Everett Golson sat out last week’s win over BYU after suffering concussion on the final drive in regulation against Stanford. Despite passing the cognitive tests necessary to play against the Cougars, Brian Kelly opted to rest his first year starter and roll the dice with junior Tommy Rees. This week, however, Golson will be under center for the Irish when they travel to Norman for Notre Dame’s showdown with #8 ranked Oklahoma.
Despite passing those cognitive test last week, Golson wasn’t able to fully participate in practice leading up to the BYU game leading Kelly to rest the sophomore in favor of Rees. ”We wanted to do that more because he hadn’t had really the opportunity to get out there and run, and we didn’t want to wait until Saturday where he’s out there and we have some setbacks,” said Kelly on Tuesday.
Notre Dame ran Golson through an intense cardio test to make sure that he would hold up on Saturday night in Norman. ”It went very well. And he feels great, very confident,” Kelly said. ”He’s good and 100percent, and he’ll start for us against Oklahoma on Saturday.”
With Golson passing the final hurdle from the Notre Dame medical and coaching staffs, he will not be held back at all this week and will not be limited in his preparation for a tough Sooners defense – his toughest challenge to date. ”Yes, he’s full go. He’ll be in there, and we’re preparing to start against Oklahoma.”
Golson has had an up and down first season as the starting quarterback. He’s shown signs of turning the corner only to take some small steps backwards at times. His best performances though, have come on the road against Michigan State and Miami. Whether that is a coincidence or a trend is not something that Brian Kelly was willing to admit to on Tuesday.
“I don’t know. I really don’t know in terms of home versus away,” Kelly answered when asked about Golson’s success on the road relative to his success in Notre Dame Stadium. ”I just think that he’s a lot more confident having the Michigan State underneath his belt, going through the tough time that he did at Michigan. I just think he’s a more confident player.”
While he wouldn’t say whether or not Golson playing better on the road was a coincidence or not, he did add that his young signal caller is excited for the latest road hurdle he will be facing this weekend. ”I know this,” Kelly said. ”He’s excited about playing against Oklahoma, and we expect him to play well.”
In order for Notre Dame to leave Norman with a goose egg still in the loss column, the Irish will need Golson to do just that. In fact, they will need Golson to turn in the best performance of his young career to return to Notre Dame with their perfect season intact.