Quarterback play highlights Blue & Gold Game
Published 1:06 pm Sunday, April 13, 2014
NOTRE DAME — Historically speaking, college football’s spring games have always served more as an eccentric promissory note of football’s return to the national airwaves, rather than an accurate way of gauging your favorite team’s early season progression.
For the casual fan, annual spring games indicate the arrival of a new campaign, and from that, the eternal hope renewed that this year will finally be “the year” for their beloved program.
However, not even the insight of the most ardent of fans, or commentators, can logically be construed into anything resembling an authentic barometer for its participants’ production projections for the fall.
Take the results of Notre Dame’s recent Blue & Gold game, for example. The Blue team (offense) at times looked unstoppable in rolling to a 63-52 win over the Gold team (defense), but that doesn’t tell the whole story.
The brightest spots on the field for the Irish without doubt had to be the play of sophomores Malik Zaire at quarterback and running back Greg Bryant. Zaire went 18-of-25 passing for 292 yards and two touchdowns, while Bryant rushed for 101 yards on 12 carries.
On the flipside, the return of former starting quarterback, Everett Golson, did not get off to the most impressive of starts. Golson struggled for much of the day in the passing game, going 13-of-24 for just 152 yards and no scores. However, the quarterback did manage to make a series of wonderful plays with his feet and even scored a rushing touchdown.
Despite Golson being tabbed as the starter by pundits and fans alike, and also Zaire’s clearly superior performance in the Blue & Gold game, Irish Coach Brian Kelly said there will be no immediate plans to run a two-quarterback offense again this year.
“I’ve been doing this long enough that I would hope that I could figure this thing out before fall,” Kelly said. “Both of them (Golson and Zaire) can run the offense effectively. There is no glaring need for a two-QB system. I promise you, we will have the right personnel in place to give our team the greatest chance for success when the time comes.”
The Irish defense seemed to struggle at times throughout the game, but in their defense, standouts such as Sheldon Day, Jaylon Smith, Keivarre Russell, Matthias Farley and Austin Collinsworth didn’t see that much time on the field.
“We saw a lot of positives today. A lot of guys, who we weren’t really clear on, carved themselves out a role to help this team do what it takes to win. We had already defined who are playmakers were going to be; now, we have developing role players as well,” Kelly said. “We’ve got a long, long way to go, but we’re counting down the days until fall; and we can’t wait.”