Blue and Gold Illustrated

Oct. 1, 2018

Blue & Gold Illustrated: America's Foremost Authority on Notre Dame Football

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16 OCT. 1, 2018 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY BRYAN DRISKELL Editor's note: This was an analysis writ- ten specifically for the message board a few days after the win over Vanderbilt. Given the events of the week with quarterback Ian Book taking first- team snaps during preparation for Wake Forest, we decided it would be appropriate to put in print for our publication. W hile watching much game film and doing extensive re- search during Notre Dame's 3-0 start to the 2018 season, something has been gnawing at me. Following last year's 38-20 loss at Stanford in the regular-season finale, I wrote a column on how if Notre Dame wants to seriously compete for a national title it absolutely must get championship-caliber quarter- back play. I've been going round and round with people the last few months a b o u t B r a n d o n Wi m b u s h a n d whether or not he should be the starting quarterback at Notre Dame. I've never argued that Wimbush has played like a consistent champion- ship quarterback. No one can hon- estly say that. He has flashed such ability, and I believe if Wimbush plays every week like he did against Temple, Michigan State, USC and Wake Forest in 2017 — and to a certain degree Michigan in 2018 — this offense would be good enough to make this team a College Football Playoff contender. Unfortunately, Notre Dame hasn't had anyone play championship level quarterback this decade. • Wimbush was a consensus top- 100 recruit who almost set a national accuracy record as a senior (72.3 per- cent, with 37 touchdowns and four interceptions) — and now he can't accurately throw the football. He fin- ished 86th in pass efficiency (121.4 rating) last year among the 110 Foot- ball Bowl Subdivision quarterbacks that qualified with enough attempts. Despite the 3-0 start this season, Wimbush ranked 100th out of 119, with an even lower 114.2 rating. • Dayne Crist (2010-11) was a five- star quarterback who never really blossomed at Notre Dame, especially after a second knee injury in 2010. • Everett Golson (2012, 2014) was dynamic with his arm and many times with his legs, too, but regressed his senior year and lost his job. QUARTERBACK QUESTIONS … AGAIN Notre Dame needs to play to the strengths of the men taking the snaps Brandon Wimbush connected on 72.3 percent of his throws with 37 touchdowns and four interceptions during his senior year at Jersey City (N.J.) St. Peter's Prep, but has completed only 50.8 percent of his passes with 17 scores and 10 picks in is first 17 games played at Notre Dame. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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