Notre Dame knows
it. Off to the side, Tom Pagna, the assistant coach in charge of the offensive
backfield, hides his delight in a joke, repeating his remark from the dressing
room after the Purdue game.
think," Pagna says. "When Terry came to me, he was all
drills are over, and the offensive and defensive squads thunder to the middle
of the field, still clattering, whooping, laughing. Suddenly the defense
gathers around Ray and begins an ancient football chant.
four bits, six bits, a dollar," they yell, and you think instantly, hold
it, John, it's corny, it's--
"All for the
offense, stand up and holler."
Now the offense
begins to appreciate the joke, as laughter all around intrudes, and Ray walks
away to bum a cigarette, leaving the squad to Parseghian.
No one can hear
what Ara says at first. It has something to do with why Notre Dame wins, you
assume. But his voice is rising. You can hear him now. Louder. Still louder.
Yeeek, he's shouting. "Are they gonna score on us?" he explodes.
"Are they gonna do to us what they did last year?" Even louder. Rockne.
Leahy. "Are we gonna score on them? Are we? Are we gonna beat 'em? Are we
gonna beat the hell out of 'em?"
Yeah, yeah, yeah,
yeah, yeah, and Ara strolls calmly away, eating a mint, another day's work
So far it has all
worked beautifully. Hanratty has completed 51 passes for 972 yards and five
touchdowns, and Seymour has caught 34 of them for 675 yards and five
touchdowns, and when the defenses have chosen to concentrate on the Baby
Bombers, the running game has knifed out 1,229 yards. Even when the two
sophomores haven't been trying to connect, their mere presence has worried
their opponents into shock.