horned Frogs.
"That's when we need our leadership to step forward," he said. "It is nowhere near as much of a necessity as when you are fighting through adversity. We will find out what we are made of this weekend and the leaders need to step to the forefront. We got whipped and we can't feel sorry for ourselves, and we need to move on."
Easier said than done. Center Zane Taylor sure thinks so.
"Football is what I am," he said. "It's what I do and it defines me as a person. So to have so much riding on that game and to lose so badly, it hurts. Right now, I still feel kind of sick to my stomach thinking about the game."
TOP 25 SCOREBOARD
Final Washington State 45 Colorado State 48 Final 20 Fresno State 20 25 USC 45 Final Buffalo 24 San Diego State 49 Final Tulane 21 Louisiana-Lafayette 24
Final Pittsburgh 30 Bowling Green 27 Final Utah State 21 23 Northern Illinois 14
Final Marshall 31 Maryland 20 Final Syracuse 21 Minnesota 17 Final Brigham Young 16 Washington 31
Final Rutgers 16 Notre Dame 29 Final Cincinnati 17 North Carolina 39 Final Miami (FL) 9 18 Louisville 36 Final Michigan 14 Kansas State 31
Final Middle Tennessee 6 Navy 24 Final Ole Miss 25 Georgia Tech 17 Final 10 Oregon 30 Texas 7 Final 14 Arizona State 23 Texas Tech 37
Final Arizona 42 Boston College 19 Final Virginia Tech 12 17 UCLA 42 Final Rice 7 Mississippi State 44 Final 24 Duke 48 21 Texas A&M 52
Final Nebraska 24 22 Georgia 19 Final UNLV 14 North Texas 36 Final Iowa 14 16 LSU 21 Final 19 Wisconsin 24 9 South Carolina 34 Final 5 Stanford 20 4 Michigan State 24 Final 15 UCF 52 6 Baylor 42
Final 13 Oklahoma State 31 8 Missouri 41 Final 12 Clemson 40 7 Ohio State 35