Blue and Gold Illustrated

May 2016 Issue

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

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FAN FORUM FROM THE WEBSITE Prior to spring practice, took a survey on its mes- sage board on who our subscribers thought would be Notre Dame's starting quarterback. Among nearly 700 respondents, only two votes separated junior DeShone Kizer and senior Malik Zaire (with sophomore Brandon Wimbush getting about a dozen write-in votes). After this year's spring game, some believed that maybe head coach Brian Kelly should employ the two-quarterback system Urban Meyer did at Florida en route to the national title in 2006. That year senior Chris Leak passed for 2,942 yards and 23 touchdowns, while freshman Tim Tebow was inserted into red-zone and short-yardage situations. Tebow threw for 358 yards on 22-of-33 passing, but he also rushed for 469 yards (compared to Leak's 30) and had a team-high eight rushing touchdowns. BGI3279: It simply feels like Kizer has more of the offense at his command (reasonable, since he's played so much more), but it is hard to believe that Kelly would not have a red-zone package with Zaire in the works. Once MZ gets his confidence back post-injury, his running style seems more suited to gaining yardage on the ground than Kizer's. In other words, any yards gained inside the 10 is good, and with MZ, his slightly greater propensity to run seems to tip the scales ever so slightly in his favor when deep in the red zone. PortND: Maybe but I highly doubt we will see a two-QB rotation, and it's also not like Kizer can't run either, he does have the ND record for QB's in rushing TDs in a season (10). As Kelly said, no matter what happens someone is not going to be happy. Mgormal1: Yeah I know there are many reasons why it can't work, but I do believe Zaire is the more effective QB inside the red zone. His running ability is fantastic. Kizer can run, too, but Zaire is definitely the better runner. And the red zone has been a bit of an issue (even with Kizer at times), so I wouldn't be opposed to having Zaire be our Tebow. Not sure if Malik would be okay with that role, though. Irishnatty: I know all the expressions about having two QB's really means you have none, but I really think that Zaire is much too talented to simply have no role at all in this offense. His skill set is different enough from Kizer's that I could really see him helping the team out in the right scenarios, whether that be the red-zone or short-yardage situations or whatever it may be. On the more psychological side of things, I also like the idea of someone continuing to push Kizer even if he is named the starter. It's much easier to create this kind of dynamic if Zaire is still taking a handful of snaps than if he's wearing a visor and holding a clipboard. NDNeil: I just don't think we are going to see a two-QB system for a few reasons: 1. Regardless of who wins the job, both are really good. You aren't going to want to pull either QB to replace him with a cold QB. 2. Both QB's run the same offense. They are both good runners, a little different, but both effective. 3. Kizer's biggest issues running the ball were problems with his reads in the zone read. That should be better this year. 4. You open up a potential bag of worms juggling QB's. Especially when both of them could and have started. The Big Montana: Not a fan of the two-QB system. Unless you find a way to have them both on the field at the same time. That would be interesting.

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