It’s Not Crazy To Think Notre Dame Uses Both QB’s Next Year


Brian Kelly has had a history of using more than one quarterback. With two talented athletes with similar skill sets, is it wrong to think he could return to using a two QB system in 2015? 

Following, and not even then, during the Music City Bowl game against LSU, all the talk was how it appeared that Malik Zaire was becoming “the guy”, while former starter Everett Golson was slipping into oblivion. And then, on the last drive when Zaire had to exit because he lost his helmet, it happened. Golson completed three straight passes to move the Irish into field goal range. The stronger, and more sure-handed Zaire ran the ball a few times to line it up, and Kyle Brindza kicks the game winner.

While I’ll admit that lob pass in the first half Golson threw while taking a hard shot could have ended in disaster, the luck of the Irish shined upon him as it ended up a completion to Will Fuller. So taking out that one bit of bad judgement, and Zaire’s fumble, both quarterbacks avoided turnovers and did exactly what they needed to do. And this worked against the top defense in the SEC. So why can’t this carry over to next season? It can, and maybe it should.

Brian Kelly has a history of playing multiple quarterbacks. In his time at Grand Valley State, and Cincinnati, that was the calling card of coach Kelly. It seemed no matter which quarterback he played, the results were gold. He somewhat continued that into his time at Notre Dame, as Tommy Rees came in for Golson to win a couple of games, most notably the Michigan game in 2012. But they were two different style quarterbacks. The offense that each ran was different. Now, you have two talented athletes that can run the entire offense. Do they HAVE to name just one?

Golson is not a failure. It was simply turnovers that put him in poor favor. His overall statistics were very good. Until the 22 turnovers, and that was after committing zero in the first three games. But while Zaire is clearly the stronger runner, after seeing him throw a couple of deep balls, Golson has the better arm. And that’s not to say Zaire can’t throw, or Golson can’t run. Clearly they are both capable.

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When spring practice began this season, Kelly “opened” up the quarterback competition. But in reality, it was Golson’s from the start. But Zaire truly believed he would win the job, whether the opportunity was really there or not. That’s confidence, and you have to like that about Zaire.

With Golson, clearly he’s rattled. He went from coaches favorite, to outside looking in. But I don’t believe the last two games were a sign that Golson is out. Kelly needed to see what he had in Zaire. So now, when spring practice starts next year, it truly will be an open competition. And I have no doubt that Golson will still be there. The young man came back after being suspended a season. He could have taken the “easy route” then and transferred. Both of these kids have a lot of heart, and a ton of pride. Using them as a dup next season needs to at least be considered by coach Kelly next year.

Next: Irish Hit GW, Top LSU 31-28 In Music City Bowl