Back when the U.S. National Football Team upended Japan at the 2007 IFAF World Championship, few people even realized there was such a competition. Well Lou Holtz isn’t just a regular person or coach, so the former Notre Dame coach decided to challenge the gutsy Japanese team to a game. Their national team versus a collection of Notre Dame alums.

Now you would think this wouldn’t fair with names like Tim Brown, Jerome Bettis, Reggie Brooks, Raghib Ismail and Rick Mirer, but none of those “youngins” are involved in the contest. Well Reggie Brooks and Tim Brown are coaches, but that doesn’t count. No, Holtz thinks he can beat the Japanese with elder statesmen like, QB Tony Rice (41), WR Bobby Brown (32) and RB Ray Zellars (36). Via the AP….

TOKYO – Lou Holtz expects his players to uphold the Notre Dame football tradition when they face Japan in the Notre Dame Japan Bowl.

Holtz will coach a selection of alumni from the Notre Dame college team against Japan’s national American football team and expects a tough game from the hosts.

“Their football has improved tremendously,” Holtz said Friday at Tokyo Dome. “They’ve looked at film, they understand the game … if we have an advantage it’s in the lines, but they are quicker and in better shape so I’m a little worried about the second half.”

The Fighting Irish alumni had only six practice sessions to prepare for the game and Holtz said avoiding injuries will be a key challenge.

“It’s been a zoo,” said Holtz. “When you get older players its tough but we’re ready to go. It’s Notre Dame football and we’ll play the way Notre Dame is supposed to play.”

If Lou Holtz gets out a samurai sword for his motivational speech, someone HAS to get tape of that to me IMMEDIATELY! The kickoff is this Saturday night at 4pm (3am in the States), but unfortunately it won’t be aired live. However, you can see the game at 10pm, on August 10th, on CBS’ College Sports Network. Check your local listings, and good luck, Lou!

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