Kevin McDougal joined 1993 Notre Dame Football teammate Oscar McBride's show recently and this is the 2nd part of the interview to be transcribed. Part I focused on the back story and locker room during McDougal's Fall Camp competition with Freshman QB Ron Powlus. This piece centers on the #1 vs #2 game against Florida State & McDougal's inside story on the Boston College comeback that should have put the Irish in the National Championship.
Why the Reebok pumps? McDougal claims he realized FSU was a "big game" when Reebok came by with the newly released shoes for the Irish players. Were there "fond" memories of Boston College? Absolutely according to McDougal and McBride. In his own words, McDougal describes how the 4th quarter of the BC game was the first time in his career that he felt like he was doing what he "had come to Notre Dame to do on the field." Enjoy.
"I will take you to heaven, before I take you to Hell!" - Silent Bob (The Simpsons)
McDougal: We prepared so hard and Coach Holtz put us through so much during the week that you didn't really get a chance to soak it all in ... I think he knew what he was doing. He would always tell us to stay out of the newspapers - Don't read your own newspaper clippings ... I just concentrated on what I needed to do in that game ...
I think I realized it was a big game when Reebok came out with the "Pumps" and I'm like "Man! They made these shoes for our receivers and everything??" ... that week everyone came in early. They put a blanket around the fence so (practices) were closed ... and it was the first (ESPN College) Gameday. Just to see Bob Costas and those guys .. it was big, it was big ... I think almost everybody on the field went to the NFL ... It was a huge game ... it was a huge game.
That was my biggest memory (of winning) that game - We became #1. It was a lot of fun to be the starting quarterback on a team that was #1 in the nation.
(On being from the state of Florida): Being from Florida I had a lot of people who didn't like me ... Everyone wanted me to stay in the state of Florida and that year we had a lot of top (high school football players) leave the state ... My best friend at the time was a Florida State fan, so he was at the game hoping I'd throw for 1,000 yards and lose the game. I think, and I'm sure Oscar thinks, we still should have won the National Title.
Oscar McBride: Fast forward to the BC (Boston College) game.
Kevin McDougal: (groan)
Oscar McBride: We called a timeout in the 1st quarter and I know you remember this ... They've got 8 (players) in the box and we're trying to run 24 Power ... We had 7 to block 8 - it just wasn't happening ... I tell (Coach Holtz) you gotta flex me out or get Derrick Mayes in the slot ... I can't block two guys ... Coach Holtz looks at me and says "We're gonna run 24 Power until they stop us!" ... so Boston College is just stuffing us ... With about 4 minutes left they take me out of the game and put Derrick Mayes in and you finally get a chance ... Kevin - what was that like to engineer what should have been the last National Championship drive at Notre Dame Stadium ... the last we'll probably see for some time?
Kevin McDougal: The biggest thing about that was not only did Coach Holtz let me throw - I called and engineered the plays, which you know he had never done that ... I think he (Coach Holtz) may have been out of his element because we had to do so much and score so many points in a short amount of time ... I think in recruiting me they thought I'd be the next Tony Rice ... I could run, but I'm a thrower! I don't want to run! That's what I felt I was at Notre Dame to do. The Joe Montana's and to the throw the ball ... all he did was release me to do what I felt I was there to do anyway.
I was most comfortable in that moment (the 4th quarter comeback against Boston College). I wasn't comfortable when people saw me running for touchdowns and running the option. I would be in the huddle like "Oh, no - another option play. Please linebacker don't come out here and just decide to destroy me."
People don't realize that in our offense we had the exact playbook that Florida State (in 1993) had. We could have run the "Fast Break" offense. It was in our playbook, but Coach Holtz just didn't want to do it. Against Pittsburgh he put me in the shotgun and I almost passed out. When it (the play) came in, I looked to the sideline like "Somebody made a mistake." It was like he (Holtz) was afraid. Like, "Uh-oh - I don't wanna show all that because I don't wanna beat people that bad."
Against Boston College when we started passing the ball ... it felt like this is what I was here to do.
On the last touchdown we go to the sideline. Coach Holtz is looking like "This is the last play. I don't know what .. what ..." I told him (Holtz) just have everyone get in the end zone. Let everyone run curl routes and I'll buy time. We were gonna score. I couldn't believe he let me do it.
Oscar McBride: Yup. We ran 324 Y Delay. He called Tight End Delay for me ... I pass set, the linebacker looked at me and I said "Oh, shit!" and I took off. True to form the linebacker followed me and (WR) Lake Dawson came up behind the back of the end zone and you hit him for a touchdown.
This portion of the show about FSU & BC can be found below or you can check out the FULL interview on our YouTube page.