Blue and Gold Illustrated

December 2012

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

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UPON FURTHER REVIEW TODD D. BURLAGE woman who knows much more about music notes than game notes — needed some answers last Labor Day Weekend when the preseason BGI magazine arrived on her doorstep be- fore I did. My explanation was easy: no quar- Irish" — and judging by the volume of my e-mails throughout the season, there can't be many of you left that didn't see it — here is a sample of my sooth-saying prowess. "Let's face it, an unsettled quarterback situation and what's clearly the toughest schedule in the country make a run to the BCS for ND a long shot at best, and this projection for a 6-6 season much more likely." Yep, I predicted Notre Dame to fin- ish the regular season 6-6. Even my mother — a remarkable I n case you didn't see the Blue & Gold Illustrated preseason column titled "Cruel And Unusual Road For The A balanced receiving corps that includes junior TJ Jones — who had 40 catches, four of which resulted in touchdowns and another 29 that went for first downs, through 11 games — helped the Irish compensate for the loss of All-American Michael Floyd. PHOTO BY BILL PANZICA terback, no Michael Floyd, tough- est schedule, no Aaron Lynch, upset losses, treading water — here we go again. Too many questions, too little time, maybe next year. Brian Kelly and Co. weren't hearing any of it, and found a way to overcome any and all of the reasons I thought would undermine this season. • The uncertainty at quarterback was tops on the Irish list of preseason concerns. Sophomore Everett Golson got the starting nod against Navy, in part because established junior Tommy Rees was suspended for the season opener. Golson didn't disappoint and held gan in game four, Golson has climbed 37 spots nationally to No. 61 in passing efficiency rankings, and added about onto his starting job, understandably playing like a rookie at times early in the season. But Kelly's gutsy decisions to use Rees in spot relief, and a patient step-by-step lesson plan for Golson, led to steady improvement and even- tually turned his first-year starter into one of the most versatile and danger- ous quarterbacks in the country. Since getting benched against Michi- Eating Crow

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