Like any good play caller, Charlie Weis wants to stick with what works.
During practice last Wednesday, running back Darius Walker talked himself into a verbal spat with assistant coach Mike Haywood for his refusal to run the gauntlet. Maybe Walker was saving himself for Purdue. Maybe the junior figured he wouldn't face a tougher tackler Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium. Whatever the reason, Weis wants more of the same from his tailback following Notre Dame's 35-21 victory.
"I encouraged them to have an altercation on Tuesday," Weis laughed.
Walker rushed for 146 yards and added another 73 on receptions, showing that offensive balance doesn't need to be an endangered concept around South Bend. Brady Quinn completed 29-of-38 passes for 316 yards and two touchdowns, an efficiency triggered in part by Walker's productivity.
"It was nice to get a chance to get the ball in my hands, whether it was running or catching the ball," Walker said. "It was nice to get a groove early, which I think helped me throughout the game."
Walker's stamp on the offense, he finished with 40 touches, was a far cry from recent weeks when early deficits relegated the junior to an extra pass blocker. He rushed for just 72 yards against Michigan and Michigan State combined, games when No. 12 Notre Dame (4-1) scrapped the game plan by the end of the first quarter.
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