Right now, for him, there is pressure enough. "The players don't think about the streak," says Green, "but I think the coaches are a little uptight about it." Papik is an excitable man. Three weeks ago when Green was hurt, he spent several nights pacing the kitchen, drinking orange juice. And two weeks ago when Doane fell behind at halftime for the first time in the streak, he sent in a nonexistent play that resulted in Chaplinesque comedy in the backfield. "Yes, I guess there is more stress and strain today," Papik says. "My wife just hopes I get out before we lose."
It shouldn't be this year. Doane has already won its first four games, last week crushing Midland 40-16. Green and Sallier, the nation's leading college-division rusher, produce plenty of offense in Papik's simple sweep-trap-counter style of play; Louis Cooper (6'8", 270) and Kevin Hunt (6'5", 250) are among the eight players back from a defense that allowed only 64 points in 10 games last year. "We have solid players and a few highly skilled individuals," Papik says, "and that makes the difference on our level."
That should be enough for any coach. But Papik does not take any chances. There is a sign in the coach's office that reads, BLESS THIS HOUSE, OH LORD WE PRAY. Handwritten underneath is a more practical plea: AND HELP US WIN EVERY TIME WE PLAY.