Hard Count with Dirt and Sprague
Weekdays 10am - 12pm

Local: 503.250.1080
    Toll Free: 866.358.1080
| More
College Football
Scoreboard|Standings|Teams|Leaders|Polls

Golson regains job as Notre Dame's starting QB

(AP Photo/Michael Conroy, file)

By TOM COYNE

Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Everett Golson is Notre Dame's starting quarterback again.

The senior has reclaimed the post he held while leading the Fighting Irish to the national championship game two years ago, and before being suspended last season for academic impropriety.

The move was widely expected even though coach Brian Kelly said repeatedly that sophomore Malik Zaire was competing for the job. Kelly said Wednesday that Golson won the position because of his overall understanding of the offense, how he's handled himself with the team and his leadership.

"He's put himself in that position to get that opportunity to be our starter against Rice," Kelly said. "There was competition and there will be competition. Everett's the starter for Rice and we hope he's the starter for the entire year. But we're all in this merit-based situation. We've got to win."

The Irish did that with Golson in 2012, posting their first undefeated regular season since winning the national championship in 1988 and being ranked No. 1 for the first time in 19 years. But defense, not offense, was the impetus behind that team. Kelly even spoke of that two weeks ago when he said "I would argue that Everett rode the bus to the championship."

With a young, inexperienced defense, Kelly has said the Irish need to put up more points this season. He's hoping Golson's running ability will help the Irish to do that, something they were missing last season with Tommy Rees at quarterback. Kelly said the Irish won't have to switch plays as often along the line of scrimmage with Golson at quarterback.

"Tommy needed to check a lot of plays. We won't have to block that end for Everett on every play. We had to for Tommy. He wasn't going to make the end miss," Kelly said.

Golson said he didn't feel a sense of relief when Kelly gave him the news.

"I think it's a heightened responsibility on my part now that everything is pretty set. It's my job to get these guys right and just try to lead this team," he said.

Golson was 187 of 318 passing in 2012, a 58.8 completion rate, with 12 touchdown passes and six interceptions. He had a pass efficiency rating of 131.01, placing him 62nd among quarterbacks nationwide. He also ran for 298 yards on 94 carries.

Golson said he struggled a bit in the spring with a new quarterbacks coach and facing a Notre Dame defense that is playing a more aggressive style. He said it all started coming together after spring practice was over.

"I think now I'm in a position to hold everyone else responsible because I'm comfortable with what I'm supposed to do," he said.

Asked if he ever doubted he'd be the starter, Golson said: "I don't think I prepared like a backup."

He said he has been focusing on trying to take control of the offense, which he struggled with at times in 2012. He was replaced by Rees for the final game-winning drive against Purdue in the second game and was pulled for poor play two weeks later against Michigan. But his play improved steadily as the season wore on.

The Irish finished that season ranked 71st in the nation in passing at 223 yards a game, their lowest ranking since finishing 110th at 167 yards a game in 2007, when Notre Dame finished 3-9.

Golson said he is better prepared this time.

"I understand the job and the task at hand and what I have to do next," he said.

Kelly said he was pleased how Zaire reacted to finding out Golson is the starter.

"He wasn't happy. If he gave me a hug, I'd be disappointed," Kelly said. "He went out and practiced well. He wants to be the starter and he's going to keep working to be the starter."

Updated August 13, 2014

w10 © 2015 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

The Fan's Top Stories

NBA Playoffs on The FAN


The FAN is your home for the NBA Playoffs. Listen to the Eastern and Western Conference Finals with ESPN, and follow The FAN's AP NBA Page for previews and recaps.

NFL to change extra-point kicks to longer distance


(AP) The NFL is moving back extra-point kicks and allowing defenses to score on conversion turnovers. The owners on Tuesday approved the competition committee's proposal to . . . more.

Golfers scoff at Chambers Bay warnings


(AP) Mike Davis hasn't caused this much consternation since he spoke at a PGA Tour players meeting about the evils of the long putter. Only this time, he was extolling the virtues . . . more.

Kraft: Patriots won't appeal


(AP) Now that Patriots owner Robert Kraft is not appealing his team's punishments in the deflated footballs scandal, only his quarterback's challenge remains. More.

Gasol to consider free agency options


(AP) The Memphis Grizzlies head into the offseason with a major goal: re-signing their free agent All-Star center. Marc Gasol is in no hurry, he's on his own timetable. More.

Aldridge has thumb surgery


(AP) Trail Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge had surgery Monday to repair a ligament in his left thumb. The team said in a statement that . . . more.

Carroll: Irvin's comments misinterpreted


(AP) Seattle Seahawks linebacker Bruce Irvin's recent declaration that he would be playing in Atlanta in 2016 doesn't mean what everyone thinks it does, according to coach Pete . . . more.

NCAA body calls for 30-second shot clock


(AP) The NCAA made a series of changes to men's college basketball two seasons ago in an attempt to boost scoring and reduce physical play under the basket. More.

49ers DL Justin Smith retires


(AP) When Justin Smith decided that his body wouldn't let him perform up to his own lofty standards, he knew it was time to stop playing. Smith announced Monday that he is . . . more.

The Mariners Page


For the latest on M's Baseball, including player moves, previews, real time gamecasts and recaps, head to The FAN's Mariners Page.

The FAN's Golf Page


The FAN's Golf Page is where you can go for the latest AP coverage of the PGA, LPGA, Web.Com, European and Champion's Tour info. From leader boards to stories, it's all right here.