Notre Dame’s Everett Golson Can Establish Legitimate Heisman Hype This Weekend


After two wins in their first two games, the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are once again having to throttle expectations. It’s easy to get excited when the Irish play well to start a season, especially with a drubbing of rival Michigan, shutting them out, the Wolverines first since 1984. The UM game has always been a measuring stick of sorts, for both teams.

On the heels of those victories are two fantastic performances by quarterback Everett Golson. After sitting out last year, many wondered what this version of Golson would look like. Would he be rusty? A step slow? How would his chemistry be with the receivers? He’s answered all of the questions, and generated a new one.

Is Golson a legitimate Heisman candidate?

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His numbers alone would point to a yes. Passing: 37/56 (66.1%), 521 yds, 5 TD, 0 INT. Rushing: 15 Att/27 Yds, 3 TD. They aren’t mind-blowing numbers, but solid defense and a great job of kicking by Kyle Brindza to control field position have left him with short fields in which to work. Michigan actually led in total yards (289 to 280), but the score showed the dominance of the Irish.

So in my opinion, this week’s Shamrock Series match-up against the Purdue Boilermakers will be the tell-tale sign if Golson is legit. The opening win against Rice was pretty much expected, although Golson exceeded expectations for himself. Then, in comes Michigan with so much riding on this game. Rivals, last game (for now at least), bragging rights on the line. In 2012, Golson didn’t even finish the Michigan game. Tommy Rees led the only Irish scoring drive after Golson threw two early picks.

But on this stage, Golson left no doubts that he would be there till the end. Aside from one ill-advised pass, his decisions were right on all night. His numbers actually suffered from a few drops by his receivers, but he shook those off and went right back at it. He scrambled to keep plays alive when necessary, but when he threw, they were pretty. Feet set, lasers, right on point. This wasn’t 2012 Golson. This was Golson 2.0. A dual threat still, but highly evolved as a passer.

You don’t have to look any further than Purdue to know this game can go awry. The Irish come in huge favorites. Over three touchdowns. But they’ve been in this spot the last few years, and had to eek out victories both years. The emotional high of the Michigan game is over. Golson can hear the talk, he knows his name is being tossed around for the Heisman.

If he sticks to his preparation, and the Irish go out in Indy on Saturday night and roll over the Boilermakers, like they’re supposed to, Golson has to be put on the Heisman Watch list.

And with this schedule, he’ll have more than enough opportunities to prove himself to stay on it.

Go Irish! Beat Purdue!