Oct 17, 2012, 9:40 PM EDT
As expected, Everett Golson passed the final portion of concussion testing, clearing him to play this Saturday against BYU. Now, the sophomore quarterback needs to make the strides on the field to reward Brian Kelly’s faith in him.
Golson’s first season has been like many other rookie debuts: a work in progress. As the Irish were apt to do when discussing Tommy Rees‘ early appearances, it’s worth noting that Golson’s W-L record is sterling. He’s 5-0 as a starter, with his lone no-decision coming when Golson took over the offense after Rees took the offense’s first three snaps against Miami. But Golson has hardly been winning games for Notre Dame, having been relieved by Rees against Purdue and Michigan, then again after getting his bell rung against Stanford. Golson obviously hasn’t lost any games, but the offense has tagged along with the dominant defense, often times celebrating a victory in spite of the team’s offensive production.
An obligatory look at the stats gives you an idea of where Golson is through his first half-season playing quarterback at Notre Dame.
He’s completed 79 of 135 passes, a 58.5% clip, for 968 yards. He’s thrown four touchdown passes and three interceptions. As elusive as Golson is, he’s still been sacked 10 times. After failing to run for positive yardage through four games, Golson has carried the ball 21 times for a respectable 92 yards against Miami and Stanford. He’s also lost four fumbles, three coming against Stanford.
For the sake of an obvious comparison, through Tommy Rees’ first six games, he completed 100 of 162 passes, a 61.7% clip for 1,106 yards. (A slighty lower per throw average.) He tripled Golson’s touchdown passes, throwing 12, while more than doubling his interceptions with seven. He too was undefeated in those games, coming in as a reliever against Navy and Tulsa, and playing his worst in a rain-soaked victory against USC.
Instead of kicking another hornet’s nest, that’s where the comparison is going to end. Rees and Golson both play the same position, just as your reliable, hand-me-down Volvo and fit-filled Jaguar convertible are both automobiles. Each have their own admirers. When the the temperamental Jag ends up in the shop, you yearn for the days of the ol’ reliable Volvo, safer than a tank. When the Jag flies around you burning rubber, you start thinking that maybe a few extra trips to the garage aren’t so bad as long as you have a chance to feel the wind whip through your hair.
Credit Brian Kelly for show patience this season, especially as the leverage keeps cranking up. Letting Golson work his way through the slumps of Saturday night was admirable, and a decision not many people in Notre Dame Stadium would’ve been able to reach. Perhaps it was his belief in his defense (or his relief QB) but letting Golson work his way through the tough spot could be a launch point for the young quarterback playing another stingy defense.
Kelly talked about seeing progress when not many of us saw it.
“This is just the development of a young quarterback who is taking to coaching and understanding,” Kelly said. “Everett had his best four plays of the game with the last four plays that he was in there. I think probably his best play… he threw a ball out to T.J. that seemed to flutter. He had somebody in his face. He set his feet. He stayed in the pocket. He didn’t try to escape, which he did earlier in the game. So that learning curve is taking place, series by series.
“That throw is something that he’s developed into by being out there. That’s the value and the benefit of him playing this year with four seasons of competition. That’s what I see and those are the things that keep me moving towards seeing the positive things. I know there’s others. He’s got to take care of the football. He’s got to set his feet. He plays sloppy at times but boy, he competed his butt off. I couldn’t be more proud of the guy and the way he competed.”
Kelly stuck with Golson Saturday night, letting the young quarterback fight back from a tough situation. Now it’s up to Golson to reward his coach with more progress, putting together a complete game against the Cougars.
Sep 23, 2014, 5:06 PM EDT
After not meeting with the media last Tuesday, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly took to the podium for his regularly scheduled weekly press conference. While he addressed changes on the offensive line, injury news and the game Saturday night against Syracuse (we’ll get to that later), he also spoke about the status of DaVaris Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams, still held out of football activities as an academic investigation continues.
Sep 23, 2014, 11:58 AM EDT
Rumors of some offensive line tweaks have been confirmed. On Notre Dame’s weekly depth chart, the Irish starting five up front have shifted dramatically.
Sep 22, 2014, 7:49 PM EDT
Notre Dame enjoyed a Saturday off, a casual observer on a crazy weekend that served as the first shakeup of the season. But as Brian Kelly prepares his team for Syracuse, he’ll start a four-week stretch that’ll likely define Notre Dame’s season.
Sep 19, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT
As summer officially ends after this weekend, Notre Dame fans get one last uninterrupted Saturday to soak it in. So while the Irish are off, let’s take a look at who Notre Dame’s future opponents are playing and then get to the mailbag.
Sep 18, 2014, 1:22 PM EDT
Over the weekend, Brian Kelly talked candidly about finding a better performance from his offensive line. With talented personnel that’s still finding its identity after Zack Martin and Chris Watt graduated, Kelly and offensive line coach Harry Hiestand have an off week to find the five optimal starters — and their positions — before taking on Syracuse next weekend.
Sep 18, 2014, 11:31 AM EDT
Questions before a weekend without Notre Dame football? Drop them below or on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Sep 17, 2014, 1:36 PM EDT
After missing the first three games of the season, the fate of DaVaris Daniels, Eilar Hardy, Kendall Moore, KeiVarae Russell and Ishaq Williams is still up in the air. After announcing an official investigation into academic dishonesty in mid-August, updates on the status of the five players have been limited to head coach Brian Kelly’s weekly loop of uncertainty.
Sep 16, 2014, 11:59 AM EDT
With the Irish getting a much needed Saturday off, we won’t hear from Brian Kelly until he’s previewing Syracuse for us next weekend. But with one quarter of the season in the books, let’s take a look at some of the surprises after three games, digging deep in to the stats after victories over Rice, Michigan and Purdue.
Sep 15, 2014, 12:36 PM EDT
It’s still way too early.
I’ll type it again: It’s still way too early. But with one quarter of Notre Dame’s football season behind them, the Irish’s path to the first ever College Football Playoff looks wide open.
Sep 14, 2014, 11:08 PM EDT
Don’t tell me you wouldn’t take it. Notre Dame, entering their first off week at 3-0. The offense, averaging a hearty 36.3 points a game. The defense, giving up just 10.3 points a game.
Sep 14, 2014, 1:32 AM EDT
After two weekends of crisp, mistake-free football, Notre Dame walked into Lucas Oil Stadium expecting to roll over Purdue. And they played like it.
Sep 13, 2014, 5:13 PM EDT
With two victories behind them in impressive fashion, Notre Dame has a chance to start September with three straight victories for the second time in three seasons. Off to a clean start, the Irish are tied for the best in the nation in turnover margin, sitting pretty at +6 heading into Saturday night’s game.
Sep 13, 2014, 1:48 PM EDT
As usual, for those of you away from the TV on Saturday night, we’ve got your covered. Notre Dame’s primetime affair with Purdue will air not just on NBC at 7:30 p.m., but will be hosted as part of the NBC Live Extra app, as well as online at NBCSports.com
Sep 12, 2014, 4:20 PM EDT
With the festivities already started in Indianapolis, let’s empty the mailbag before tomorrow night’s Shamrock Series game against Purdue.
Sep 12, 2014, 3:26 AM EDT
It’s that time of year again. The annual Shamrock Series. For a program built upon tradition and history, consider the Shamrock Series something similar — only started five years ago. (So maybe not that similar at all.)
Sep 11, 2014, 5:52 PM EDT
With a betting line that’s hovering just above four touchdowns, this weekend’s Shamrock Series game looks like it could be the most lopsided matchup since the series premiere against Washington State. But if the last five years tell us anything, expect the unexpected against Purdue.
Sep 10, 2014, 5:58 PM EDT
Two weeks in and we’ve got plenty to talk about. So if you’ve got questions on Shamrock Series, Purdue, the end of Michigan, or anything else… Drop it in the comments or hit me on Twitter @KeithArnold.
Sep 10, 2014, 5:28 PM EDT
With his team 2-0 and looking well positioned to get out of September undefeated, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly was a guest on Jim Rome’s radio show Wednesday afternoon. The Irish head coach shared some interesting thoughts, while also being very candid about the Irish’s 31-0 defeat of Michigan.
Sep 10, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT
For the second week in a row, we’ll be up late watching Notre Dame, only this Saturday it may be tough to decipher who the Fighting Irish are. Travis Miller of SBNation’s Hammer & Rails gets us ready for Purdue, as this year’s Shamrock Series kicks off this weekend.
Sep 9, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT
As Brian Kelly pointed out on Saturday night, the decisive victory over Michigan counts as only one win. So while Saturday night’s game against Purdue looks like one of the more lopsided on the Irish schedule, consider the past two matchups.
- It’s still way too early, but Notre Dame’s path is open to CFB Playoff 129
- The good, the bad, the ugly: Notre Dame vs. Purdue 61
- Five things we learned: Notre Dame 30, Purdue 14 81
- Pregame Six Pack: An all Hoosiers Shamrock Series 39
- And in that corner… The Purdue Boilermakers 41
- Even after shutout, Irish hope best is yet to come for young D 69