September 6, 2011 // Notre Dame Football

Tommy Rees Named Starter for Michigan

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After putting together an impressive performance off the bench against South Florida, Tommy Rees earned the starting nod at quarterback this weekend. (Photo / IconSMI)

Earlier today Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly confirmed what many had speculated since Saturday night’s season opening loss to South Florida when he named sophomore Tommy Rees his starting quarterback for this weekend’s showdown with Michigan.

“We’re going to start Tommy Rees against Michigan,” Kelly answered to the first question he knew would be coming his way at his weekly Tuesday press conference.  “As we had talked about relative to Dayne, we talked about production. You know, Tommy was very productive in the second half, and he’ll get a chance to start against Michigan”

While the production from Rees Kelly referred to was hard to ignore (296 yards passing and 2 TDs with 2 INTs in just a half of football), the decision to change his starting quarter a week into the season after a heated battle in camp wasn’t easy.  “Any time you take your quarterback out those aren’t easy decisions, because they impact so many things that you’re doing,” Kelly said.  “I think I said after the press conference,  any time you take your starting quarterback out, that’s not a good situation. So, yeah, very difficult situation that I felt needed to be addressed.”

The change to Rees isn’t intended to be a temporary fix just as naming Dayne Crist the starter two weeks ago was not intended to be a short term answer.  “Nobody wants to go in and change their quarterbacks each and every week. That’s just not the way you play this game. So our hopes are Tommy is productive and can play at a high level week in and week out,” Kelly said. “We don’t come to this decision thinking, well, he’ll give us one game and then we’ll go back to Dayne. That’s obviously not why we made this decision. We believe that Tommy is capable of leading this football team, just as I believed strongly that Dayne is capable.”

Kelly and his staff intend for Rees to be their starter moving forward, but the position is not set in stone – just as it wasn’t last week when Crist got the quick hook at half-time. “He knows what I’ve told him: You got to be productive. If you’re not, you should be looking over your shoulder,” Kelly answered when asked how secure Rees’s spot as the starter is at this pint.  “If you’re a productive quarterback doing the things we ask you to do, you should just go out there and play the game the way you know how to play it.”

One of the key areas in which Rees out produced Crist was in finding All-American candidate Michael Floyd – Notre Dame’s biggest playmaker.  Rees was able to connect with Floyd 10 times in the second half leading to a career high in receptions for the senior wide receiver.  Two of those 10 receptions occurred in the end-zone adding to Floyd’s already established school record for receiving touchdowns.

“I don’t know that Tommy has a better relationship than Dayne with Mike,” Kelly said.  “He seemed to find him at the right times. Maybe some times that he threw the ball to him he shouldn’t even have thrown it to him.
So I think I’ve got to be careful that we’re not trying to feed the ball to Mike when he’s being doubled. Those other guys need to step up: T.J., Theo, Tyler Eifert,” he would add.

For all of the good things that Rees did on Saturday, he did have a few errors of his own that proved costly.  With Notre Dame still stuck at zero on the scoreboard and driving towards their first score, Rees fired a pass to  TJ Jones that bounced off the sophomore’s head and into the arms of a South Florida defender for a third red-zone turnover.  When asked what happened on the play, Kelly explained that the fault for the play lied with both players.

“It’s on both of ‘em really. When it comes down to it, the quarterback can’t throw the ball to a receiver that’s not giving him his eyes. At the end of the day, the responsibility of the football remains with the quarterback,” Kelly said.  That being said, the play and route in question is something the Irish practice everyday without error… until Saturday.  “One of those things that you scratch your head, because we’ve run the route so many times and it’s never happened before; it happened on Saturday.”

While Kelly is certain that Rees is his starter going forward at this point, he isn’t certain what exactly happened that cause the offense to stall under Crist’s guidance.  “I don’t know that there is one specific thing that we would point out. I think it was just a number of things that came together,” explained Kelly.  “If one thing comes out differently, you know, whether it be a catch or a penalty that’s not called or holding on to the football or making a field goal, I could go on and on — and I’m not making this stuff up — and is possibly still your starter.”

For Rees, this won’t be the first time he has faced Michigan.  Last season Rees made a brief cameo against the Wolverines when Dayne Crist was knocked out of the game in the first quarter.  Rees was inserted into the game as the backup at the time and threw an interception with the first pass of his college career on a flea flicker.  Now that he is locked in as the starting quarterback for this weekend, Rees will have a chance for redemption against a defense the Irish should be able to move the ball and score some points on – assuming they take care of the football and maximize their opportunities this week.

For Crist, it’s not clear where the senior quarterback goes from here.  If Rees seizes the opportunity that has presented itself to him, it’s hard to imagine him getting another crack at the starting job barring an injury.  If that’s the case, this would be a rather disappointing way for his career to end especially when you consider how good of a leader and representative of Notre Dame the California native has been over the last four years.  People tend to forget that Crist held together the strong recruiting class of 2008 throughout Notre Dame’s dismal 2007 season.  Hopefully Crist keeps his head up and prepares each week as though he’ll get into the game because even if Rees excels in his new role, Crist will be just an injury away from entering the game.

Comments to this Article

  • Kip commented on September 7th, 2011 at 3:34 am

    This was a no brainer. Did Crist play terrible? No. Did he play like a quarterback who was confident and could take us to a BCS game? No. There is no telling if Tommy Rees is going to light it up Saturday night, but we know one thing for sure; Tommy Rees will not be rattled. It is well known by now that this kid is cooler than the other side of the pillow, and has a great grasp of the offense. He doesn’t have the speed, size, or arm strength of Crist, but he is decisive, will remain calm, and is a player the team can rally around. Sometimes 5-stars doesn’t equate to success. You know who else was a 3-star QB? Sam Bradford. I think he turned out pretty good. Best of luck to Tommy. If we win the turnover battle in this one, and Theo Riddick can pull his head out of his you know what, we win this by double digits. If not, we are 0-2 and heading into a Michigan State game that is never easy.

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  • Frank A. commented on September 7th, 2011 at 8:30 am

    Probably the best decision Coach Kelly has made as Head Coach at Notre Dame. But it should not have had to take an embarasing, heart breaking loss to do so. A win at Michigan will go a Long way in healing the damage done to the Psyche of the team. And a Win is Very Possible. But now this teams weakness, which is mental, has been exposed to future opponents. From this point on Kelly Must be a Strong Leader and Coach. Or else this team may mentally fall apart.

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    Shazamrock replied on September 7th, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    Even the very best teams in college football will have 2 poor quarters of football at some point during their season.
    This team (ND) over came a overtime loss to Michigan State on a fake field goal, a physical beating from Stanford, a humbling loss to Navy, and a heartbreaking defeat to Tulsa last year.
    Then they win out in November and add a bowl win to complete the season.
    Just doesn’t sound like a mentally fragile team to me.
    But make no mistake, for whatever reason, they just go emotionlly flat every once in a while.(Where they looking ahead to the Michigan game?)
    This is an experienced group with a lot of upper classmen.
    Just wouldn’t expect it from them at this point.

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    Frank A. replied on September 8th, 2011 at 8:30 am

    You may refer to past years to try to prove your point. But if you don’t agree that the Irish were mentally confused and defeated against South Florida, then I don’t know what game you were watching. Even Coach Kelly suffered mental breakdown on the side line. When a team doesn’t know how to win, even though they are the superior team, that is a mental problem. And unfortunately the Irish could be close to being in that position.

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    Shazamrock replied on September 8th, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    Not referring to past years.
    Refering to last year.
    And so many of those same guys from last years team, are on this years team.
    I don’t think 2 quarters of bad football automaticlly qualifies them as a mentally weak team.
    There is a lot more history on my side. Thirteen and a half games,5 streight wins to end last season, and a bowl victory vs 2 quarters of the fist half, of the first game, of the 2011 season.
    If it happends agian for a full game, I might agree.

  • Pete commented on September 7th, 2011 at 8:31 am

    Kelly should play Crist at least a few times during the game. The guy needs to build some confidence.

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    Patrick replied on September 7th, 2011 at 11:53 am

    Why does he need to play? To gain confidence for his pro work-out? Playing him and leaving Golson and Hendrix on the bench is dumb. I’d gladly sacrifice Crist’s confidence for Golson/Hendrix experience.

    We’ll need it next year.

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  • Kip commented on September 7th, 2011 at 8:44 am

    I would not play Crist unless we are up BIG on Michigan, which I don’t see happening. Even if we are, I would rather play Golson or Hendrix, who have a better chance of seeing the field again than Crist does based on packages for them. You don’t switch quarterbacks in the middle of a game of this magnitude. Rees needs to play every snap, unless a package is built in for Golson or Hendrix. Dayne had a whole off-season to get ready for the USF game and he looked as if he was the EXACT same quarterback as last season. In-accurate and In-decisive. Deer in the headlights look. Tommy Rees has obviously added some increased bulk and his arm is stronger. I don’t think it is on Tommy to win this game, it will be on the defenses ability to contain Denard Robinson, and Riddick/T.J. Jones to have a bounce back performance. We will see who steps up and who doesn’t. Michigan is fired up for this one. New coach, new uniforms, first night game in history of Michigan with some guaranteed rowdy fans (all day drinking), and a chance to take down a hated rival.

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    storespook replied on September 7th, 2011 at 10:17 am

    Well said, Kip.

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  • JDH commented on September 7th, 2011 at 9:29 am

    This is obviously the correct decision. But does anyone find it odd that BK announced this on Tuesday, giving UM 4 days to prepare for Rees vs. Crist?

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    Kip replied on September 7th, 2011 at 11:15 am

    If BK was going to announce Hendrix as the starting QB or Golson, then I would find it odd. I don’t really see Michigan changing anything scheme wise between Crist and Rees. Maybe the safeties will play a tad closer to the line? I don’t see this as being a disadvantage as both are non-scrambling Qbs.

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    JDH replied on September 7th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    You’re probably right. Probably not much difference in preparation…although I would be inclined to probably keep the decision until gametime. Not that my opinion matters in such matters. :)

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  • storespook commented on September 7th, 2011 at 10:24 am

    It was the correct decision. Crist is a senior, had all of the off-season to prepare for the 1st game, and came out looking lost after Gray’s fumble. THAT WAS AN OPPORTUNITY for Crist to come back and demonstrate leadership & skill demonstration. It just didn’t happen (or at least he didn’t look at it as an opportunity for himself). As a Senior, he should have had more impact on his team-he didn’t. Rees made mistakes, but, did so by TRYING TO WIN in a comeback situation he was put in being down 16-0. At least he knows who Mike Floyd is, Dayne for-whatever-reason, seems to not look his way. Go Irish!!!

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    Patrick replied on September 7th, 2011 at 11:52 am

    Exactly. Thank you Brian Kelly – you just saved us from a 6-6 situation.

    I also agree, Crist had 9+ months to prepare mentally, emotionally and physically for this game. And it’s not that he isn’t tall enough, or big enough, or can’t throw – it is ALL mental. And of all the positions on the field that depend on mental toughness, the QB is the most important.

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  • John1985 commented on September 7th, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    We’ll see if it’s the “correct” decision. What if Rees has a couple of picks, and we’re down at half time? Do you bench him and put Crist in? Seems to be the way Kelly does things. I think it was stupid to bench Crist at half on Saturday. He wasn’t at a point of ineptitude that he wasn’t going to improve. Maybe his receivers would have caught some balls. Unless your starter is hurt or so pathetically bad that he can’t move the team at all, stick with him. The bottom line is this. Playing Rees in the second half did not work. We lost. Now, no one, even the coach, has any idea how Crist would have played in the second half, and we never will. It was a panick decision and poor coaching. Although I think Crist is the better choice, I hope he gives Rees a chance if things go bad. Otherwise,we’ll have two messed up quarterbacks. I’d rather have my quarterback looking down the field and not over his shoulder. Not a lot of receivers can be seen over your shoulder.

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    Teo replied on September 7th, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    If Kelly made an error it was when he agreed to start Crist.

    I’m sure he’s a great guy and has made amazing progress after two very serious injuries. But this is football. The best guy plays. Rees showed us last year that he is a serious q. He may not have the perfect biceps of Crist but he usually makes the right decision with the ball.

    And I don’t think it’s a bad thing to suggest to college quarterbacks that their job is insecure. It may help them focus.

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    John1985 replied on September 7th, 2011 at 2:21 pm

    I can’t say that it was a mistake to start Crist, because he didn’t finish the game. Last year, Crist also showed that he is a serious qb. After Michigan, all people were saying was “if Crist hadn’t gotten hurt, we’d of won.” So far, Rees has won games where the defense held opponents to under 10 a game. Throw in Tulsa, since he played all but six offensive plays, and it’s 14 a game. The two times that he came in with a half or more to play, Tulsa and So. Fla. he didn’t get it done. In Crist’s eight starts (I leave out Tulsa where he was in for 6 plays.), the D gave up over 24 a game. I just don’t like the quick hook. It’s one thing to know your playing time is governed by how you play, but it’s another think you’ll be yanked for any mistake.

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    Patrick replied on September 7th, 2011 at 3:09 pm

    Were we watching the same game? He wasn’t pulled after one interception, he was pulled after one-hopping passes, throwing a pop warner INT in the end zone, looking flustered and failing to manufacture an offense. He had the “deer in the headlights” look in the first quarter.

    A good coach picks up on that and made the switch.

    Teo replied on September 7th, 2011 at 4:21 pm

    I guess what I think is this: Crist is emblematic of Notre Dame right now. He has this super-high talent level. You can see it in his arm strength and seems to move well in the pocket. But then he goes out there and he has a bad break — Gray’s fumble — and gets distracted and starts throwing INTs in the end zone and bouncing passes to open receivers.

    And it’s nauseating. We should have beaten South Florida by three or four touchdowns. Rees had a crappy INT in the red zone, to be sure, but he did run the offense pretty well throughout the game.

    Patrick replied on September 7th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

    I would call it a “panic” situation as well – except Crist played like that ALL LAST YEAR.

    There’s a track record of choking and lack of leadership on his part.

    Great move by Kelly to move on.

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    John1985 replied on September 7th, 2011 at 5:20 pm

    Other than Navy, please tell me where Crist played poorly ALL LAST YEAR. The facts just don’t support your statement. He was bad against Navy, but so was the entire team. Before Navy, he never had more than one pick in a game. Everyone forgets that last year the big worry was what would we do if Crist got hurt. Also, I don’t know what some people were watching, but Crist didn’t one hop any passes. Rather, his receivers dropped a lot of catchable balls. The interception was bad, and he had a couple of overthrows, but most of his incompletions were drops. I don’t think he was great, Rees wasn’t either. Rees also throw more ints per passes thrown. 1 of every 20 passes he’s thrown has been intercepted. 1 of every 39 passes Crist has thrown since the beginning of last year has been intercepted. Rees is twice as likely to be intercepted. What’s so great about that? I hope he does better, and at least Michigan’s D is pretty bad. But, I’m not confident.

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    Kip replied on September 8th, 2011 at 1:55 am

    John, I don’t know if you are dating Dayne, but you sure have stuck up for him quite a bit on this site. Nobody said Crist played poorly all last year, it was that he played Saturday like he did all last year. You went ahead and decided on the “poorly” part all your own. The fact is, Crist didn’t show any signs of progression. He still missed some easy throws that a 5-Star senior quarterback should EASILY make, and his interception in the red zone was downright pitiful. How do you throw that pass? Riddick wasn’t even close to being open. And his “dropped passes” should have been easy passes to put on the money but multiple times he made it harder for the receiver to catch than it should have been. I think Kelly wanted to go with Rees this whole time, but thought Crist and Rees were close enough to warrant Crist starting. He worked hard to come back from his injury and at least deserved a chance, but you can tell by his quick pull that Kelly wanted to go with Rees. Crist’s performance wasn’t terrible but he showed zero improvement over last year, missed some easy throws, had a terrible interception, and looked like he was absolutely shell shocked on the sideline. If Rees comes into Michigan and throws a couple of picks so be it. He won’t break down like Crist and turn into an innacurate QB who doesn’t know how to get the ball to his top playmaker, he will put the team on his shoulders and come out more determined to lead the team for a score. He has the ability to shrug off bad plays and move on, Crist showed enough in two quarters that he does not.

    Irishfan replied on September 7th, 2011 at 6:43 pm

    Crist, in 2 quarters of football, could not put any points on the board. Rees came out and would have done so if Jones was looking for the ball. And then the very next drive, they do score. Rees may not be the best QB in the world, but he is a gamer, he doesn’t lose his cool, and he can find his targets and is very accurate. He makes some mistakes but that is normal for a sophomore QB. Do you know how many INTs Clausen threw in 08? It was around 17 or something like that. Give the kid a chance. He did a good job of trying to win that game and the defense was solid all game and without the 1 long drive that ate up a ton of minutes and ended with a USF TD, ND wins that game all because Rees was the QB.

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  • Joe Schulz commented on September 7th, 2011 at 1:18 pm

    Tommy deserves the start. If his demeanor doesn’t change, he will continue to deserve it. Leadership should be the first thing they look for in a QB and Tommy has it. Winners win. They don’t always look pretty doing it; but they win.

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  • Teo commented on September 7th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    Anybody see the news on the richest football programs from a revenue perspective? Texas is number one, with 93.3 million in revenue in 2011. Alabama was number 2 with 71.8.

    We were number 8, with 64.1 million and Michigan was number 10 with 63.1

    One of the major omissions from all of these discussions about conference changes has been the sweetheart deal Texas negotiated with the Big 12 commissioners. The Big 12 didn’t realize at the time — though many analysts did — that the deal was going to be a windfall for Texas. If you look at the remaining top ten, there is a lot of revenue parity (as there should be, given that they’re all top football schools playing against fellow conference opponents). But the rules don’t apply for Texas.

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    Patrick replied on September 7th, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    Thanks – that post had nothing to do with the QB job at ND lol

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    Teo replied on September 7th, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    I know — there is only so much we can hash over the Crist/Rees QB race.

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    Irishfan replied on September 7th, 2011 at 6:45 pm

    Then don’t reply to a blog about the QB battle. In fact, don’t read it if it bothers you so much.

  • Timmy commented on September 7th, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    Something a little different for this thread.. Maybe someone knows the answer. What was the call for a “whistle in the stands” ? This came after
    a procedure flag thrown against South inside the red zone. This area was also behind their bench and ticket holders. maybe its laughable now

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  • Dave Monohan commented on September 7th, 2011 at 9:15 pm

    How does Rees starting affect the depth chart? Watching the game last week, it appeared when Rees took a hit it was Golson getting ready to run in. Has anyone heard anything about Hendrix? Where is he on the depth chart?

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  • joeyknucklehead commented on September 7th, 2011 at 9:22 pm

    Judging by the quick hook of Crist – The coaches didn’t have much confidence in him going into the season… He didn’t play that terrible. It’s just Rees is “smart” enough to target the top WR in ND history.

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  • MassHole commented on September 7th, 2011 at 9:47 pm

    I’m a (Massachusetts) BK-fan. TAKE THE MIC OFF HIM DURING THE GAME! Of course BK has to watch his mouth when he’s live. But REAL MEN DON’T WATCH THEIR @#$%^&* MOUTHS when they’re focused on coaching a damn FB team SUCCESSFULLY. What’s the saying – “put your pants on”? Don’t distract the man who is charged with coaching a/OUR ND FB team to success.

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    Chi-town Copper replied on September 8th, 2011 at 3:01 am

    I agree. This is part of the pussification of America. So what if a coach yells at some kid. Then again we live in a world where spanking is now “abuse” and they want the poh-leese to call gang bangers “sir.” If a coach needs to tear one of his players a new tookis verbally and they cant take it, they probably wont be ready for the REAL world any time soon. Whats with the love fest on ESPN where Trevor Matich is breaking down Kelly’s “tantrum” and criticizing it. Maybe if one of the producers put there foot up the rear end of one of these ass hats ESPN would actually be a sports news broadcast and not amateur hour at the Apollo where every desk jockey is trying to make a name for themselves

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  • John1985 commented on September 8th, 2011 at 2:34 am

    @Kip The implication has been that Crist played poorly and the Rees was great. I saw Crist miss 2 throws plus the interception. I saw Rees throw 2 interceptions that killed us. He also bounced his share of throws. He also hasn’t shown an ability to get the ball deep. Last year, Rees was blessed with great D. If the D played as well in the first 8 games as the last 4, we may not have lost any. I throw Tulsa out because Rees didn’t start but played all but six offensive plays, and Crist barely played. But if Rees plays great and we win, that’s good enough for me. His face may look confident, but his arm and interceptions don’t give me confidence.

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    Kip replied on September 8th, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    I don’t see what the big deal is about his arm? I haven’t seen anything to show that he can’t get the ball deep. Sure, he’s no Matthew Stafford or Joe Flacco when it comes to arm strength, but he has played well and put some zip on his intermediate passes. And going back to last year to mention his interceptions is living in the past in my book. He was a true freshman thrown into the fire against some pretty solid teams. Regardless if the defense played well, he handled himself with poise and maturity not seen in many freshman. Crist has the rocket arm, but when you throw passes out of the endzone and into the 4th row of the stands or one hop them to receivers, who cares if you have a strong arm. Look where JaMarcus Russel ended up in the NFL. Kellen Moore for Boise State doesn’t have a strong arm and neither did Colt McCoy and they are two of the best QBs statistically to ever play college ball. You don’t need to launch deep balls all game long. Take what the defense gives you, commit to the run game, and then run a play action pass deep to Floyd every once in a while. Rees gets the ball to his playmakers, won’t get rattled, has an improved knowledge and stronger arm over last year, and is clearly the only option. If Dayne is a fraction behind Tommy in terms of how close they are, I am playing Tommy all day. Dayne has proven he can’t stay healthy, can’t shake off bad plays, has not improved his accuracy, and lacks decisiveness in the pocket. Dayne doesn’t scare me, but big game scare Dayne.

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    John1985 replied on September 8th, 2011 at 2:05 pm

    He got rattled enough to throw 2 picks. According to Kelly and Rees they were both his fault. So he is continuing the pattern from last year.

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    Kip replied on September 8th, 2011 at 2:19 pm

    So throwing picks = being rattled. Nice logic. Kelly said the one that hit T.J. was both of their faults. Also, when a defense knows you are going to throw the ball EVERY SINGLE PLAY, I would guess the probability goes up that an interception is going to happen.

  • michfaninflorida commented on September 8th, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I as a Michigan fan love the fact that Rees is starting over Christ. Rees is going to see a alot of zone blitzing that Christ, with his feet and arm strength, could have exploited. Rees will be forced to dump it off which could work as well but his history say’s he may try and force a few as well. When the game was on the line vs South Florida Rees was,17-24 199,1-2…not counting the last 1:40 or so wnen the game was over. Also, most of this was vs a base 2 deep defense, guys in thier drops post snap. Christ gave you the best chance to win, in my opinion, though with a strong running game, (to protect rees from the blitzing & to keep Denared on the sideline) Notre Dame still has a chance to win, it will just have to be done differently with Rees than Christ.

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    Kip replied on September 8th, 2011 at 1:36 pm

    First of all it’s Crist. Let’s not give him THAT much credit haha. I expect us to run up and down the field on you guys. Outside of Martin at DT your team was getting gashed by Western Michigan with 3 RESERVES playing guard, center, guard. #13 at Safety is not a good coverage man and will be burned repeatedly on Saturday. Your outside backers are fast but get sucked into blocks easily, and your corners are young and inexperienced. Woolfork or whatever is OK and Covax is good too but we will be able to exploit your D. Zone blitz all you want. Believe it or not Crist isn’t that much faster than Rees, and Tommy has the decisivness to make the quick through against the zone blitz, Crist drills a 5 yarder into the ground or to the yardage marker holder. Denard poses a threat as he looked good in the pocket and our outside backers struggled with contain. I thought Fleming was supposed to be the most improved player but I didn’t see him do much of anything last Saturday. Michigan O-Line versus Irish D-Line will be a good battle, but I think the Irish O-Line whips Michigans butt. Cierre carries the load in this one for about 150, and Jonas Gray gets replaced by George Atkinson and Cam McDaniel after he fumbles yet again. Robby Toma sees playing time in this one too. How he didn’t play after Riddick dropped a stupid amount of passes is kind of odd. Go IRISH!

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    Doug replied on September 8th, 2011 at 2:41 pm

    Thank you! Toma has the best hands on the team and can get up field once he catches it. I’d start him over riddick and jones

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  • John1985 commented on September 8th, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    @Kip No. Kelly said that Jones should have had his head turned, but ultimately, Rees should not have thrown the ball to him on that route if Jones wasn’t looking. Also, Rees did not have to throw the ball on every single play of the 1st drive of the 2nd half. If not rattle, please tell me the reason for throwing the interceptions. At the very least, they were bad decisions. But be consistent. If Rees isn’t rattled on his picks, then Crist wasn’t on his one. Bottom line is that all of our turnovers took away opportunities.

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    jack replied on September 8th, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    John,

    On timing routes you are not neccessarily looking for the receiver to turn their head, you are throwing to a spot at a time. That way the defensive player doesn’t have a chance to make a play on the ball. The timing between the receiver and QB was off. Jones was used to receiving the ball from Dayne who has a slower release. Jones should have known who was in the game an adjusted.

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    John1985 replied on September 8th, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    It wasn’t a timing route. Jones ran a crossing route from left side to the right. He had made his break and cleared the linebackers. He should have been looking long before the throw. Since he wasn’t, you don’t guess that he might. You move to another receiver. I admit that Crist has flaws. I just think he brings more to the table. Rees’ supporters are ready to canonize him. Again, I pose my question. If at half time, what should Kelly do if we’re scoreless, Rees is 7 for 15 with a pick in the end zone?

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  • Kip commented on September 8th, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Hmm or maybe Rees was expecting Jones to turn his head as he was letting the ball go. Hard to tell on that so forget it. He delivered the ball on target and we have no clue who is to blame. Interceptions happen, they are part of the game. Drew Brees threw 22 of them last year, would you say he threw them because he was rattled. Defensive backs make good plays on the ball, a defensive scheme confuses you. You can’t pinpoint his interception and automatically say it was because he was rattled. I never said Crist threw the interception because he was rattled. You could tell he was clearly not the same QB afterwards though. If you couldn’t tell the difference in both quarterbacks demeanor and overall body language then you clearly weren’t watching the game or paying close enough attention. Dayne looked lost and Tommy looked determined to make up for it. THAT is the difference between them.

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  • Chris commented on September 8th, 2011 at 6:47 pm

    That was ALL on TJ Jones. End of story. You’re in the red zone, you need to be aware. As for Kelly’s fire on the sidelines, absolutely no difference than when he was at Cincinnati. None. He is not partial – he cusses out coaches and players alike. Me thinks it can be contributed somewhat to his winning percentage. ND knew what they were getting when they hired him. Man up media! Just another in for the likes of ESPN to bash the Irish. I’d be more worried if turns into a PC charming mentor than a coach….

    I overheard one commentor responding to what was referred to as BK’s melt down on the sideline and surprizingly, the guy said he thought BK truly beleived the Irish could go 12-0 this year and the frustration of not turning an overall dominate performance into points brought the emotion to a head. I tend to agree with that especially knowing BK’s tendancy to go ballistic at times. I personally liked seeing it myself. He was an extension of what most fans were feeling during that game at least it was for me. This Saturday will tell the tale of the tape. GO IRISH!

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  • JC commented on September 8th, 2011 at 10:54 pm

    I don’t like storms, so I left the stadium after the 1st half and watched the rest of the game on TV. The mojo wasn’t there right out of the box for ND. Unfortunately, the very 1st fumble on the one yard line seemed to set the tone for the game. I felt like I was the only one in section 15 cheering?

    I was alarmed about the quick QB switch, yet I suspect this will happen again at the Michigan game if things DON’T IMPROVE. We do have a serious pool of younger talent and it would not surprise me if BK decides to tap into it early. Hopefully, there will be no need to due this. I personally, would like to see Dayne get a second chance before we go to the younger guys. If we go 0-2 it’s definately going to get ugly around here.

    Go…………………………………………………..Irish!

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