By Josh Kramer
As always, despite their lackluster play over the past 20 years, Notre Dame is receiving probably more than their fair share of attention from the media. Year three of the Brian Kelly era kicks off on September 1st at 9AM in Ireland against Navy.
Similar questions have surrounded the 11-time national champions out of South Bend for nearly a decade now. Will this be the year the national championship drought ends? Will the Fighting Irish at least win a bowl game (lost 10 of their last 12 bowl games)? Is a top-20 finish in the rankings attainable (hasn’t happened in five years)? Lastly, will the coach running the show in the present still have his job next year?
This year, there is an additional question to add to the mix. Who will be the starting quarterback for Week 1?
The incumbent starter Tommy Rees is currently suspended for the Navy game and has not exactly been Joe Montana during his time in South Bend. With Rees out, it is a two-horse race. There is the Cincinnati Moeller High School product Andrew Hendrix, who saw limited action last season. Then, there is Everett Golson out of Myrtle Beach. Brian Kelly has remained mum and as tight-lipped as possible in regards to who will start against the Naval Academy.
Many Fighting Irish faithful are calling for the sophomore Golson to receive the nod over Hendrix. And rightfully so. In 15 practice sessions during training camp, Golson tossed 126 passes, resulting in just one interception. Turnovers were the kryptonite of the Fighting Irish week after week last season. In addition, Golson took the majority of the snaps with the first team on Thursday. Therefore, if recent practices are any indication (which they are), Golson will receive the nod to start on September 1.
Whatever is decided though, have no fear Irish fans, Brian Kelly is here. BK has always been known for winning during the course of his decorated coaching career up until the stop in South Bend (16 and 10 record with Notre Dame). Kelly has also always been known as an offensive mastermind. More specifically, a pro at utilizing his resources and overcoming injuries. He has always harped on a “Next man in” approach. During Cincinnati’s magical run to the their first BCS Bowl in school history (in 2008), the Bearcats utilized five different quarterbacks. Then in 2009, the Bearcats finished the regular season undefeated despite their starting quarterback Tony Pike missing four games due to injury. Brian Kelly is the best coach in college football at catering a system to specifically meet a quarterback’s needs.
It appears that there might be a quarterback conundrum in South Bend. Let me clear up the debate. Golson will start under center against Navy. Brian Kelly will make sure a system is in place to play to Golson’s strengths and give the Fighting Irish a great chance at coming home from Ireland with a victory.
Stay tuned for the next edition of TheSportsKraze.