Blue and Gold Illustrated

February 2015

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

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Page 33 of 105

BY LOU SOMOGYI T he way the past 20-plus years have gone for Notre Dame, the Fighting Irish faithful know the drill: Just when you think the team has arrived, it falters. And then when expectations diminish, it tends to rise. There was the 5-7 season in Bob Da- vie's third year in 1999 … followed by the 9-2 regular season, BCS bid and five-year contract extension for Davie in 2000, only to see him get fired after the 5-6 finish in 2001. There was the "Return to Glory" theme under first-year coach Tyrone Willingham during an 8-0 start in 2002 … followed by a 13-16 ledger thereaf- ter. Charlie Weis began his career with back-to-back BCS bids in 2005-06, and then a 16-21 fall thereafter. Under Brian Kelly, the magical 12-0 regular-season run in 2012, prior to the BCS National Championship Game defeat, was followed by disappointing 8-4 and 7-5 regular seasons. If the pattern holds true, then Notre Dame is on schedule for another re- vival in 2015. For that to occur, these will be among the topics to address or improve upon: 1. QB QUANDARY & DRAMA … AGAIN? The rough definition of a trick-or- treat quarterback is he is an electrify- ing athlete who can make jaw-drop- ping plays with his arm or legs, yet is just as prone to cost his team with poor reads or turnovers. Maybe no Notre Dame quarterback ever has better epitomized that defini- tion than Everett Golson. Electric one series, a blown gasket the next. During the 2014 regular season, Gol- son produced the third-highest total offense output in school history with 3,632 yards (3,355 passing and 277 rushing), behind only Brady Quinn's 4,009 in 2005 (3,919 passing and 90 rushing) and Jimmy Clausen's 3,637 in 2009 (3,722 passing and minus-85 rushing), and the latter mark was ex- pected to be easily surpassed in the Music City Bowl. Golson's 37 touchdowns during the regular season (29 passing and eight rushing) were second only to Quinn's 39 (37 passing and two rushing) his FORWARD GLANCE A peek at some of the major issues entering 2015

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