The call might have been Holtz's last stab at changing Bentley's mind. Or it might have been purely spiteful—Holtz has never pretended to be a gracious loser. The coach isn't saying: He refused to discuss Bentley with SI.
There is also the possibility that Holtz was doing a bit of preseason coaching. The Nov. 13 game between Notre Dame and Florida State could easily come down to a field goal. Perhaps Holtz wanted to give Bentley something to think about. "If that's what he was trying to do, it was a mistake," says Bentley. "Anybody who knows me knows that kind of stuff just pumps me up."
Holtz never did figure Bentley out. A game-winning field goal may be what it takes for Holtz to see the light.