Notre Dame football had an up-and-down year at 8-4 with much blame riding on inconsistent quarterback play, but could Hudson Card change that?
To be clear, Drew Pyne had some extremely outstanding games and moments this year and deserved a lot of credit for performing as well as he did. To have your competitor and teammate be named the starter, only to take over weeks later, emotions must’ve been running wild. While Buchner is obviously too talented to count out as the starter next year, Pyne isn’t yet a finished product. Both still have an opportunity to land the starting job next season for Notre Dame football.
That said, Hudson Card has the prospect pedigree those two have and has repeatedly proven it in-game at the college level. Card proved he could compete with the best when thrust into the game against number 1 ranked Alabama. He completed 14 of 22 passes for 158 yards and had a couple of impressive scrambles leading to first downs. On the season, he finished an incredible 75 of 108 passing with 928 yards while adding 6 touchdowns to 1 interception.
While it’s a relatively small sample size, he attempted more passes this season alone than Buchner has in his entire time with Notre Dame football. Of course, Buchner was behind Coan last year and is rehabbing a significant injury from this year, but that still doesn’t prove anything on the field. He has all the talent in the world, and this isn’t an article meant to tear down an extremely talented quarterback. It’s to prove why passing on Hudson Card in favor of Pyne or Buchner would make zero competitive sense for the program.
Buchner’s numbers in limited time are as follows – 49 of 85 attempts for 676 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 5 interceptions. Buchner has more dual-threat capability than Hudson Card, but Card was the 2nd ranked dual-threat QB in his class by 247Sports. Who was the first? None other than Bryce Young of Alabama. While Buchner is great at running the ball, Notre Dame has one of the best running back rooms in the nation. They need a bona fide star passer of the football, and Hudson Card is precisely that.
Buchner, at his best, can win the job over almost any quarterback in the nation, presently discussed company included. However, to pass on Hudson Card, who has shown incredible downfield passing ability combined with the ability to extend plays with his legs, would be foolish. Refrain from guaranteeing anyone the job. That’s not the way you want to secure talent. But to forego the chance on Card while waiting for Buchner to heal following serious injury with minimal playing time under his belt is a recipe for disaster.
Let’s also be sure it’s not Hudson Card or bust, but bringing in a talent of his caliber should be a top priority for Freeman and Rees.
Notre Dame football needs to bring in competition to find the best quarterback for the next season and beyond. The team is a couple of crucial transfers and a star quarterback away from vaulting back into playoff contention.