Bye Week Grade: Notre Dame’s Quarterbacks


Apr. 21, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson (1) , quarterback Tommy Rees (11) and quarterback Gunner Kiel (5) warm up before the Blue-Gold Game at Notre Dame Stadium. Kiel and Golson traded numbers for the game so Kiel could wear number five in honor of his uncle and former quarterback Blair Kiel who died April 8, 2012. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Coach Kelly has reaffirmed multiple times that Golson is the starting quarterback and there is no quarterback controversy.  If Golson does not improve over the next couple of games, then Coach Kelly might have to rethink his decision.

Tommy Rees

Tommy has appeared in 2 games so far this season, the final drive of the Purdue game and most of the Michigan game. He has completed 11 of 17 passing attempts and has 0 touchdowns and 0 interceptions, also he has 1 rushing attempt for 2 yards and a touchdown. There is no doubt that Tommy Rees can win games for Notre Dame, but how many is the question. In 2010 and 2011 Rees started 16 games for the Fighting Irish, with a 12-4 record as a starter. Some of you might ask right now. Why doesn’t Rees start? Pump the breaks real quick. His numbers are average to above average at best. In 2010 he had 12 touchdown passes to 8 interceptions completing 61 percent of his passes for 1,106 yards. Then in 2011, Tommy threw for 20 touchdowns and 12 interceptions completing 65.5 percent of his passes for 2,871 yards. These stats are average. One thing that really sticks out to me is that, in the 22 games he has played in 2010 and 2011, he threw 22 interceptions. The Irish want to cure the turnover bug that Notre Dame had all last year. This year Rees has not turned over the ball, but he also has not played much. The things that hold Rees back from being the starter are his legs and his weak arm. Personally, I used to be a big fan of Rees and supported him starting over Dayne Crist who was a turnover machine. But times have changed. Rees should be number 2 for now.

Overall Grade: B-

Based off the Purdue win, not turning the ball over and scoring the only touchdown when he came in during Michigan earns him a B-. But his performance has been very vanilla. Having Rees at quarterback creates a ceiling of what the offense can do. This creates 7-8 defenders in the box to prevent the run and short passing game.

Everett Golson

Golson was portrayed as the 2011 Scout Team “All Star” by the team and Coach Kelly. He has had a rough go of things in his first 4 games as a starter. Golson is a redshirt freshman that has started 4 games this season. He is 4-0 as a starter, but Tommy Rees has come in on two occasions and ‘led’ the team to victory. This year Golson has thrown 3 touchdowns and 3 interceptions completing 56.2 of his passes for 641 yards. Golson also had two great rushing touchdowns one against Purdue diving for the pylon and the other against Michigan State. Golson brings that aspect to the game, but once he threw that bad interception against Michigan. After that, he was doomed. I immediately knew that Rees would come in eventually in that game. You could see the disappointment in Golson for the way he had played, but the guy is just trying to make plays. I believe Golson is the future of Notre Dame if he develops into a consistent passer. I also think that Notre Dame should run more read option type plays to give Golson a chance to run the ball. This would result in opening up the defense, so he has more room to complete his passes. In my eyes I think Golson is still our guy as the starting quarterback. He has arm strength and can move in the pocket unlike Rees. With Golson, the offensive playbook can automatically expand just because of those to characteristics.

Overall Grade: C-

The one bad interception against Michigan is hard to forget about, and his inaccuracy bring him down to a C-. We have only played 4 games so far and this bye week comes at a perfect time in the season, because Golson has to convince a lot of people that he should be the guy. With Golson there is no ceiling as to what the offense can do, the potential is limitless.

Slap the Sign Grade: C

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