When Everett Golson took the reins as starting quarterback for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, I had 2 words. Oh boy. I was certainly worried about a redshirt freshman being thrust in the spotlight after Tommy Rees (not fond of him either) was suspended for offseason problems. I was quite surprised that Golson came in and did a good job managing the offense, limited mistakes, didn’t turn the ball over in big games and showed his athleticism throughout the season, leading Notre Dame to a 12-0 season and a berth in the National Title game.
With that being said, Golson looked every bit like the freshman he is in last night’s championship game, and if the Irish want to contend in 2013, he is going to need to be the number 1 guy. He has all the talent in the world and it’s rare to possess the kind of arm strength with the speed he has, but he needs to improve on his instincts, his ability to read coverages on the fly and making good decisions while running the football.
The Irish tried to air it out with Alabama last night using Golson and that was a mistake. They came out firing and went away from the run game very early. I don’t care how good Alabama’s run defense is. If you can’t run the football, you can’t win. I was extremely disappointed with Golson’s decision making and couldn’t understand why he didn’t run the ball more often when things broke down. I chalk it up to being a freshman, but still.
He isn’t going to be handed the job for next year and Brian Kelly will likely take a hard long look at Gunner Kiel. I want to see Golson take the next step. There’s no reason why he can’t, and frankly I look forward to seeing how much he improves this off season. Notre Dame needs to be able to put 40 points on the board whenever they feel like it and they can’t do that with a quarterback, that is not good.