March 3, 2006 // Notre Dame Football

What if? 1995 season with Powlus, Mayes and … Moss?

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Building off of a recent B&G article on Mayes (which, though I don’t recommend B&G, I thought it was interesting), what if Randy Moss had not been an idiot and actually played for the Irish as a freshman in 1995? [The key here being: Randy Moss = not an idiot]

I. Actual 1995 Statistics: leaders

QB Ron Powlus: 124-217 (57.1%), 1853 yards, 12 TDs, 7 INTs
—–
WR Derrick Mayes: 48 rec., 881 yards, 6 TDs
FB Marc Edwards: 25 rec., 361 yards, 3 TDs
RB/WR Emmitt Mosley: 17 rec., 268 yards, 1 TD
—–
RB Randy Kinder: 143 car., 809 yards (5.7 avg), 10 TDs
FB Marc Edwards: 140 car., 717 yards (5.1 avg), 12 TDs
RB Autry Denson: 137 car., 695 yards (5.1 avg), 8 TDs

Now, replace our 2nd best receiver (a fullback with less than 400 yards) with this (Moss’ freshman year at Marshall):

WR Randy Moss: 79 rec., 1709 yards, 29 TDs

Okay, to be realistic, Moss would not have had half of that production in Holtz’s offense. But even HALF would be have been spectacular:

WR Randy Moss: 40 rec., 855 yards, 15 TDs

And probably would have boosted Mayes’ production a bit (let’s just say 10%) given the lack of double-coverage:

WR Derrick Mayes: 53 rec., 969 yards, 7 TDs

Subtract half of Edward’s reception stats (for argument’s sake) and then take Moss’ production and add it to Powlus (dividing the % and INT ratios):

FB Marc Edwards: 12 rec., 181 yards, 1 TD
QB Ron Powlus: 144-229 (62.9%), 2616 yards, 26 TDs, 8 INTs

II. So, new hypothetical 1995 stats leaders (with the “Moss Affect” calculated in there), and yes, we’d still have the same rushing totals because Holtz would still grind it out (over 11 games, not counting the Orange Bowl):

QB Ron Powlus: 144-229 (62.9%), 2616 yards, 25 TDs, 8 INTs
—–
WR Derrick Mayes: 53 rec., 969 yards, 7 TDs
WR Randy Moss: 40 rec., 855 yards, 15 TDs
RB/WR Emmitt Mosley: 17 rec., 268 yards, 1 TD
—–
RB Randy Kinder: 143 car., 809 yards (5.7 avg), 10 TDs
FB Marc Edwards: 140 car., 717 yards (5.1 avg), 12 TDs
RB Autry Denson: 137 car., 695 yards (5.1 avg), 8 TDs

Powlus’ numbers might have been even greater, since he didn’t play in the Air Force game (or much of the Navy game) due to injury, but perhaps he gets injured anyway and Ron Krug still finishes out the season.

III. Yes, I think about this way too much. Those extra 13 touchdowns through the air would equal another 78 points. 78 points divided over the course of the season (to be fair) would be 7.1 ppg (11 games, the Orange Bowl is not counted in the official stats for 1995, even if it should be). Add those 7 ppg to our actual 1995 schedule, including the “Moss Affect,” and here’s how the season might have turned out (all things not being equal, since we cannot really measure what the effect of this better offense would have had on our defense):

1995 SCHEDULE: hypothetical
1. Notre Dame 22, Northwestern 17
2. Notre Dame 42, Purdue 28
3. Notre Dame 48, Vanderbilt 0
4. Notre Dame 62, Texas 27
5. Ohio State 45, Notre Dame 33
6. Notre Dame 36, Washington 21
7. Notre Dame 35, Army 27
8. Notre Dame 45, USC 10
9. Notre Dame 27, Boston College 10
10. Notre Dame 42, Navy 17
11. Notre Dame 51, Air Force 14

We finish 10-1 (instead of 9-2), probably still play 9-2 FSU in the Orange Bowl (since the Rose Bowl is still locked into Pac-10 & Big Ten at that point), and maybe we win (with the whole 7 ppg more thing):

12. Notre Dame 33, Florida State 31

An 11-1 season, a Top 3 finish (behind undefeated Nebraska and 12-1 Florida), and incredible momentum going into the 1996 season. Woulda, coulda, shoulda.

Randy Moss can rot in hell.

Go Irish Go

Comments to this Article

  • C-Dog commented on February 2nd, 2009 at 9:19 am

    It wouldn’t have been worth it. Not unless someone got religion into Moss and taught him how to behave.
    But you do wonder about a few things. Things you can count on in the next four years. IF the coaching staff does it’s job in the offseason with the development of players during the Jan/Feb timeframe and in the spring workouts, they’ll be solid with the talent and should be a top 10 team. I say should. Leadership and the teaching of principals that make winners still needs to be proven. Notre Dame has always been more than X’s and O’s. The X’s and O’s cannot be compromised, but inspiration and the teaching of values beyond the football field IS WHY NOTRE DAME HAS WON SO MANY CHAMPIONSHIPS. WE’LL WIN MORE IF THE COACHES TEACH LIFE’S LESSONS.

    [Reply]

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