Notre Dame Football: Should Brian Kelly Play Malik Zaire and Everett Golson?


Notre Dame Quarterback Everett Golson has committed 17 turnovers in the past 6 games. His 5 turnovers cost the Fighting Irish for the first time on Saturday at Arizona State, 55-31. Prior to this game, Notre Dame overcame their turnover problems to win football games.

Reporters have continually asked Brian Kelly if he thought about going to Malik Zaire. Following the Syracuse game, Kelly laughed off the suggestion. During Saturday’s press conference, Kelly said that the only way Notre Dame would have won the football game was under Golson’s control.

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Kelly said following the debacle in the desert, “We’ve been working with him. Sooner or later he’s got to take it on himself to take care of the football. I don’t know what else to do.”

The Notre Dame Head Coach does have one option that he has not explored: Play Malik Zaire.

This is not a suggestion that Zaire should start nor is it a statement that Golson is not talented enough to lead Notre Dame to a national title in the future. However, Golson must faces consequences for turning the ball over consistently.

There is no doubt that Golson wants to improve and take care of the football. He certainly does not enjoy turning over the football. Golson wants to win. But, Golson can only be pushed so far if he knows he will play. He settles into a certain routine. The common denominator in this routine is turnovers.

Kelly must demonstrate to Golson that if his play does not improve he will be removed from the game. It does not have to be for the entire game. Maybe just a series or two. Zaire can competently run the offense. His play could put pressure on Golson to play better.

Perhaps this is too much pressure for Golson but he must change. What Kelly is currently doing is not working. He must try something else.