As he did last night, head coach Brian Kelly re-committed to Everett Golson as his starting quarterback, not quite closing the door on Tommy Rees, but holding firm to the plan of working through some growing pains with his young quarterback.
“Our goal is for him is to start it and finish it,” Kelly said on Sunday.
Still, Kelly spoke candidly about the rationale to pull Golson in the second quarter and ride Rees to the game’s finish.
“It was carelessness. There’s going to be jitters, and you can play through those,” Kelly said of Golson’s red zone interception. “I think it was a careless mistake, one that was uncharacteristic of how he had practiced and how he performed. I felt like I needed to make a decision for the best interest of our team in winning that game.”
The Irish will have two weeks of practice and film study to rid that carelessness from Golson’s repertoire, and the team will continue to work through the bumps in the road as the team tries to build an offense that can play more than just an occasional complementary role to the team’s defense.
“We need to get better, there’s no question,” Kelly said of the struggling offense. “But we’re 4‑0, and our guys are going to continue to get better. We’ll be better in November than we are now, and if we continue with that mindset, we should be fine.”
Golson has completed 50 of 89 passes on the season, a 56% clip. With his two interceptions last night, he’s thrown three touchdowns and three interceptions. In his two relief appearances, Rees is 11 of 17 for 150 yards.