No News on the QB Front for Notre Dame

Tommy Rees & Dayne Crist
Notre Dame did not announce whether Dayne Crist or Tommy Rees would be starting at quarterback this weekend on Monday. (Photo / Icon SMI)

Brian Kelly said on Sunday that he can the staff would evaluate film and come to a decision on who would be the starting quarterback on Monday.  If that decision has been made it hasn’t been announced yet as the only news to come out from Notre Dame on the quarterback front Monday was the inclusion of “OR” on the official depth chart for this weekend’s contest against Michigan.

Most media members interpreted Brian Kelly’s comments on Sunday to mean that he would announce his starting quarterback today.  With no scheduled media appearances today though, there was no news from Notre Dame’s head coach on who he will line up under center this weekend when Notre Dame travels to Ann Arbor for the first night game ever in Michigan Stadium.

Kelly is scheduled to meet with the media on Tuesday for his regularly scheduled weekly press conference so it’s likely we’ll have some more clarity on the situation later today.

What Kelly and his staff must decide is whether or not the sluggish start from the Irish offense had to due with Dayne Crist or if Crist was the recipient of bad luck.  “Sometimes you want to evaluate was it as bad as you thought or was it better than you thought, because in the now you get a sense and feel as the game goes, but sometimes when you go back and you take a step back and you look at film, you get a better understanding of maybe it wasn’t the quarterback’s fault on this play, maybe it was some other factor,” Kelly said on Sunday.

It is true that a number of Crist’s incompletions were a result of drops, but what Kelly and staff must decide is whether or not those drops were the result of poor throws or just bad hands from his receivers.  The likely answer here is a little of column A and a little of column B.  The receivers had to come down with some of the drops, but at the same time Crist could have been more accurate or placed more touch on some of the shorter throws that hit his receivers hands before hitting the ground.

Whatever the reason though, it’s hard to argue with the results Tommy Rees had while he was in the game.  For whatever reason, the drops were reduced and the offense moved the ball better with Rees in command of the offense.  He ended up tossing 296 yards in the second half alone and threw a pair of touchdown passes while leading Notre Dame to 20 second half points after the Irish were shut out in the first half.

Both Rees and Crist run essentially the same offense for Notre Dame so the delay in announcing a quarterback isn’t a ploy by Kelly to gain some tactical advantage over Michigan.  Instead the delay is likely just a case of Kelly waiting for his normal press conference to make an announcement.  Look for Kelly to open up his presser by naming his starter and if he doesn’t expect the first question he gets to be who gets the call in what has become a very early must win game for Notre Dame.

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  1. Out of all the things wrong with the ND football team the first week, one thing really bothers me. What the heck happened to our home field advantage. It seems teams left and right are waltzing in here and beating us down. They are not scared or intimidated. We’ve lost something. We don’t get fired up playing at home anymore. I don’t have an answer. Maybe if we put a few beat downs on teams we can re-gain that magic again. Hopefully!!

    1. Because a culture of losing is harder to change than a culture of winning. That culture has been around for the past 15+ years…

  2. The nod to Rees is the right one. True leaders lead from the front and Rees sure as heck did that in the 2nd half. Unfortunately, if something should happen to him, I’d rather see Hendrix or Golson before Crist. I think Crist does not have the team’s faith and I see that in how the team plays when he is in there.

  3. Rees was 4-0 as a starter – he deserved the start against South Florida. He was just named starter against Michigan. He is not the type to let an opportunity go by without making the best of it. Hes got the intangibles and an ability will his guys to win. You cant describe it – it is just there. I bet you all it is there on Saturday night too.

  4. This is a huge game that we need to win and win badly. It was obvious after watching the game which QB played better but I for one hope Crist gets one more shot. I realize this is not time to be sentimental but the kid came to ND knowing he would back up JC for a few years and then gets hurt twice. If Rees gets the call against Mich Crist is finished and his career was a complete bust. The team will completely lose faith in him, if they already haven’t.

    The game Sat was so strange that it is hard to pin all of it on Crist. If Gray gets in and doesn’t fumble it probably ends completely different. Whatever Kelly decides I am behind but I hope Crist gets a shot at redemption, remember how well he played against Mich last year.

    Either way, it is time to spoil the big party in the big house!

    1. So Irish, your saying you think Kelly should protect Crist’s ego at the expense of the rest of the team? While your at it, let a cheerleader run a play so as not to offend them. Then maybe a tuba player. The object is to win games, not defend inferiority. If Crist is so talented, he will prove it in the NFL.

      1. Relax Frank, from a personal standpoint I was hoping Crist would get another shot. As is typical the QB gets too much blame and too much praise. My feeling was that we all know Tommy can come off the bench and play well but what happens if Tommy struggles against Michigan in the first half as the starter?
        Not sure what point the cheerleader or tuba player comment makes. I just feel bad it didn’t work out for Dayne, he is one of us after all.
        Go Irish!

  5. The thoughts that there should be some doubt who should start against Michigan or that it does not matter are both ludicrous. The position is one that MUST provide the leadership for the offense. Both young men faced the enemy for 30 minutes. One “lost” 16-0. The other “won” 20-7. I doubt serious;y that any individual player other than perhaps the QB played harder in the second half than the first. I ascribe the difference to “leadership.” While I was not in the huddle, one of these men looked into the eyes of the other players and showed them determination and commitment. At least some of those players looked back with the same eyes.
    Anyone who does not understand that the man with leadership skills should be the one in the leadership position obviously never played the sport or never served in combat. Winners win. They do so because they will accept nothing less from themselves or others. Any starter other than Reese would be stupid. Kelly is neither stupid nor a loser.

  6. Reese is the starting QB at ND. He doesn’t get rattled like Crist does. He has the same look as if he threw 5 td’s as opposed to 5 int’s. I think he brings a level of calm to the offense that Crist can’t. I also don’t think Dayne played horrible, but it’s a different feel when Tommy is in the game.

  7. If Rees does not start on Saturday against Michigan, then Kelly, Swarbrick and Fr. Jenkins should be fired for incompetence. This is the biggest no brainer I have ever seen. I’m not a Coach. I’m not a Professional. I’m not an Analyst, but I do have eyes and I do have a Brain. No Rees, No Win.

  8. I have to say Rees gives them the best chance of winning. He just seems to have that intangible quality that the rest of the offense responds to. That’s not something you can train into a player.

  9. This time every year I check out Notre Dame, it’s interesting to see how other teams fans view there team. I do enjoy reading the articles and comments but have never commented myself. As a life long UM fan I’m always worried the week before playing Notre Dame….I just wanted to give an outsiders prospective into the Notre Dame QB controversy….I would much rather see Reese than Crist, Christ arm strength would force Michigan to keep there saftey’s deep which would open alot of space underneath. Rees on the other hand will allow UM defense to play tighter, though Rees ability to throw quick and shorter routes =(see Western Michigan’s first couple of drives)would negate a rush from UM d-line the tighter coverage would allow Michigan to use there full blitz package =(see Western Michigan last 4 drives)…Christ ability to buy time in the pocket and overall arm strength scares me. I don’t claim to know nearly as much as you guys do about Notre Dame I do know Michigan’s defense though and I will be very happy if I see Tommy under center come Saturday…No matter what it will be a good game, after all it is Notre Dame vs Michigan, right?…

    1. If Rees isn’t in a position where he has to throw 30 some times and can use a running game which he didn’t have the opportunity given the score at the time when he came in, your D is going to be more off balanced. It will be a good game.

  10. Regardless of who is at QB, does anyone feel after watching the 1st game we can beat Michigan? There were alot of positives to take away from the game and you have to think there is no way we are going to play that bad twice in a row. On paper i would have to think we have a better WR, RB, and Defence. I just dont know. Somehow there are alot of Michigan fans in Chicago. Maybe its all these jag-off elitists in Beverly and Sauganash who have their weekend cottages up there and gave up on the Dome a long time ago, except on St Patricks Day. It would be great to shut up those ass hats and the sports columnists at the Chicago Scum Times who love to kick ND when they are down

    1. Yes, I think we will beat Michigan. If you take away a few really bad plays on offense — Gray’s fumble, Crist’s subsequent interception, Rees’ interception in the red zone — we win that game by a few touchdowns anyway. And, we gave them okay field position, too and they still only managed one TD on offense.

      So, yes, I am optimistic this week. We should be able to move the football with the several playmakers on this offense. And on defense, we should stay with Michigan as well.

      But the kids better “get” that Michigan’s athletes are going to be more talented and hungrier than the South Florida kids.

      And it’s not hard to kick ND when we’re down. Speaking of kicking, anyone following the debacle of the Big 12? Texas said that they thought for sure the Big 12 would be set for another 10 years. Now, why would all the other teams in the league tolerate the agreement Texas has for itself?

      I think it’s great to see.

  11. Rees should play just for that fact that the whole team seems to play better when he is under center. The last four games of last year the whole team was clicking and it seemed to be the same in the 2nd half of the USF game. Crist just doesn’t seem to have the support of the team. Whether that’s true or not is behind closed doors but the team is better with Rees as its starting QB.

  12. Reese just throws a more catchable ball, Dayne throws a 6yrd slant and it looks like it came out of a cannon. There is a lot to be said for coming out of your break and not being overwhelmed by the football. I just like how the team responds to him, he was in some guys faces in the huddle when they ran poor routes or the wrong ones, Its good to see him taking charge and ownership of his guys.

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