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Hendrix vs. Golson as Blue-Gold game details emerge

Apr 13, 2011, 3:27 PM EDT

Matt Cashore Matt Cashore

For those looking for details about Notre Dame’s first televised Blue-Gold game (2:00 p.m. ET on Versus) look no further. Brian Kelly met with reporters today and dished about the intricacies of a game that’ll have plenty of intrigue.

First, let’s talk about the quarterbacks:

For those expecting to see heavy doses of Tommy Rees and Dayne Crist, set the DVR. If you blink twice you might miss the two quarterbacks with the most experience.

“It’s going to be Golson versus Hendrix, relative to the offense,” Kelly said. “They are going to do everything. They will be live. They will run the ball. They will throw the ball. We will get a really good feel for both of those guys because we know the other two guys can win football games.”

There’s a subset of hard-core fans that are intensely curious on what Hendrix can do, and this is pretty much the best look we’ll get at the rising sophomore. We’ve heard BK speak highly of the skills Hendrix possesses, and hopefully he does a good job executing the offense and adding a wrinkle that neither Crist nor Rees can provide — moving the offense with his legs.

Kelly proved he was able to mix and match quarterbacks during his ’09 run with Zach Collaros and Tony Pike at Cincinnati. Whether that change-up is Hendrix or intriguing freshman Everett Golson (who was one of my favorite recruits of the last Irish class) remains to be seen.

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There was group of fans taken aback by Kelly’s fiery sideline demeanor last year. Well, keep the mute button close, because the head coach will be mic’d up on the sidelines for Saturday’s game.

When asked if he’d consider wearing a mic for the Michigan or USC games, Kelly just laughed.

“Absolutely not,” he said.

For those watching at home, this should be a really interesting look into the way the offense operates between Kelly, offensive coordinator Charley Molnar, and run game coordinator Ed Warinner. Obviously, they won’t give us the blueprint in the spring, but I expect to hear a few wonderful one-liners from Kelly as he breaks in his rookie quarterbacks.

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As you’d expect, it’s going to be the flagship recruiting weekend of the spring for the Irish, with the televised Blue-Gold game and the growing stature of the weekend turning up the heat.

“It’s what we do 365 days a year,” Kelly said. “It’s called balance, with developing and preparing your football team at the same time always looking toward your future. Don’t mortgage your future, don’t live in the past, stay in the present. But the reality of BCS football, you’ve got to balance all of those things.”

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The teams will be divided equally between the blue and the white, with the offensive line wearing green and playing as a single unit.

On the injuries front, Manti Te’o is out of the Blue-Gold game, as expected. Also sitting out will be guard Chris Watt and wide receiver Daniel Smith, who is improving but not ready to play after dealing with a hamstring injury all spring.

 

  1. notredamegrad - Apr 14, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    My question is why Coach Kelly wants to have the offensive line play as a single unit for the Blue-Gold Game. What’s the purpose of this? Why make this decision for the O-line and no one else?

    I’m excited for the game Saturday, though it would be nice to see a bit more of Crist and Rees – I would love to see how they’ve improved throughout the spring.

    • whisk3yjack - Apr 14, 2011 at 11:55 AM

      My best guess is that Kelly wants to test the starting O-line for pace and endurance.

      Last season, ND only managed about 60-65 snaps per game on offense; this season, Kelly wants to see 80-85.

      That’s a big jump, and having our O-linemen play both ways in the B/G game should give us a good idea of whether or not they can sustain Kelly’s up-tempo play calling yet.

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