Blue and Gold Illustrated

Nov. 9, 2019

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

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16 NOV. 9, 2019 BLUE & GOLD ILLUSTRATED BY LOU SOMOGYI I t is drilled into quarterbacks on their drop-back passes to go through their progressions. Unfortunately, progression at quarterback has been the single most baffling and frustrating element in Brian Kelly's 10-year coaching era at Notre Dame. Here has been the lather, rinse, repeat pattern at quar- terback the past 10 years (2010-19). STEP 1 (LATHER) First-time starter steps in and makes strong to remarkable first impression. • Freshman Tommy Rees replaces injured five-star quarterback Dayne Crist amid a horrible 4-5 start in 2010 — and stuns the masses by finishing the season 4-0 while displaying ad- vanced composure and football IQ. • In 2012, first-time sophomore starter Everett Golson, redshirted in 2011, is handed the keys to the of- fense over the more veteran Rees — and responds (with productive assis- tance from Rees) with a 12-0 regular season and a berth in the BCS Na- tional Championship Game. • Sophomore Malik Zaire is named the starter over a floundering Golson in the 2014 Music City Bowl against favored LSU — and is named MVP by both rushing and passing for 96 yards in the 31-28 victory. • Contemplating leaving football in the spring of 2015, third-team quarterback DeShone Kizer (red- shirted the year prior) is suddenly called on to replace the transferred Golson and the injured Zaire — and responds marvelously with the high- est QB efficiency rating ever by an Irish sophomore quarterback en route to a 10-1 start, and putting Notre Dame ahead, 36-35 in the regu- lar season finale at Stanford with 30 THE SECOND TIME AROUND After wonderful starts to their careers, Notre Dame quarterbacks took steps back in year two Brandon Wimbush was a dynamic runner, but his struggles as a passer ultimately led to him getting benched in 2018 despite leading the Irish to a 3-0 start. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA

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