Tommy Rees isn’t coming up with the clutch plays for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish that his team needed in order to be a BCS team this season.
A perfect example came in Saturday’s 28-21 loss to Pittsburgh that put the Irish at 7-3. It’s never easy to win on the road, but this was a winnable game for the Irish. But Rees’ inconsistency was costly for his NCAA football team.
Rees had 18-of-39 passes for 318 yards and two touchdowns. But he faltered in the clutch. He threw two interceptions on consecutive passes in the final quarter. The first one can be partially excused, but to throw two-straight interceptions under these circumstance shows Rees isn’t focused when he should be.
It’s not that he isn’t capable of getting the job done. Rees, in Notre Dame’s first nine games, had completed 55.6 percent of his passes for 2,186 yards and 22 touchdowns. The eight interceptions, not counting the ones he threw against Pittsburgh, are too high. He’s obviously not making smart decisions at critical times. He’ll never live down his two costly picks against Pittsburgh.
All Rees can do now is get his act together and try to pull the Irish through in two very tough games. They’ve got BYU at home after this month and then are at Stanford to end the month. They’re probably looking at 8-4 or 7-5 right now, and are likely to see action in a bowl game. It’s obviously not the record and will not be the prestigious type of bowl Irish fans wanted. Rees’ ineffectiveness against Pittsburgh has put his team in this sticky situation.