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Toreros Seek Answer to Menlo Question

Like most football coaches, University of San Diego’s Brian Fogarty prefers knowing what his team is up against in advance.

That’s what makes season openers--like tonight’s against Menlo College (7:30 at USD)--so tough, Fogarty said.

“You just never know what your getting into at the (NCAA) Division III level,” he said. “They could have changed their entire offense or defense and we wouldn’t know until the first play. It’s always kind of a crapshoot in the opener.”

For the most part, Fogarty knows what he has--a predominantly veteran team coming off consecutive 7-2 seasons--but he can only speculate about Menlo. And that worries him.

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“We’re so limited in the number of films, sometimes what works best is what you remember about them,” said Fogarty, who has a 3-2 record against Menlo’s Ray Solari, including a forfeit victory in 1988.

“When Coach Solari is uncertain of what his opponents are going to be like, or how good he’s going to be, he blitzes just about every down,” Fogarty said. “And having a suspect offensive line and an inexperienced quarterback, that could be a problem for us.”

Look for the blitz. Menlo is typically a tough opponent and finished 6-3 last year, including a 28-14 loss to USD. But the Oaks are relatively inexperienced this year.

Because of injuries, USD probably will start three sophomores, one junior transfer and senior Neil Greer on the offensive line. Junior quarterback Michael Bennett will be making his first start since leading Point Loma High to the county championship three years ago.

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A key for the Toreros are offensive line coaches Ernie Monfiletto and Joe Urban. They played at Menlo three years ago. They know what they’re up against.


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