So, Bo, will it be the Rose Bowl this year? Or another trip to the Holiday Bowl? "All this means is that we're decent," Schembechler said. Then, he reminded everyone that Michigan had beaten No. 1-ranked Miami in its 1984 opener only to finish the year with a 6-6 record and a loss to BYU in that Holiday Bowl. "We are not the dog you think we are," he said.
Those close to the Michigan program say Schembechler was deeply hurt by last season, the worst by far in his 16 years at Michigan. True, Schembechler didn't have a bona fide quarterback after Harbaugh went down for the season in the fifth game with a broken left arm. But more disturbing to the old-school coach was the idea that his 1984 team suffered from selfishness.
"Last year we had a lot of people who were playing for themselves," says Clay Miller, a 6'4", 268-pound senior offensive tackle. "That's not Bo. Now we're a much tighter team. It just seems that there are no All-Americas on this team. We're playing much more for each other, not for pro contracts or to go to All-Star games or whatever the hell they go to. It's not offense and defense, it's Michigan."
No one minded that Morris got a taste of stardom last Saturday, particularly after a Detroit Free Press article said Pinkett had never heard of him. "My teammates said, 'C'mon, Jamie, you're better than him,' " said Morris, the younger brother of New York Giant running back Joe Morris. "I said, 'O.K., if this is going to get the team up, I might as well go along with it.' "
During one stretch in the first half, Morris went along by ripping off 27 yards in three carries. "I expected a little more from Notre Dame," said Morris. "I thought the hits would be harder, more like Michigan State."
"We would use different defenses and they would call perfect offenses," said Eric Dorsey, Notre Dame's 6'5", 270-pound tackle, who repeatedly found himself screened out on running plays. Indeed, the Irish line was so porous that free safety Steve Lawrence ended up leading the team in tackles with 10.
Faust, though, offered no alibis. " Michigan controlled the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. That's really all I have to say." He stayed to answer a few more questions and struggled to contain his frustration. "Doggone it," he said at one point, his naturally hoarse voice rising, "we gotta come off the football, and by golly we're gonna come off the football.... We better come back right away. That's what I told them. I'm tired of this horsecrap." When the inevitable question about his job security surfaced, Faust was ready. "I'm just worried about Michigan State right now. Next question."
Faust knows the questions will only get tougher. Although Notre Dame athletic director Gene Corrigan explained that the Michigan loss would have no bearing on whether or not Faust's contract will be renewed, an Irish rooter said bluntly, "It's like he went back to zero."