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Q: How will the Irish plug the holes created by the departures of quarterback Rick Mirer and running backs Jerome Bettis and Reggie Brooks?
A: The offense will simply need some help from another quarter—the defense. Before the D takes the field, it huddles on the sideline and chants, "9-1-1." With seven starters returning on defense, that sound should come as great comfort to a discombobulated offense. Coach Lou Holtz moved several offensive players to new positions in the spring, leaving only center Tim Ruddy starting at the spot he did last season. Undoubtedly Holtz will also be forced to use some of his freshmen, even at quarterback. Top recruit Ron Powlus is sure to be calling signals by midseason.
Q: When will Holtz finally realize that tight ends are eligible receivers too?
A: This year's tight end—and future first-round draft pick—is 6'5", 251-pound senior Oscar McBride, who caught five passes in '92, four for touchdowns. He follows Derek Brown, who was chosen in the first round by the New York Giants in 1992, and Irv Smith, who was taken in the first round by the New Orleans Saints last spring.
Q: How will a team that lost 12 starters fare against a schedule that includes Florida State, Michigan, Stanford, BYU, Boston College and Southern Cal?
A: Not well. Even the strongest Irish team couldn't expect to defeat all of this year's foes. And this is far from the strongest Irish team.
Q: Is this Danny White as good as that Danny White?
A: After years of trying to land a passer who would enable him to open up the Wildcats' attack, coach Dick Tomey might have finally found his man in White, a 6'5" sophomore transfer from Penn State. White is already the second-best quarterback named Danny White in the state's history. The best was the fellow who played at Arizona State in the early '70s before going on to further glory with the Dallas Cowboys.
Q: After almost upsetting Miami and beating Washington last season, the Wildcats climbed as high as ninth in the polls, only to lose their final three games. Can Arizona, the only Pac-10 team never to appear in the Rose Bowl, finally make it to Pasadena?