Just a few days after relieving Dayne Crist at halftime and throwing for 296 yards in the second half, sophomore Tommy Rees was named starting quarterback against Michigan by head coach Brian Kelly.
“We’re going to start Tommy Rees against Michigan,” Kelly said. “As we had talked about relative to Dayne, we talked about production. Tommy was very productive in the second half and he’ll get the chance to start against Michigan.”
The decision isn’t really a shock after the Irish offense sprung to life under Rees after he came in after a two hour, ten minute halftime. Most notably, Rees and wide receiver Michael Floyd drove the offense, with the sophomore connecting with Floyd ten times for 117 yards and two touchdowns.
Rees also threw two interceptions, the first in the red zone after a football bounced off sophomore receiver TJ Jones’ helmet. The second came after the second weather delay, with Rees trying to force a throw to a double-covered Floyd.
“I’ve got to be careful we’re not trying to feed the ball to Mike when he’s being doubled,” Kelly said of Rees. “But those other guys, Theo (Riddick), TJ (Jones), Tyler Eifert, need to step up.”
Kelly was quick to support Crist, his senior quarterback that was only given a half to prove he deserved to be the starting quarterback. Yet he also hinted at the main reason why he’s confident that Rees should be the starter going forward.
“The difference between good and great is being decisive,” Kelly said.