Big news for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish as they look to continue their undefeated season this afternoon against the BYU Cougars. The Chicago Tribune is reporting that Tommy Rees will start at quarterback in place of Everett Golson. It’s even possible that highly touted recruit Andrew Hendrix gets some snaps at some point today.
All I can say is… what took so long?
Golson is a great talent. He’s got athleticism, the ability to throw the deep ball and size. Problem is he makes too many obvious mistakes that lead to turnovers and Notre Dame is having way too many three and outs. With Rees back under center, the play action should be back for the Fighting Irish. You can win with a one dimensional attack for a while but if you want to be a serious national title contender you better have a quarterback that has the ability to make a play with his arm.
Brian Kelly has made it clear that he wants Golson as the starter. Time and time again even though, he’s brought in Rees to clean up the mess. The running gag at Notre Dame Stadium is when the “closer” will come in to get the save. It worked against the Purdue Boilermakers and was on display again last weekend against the Stanford Cardinal. No longer will Irish fans need to worry if and when Kelly will make his move.
The “biggest fish in the room” is why the decision was made today. Perhaps it is more than just performance. I’m speculating, but considering what happened with Notre Dame a few years ago when a student camera man died in high winds, are the Irish taking injuries, especially concussions more seriously? Golson clearly got his bell rung late last week and they didn’t even think about putting him back in.
This switch might not matter today against BYU, but when the Irish visit the Oklahoma Sooners next week and their improved secondary, it should make a big difference. The way they play defense, Notre Dame only needs to score 17-20 points a game and they might just win them all. Rees is a lot less likely to make mistakes that could cost a team that wants to win with defense. That’s why it was time for a change.
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