Saturday afternoon, head coach Brian Kelly and his Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team hit the field inside Notre Dame Stadium, and all eyes were on the much-anticipated return of quarterback Everett Golson following his year-long suspension in 2013. However, once the action started to play out, the attention quickly turned to his competition, sophomore Malik Zaire.
While Golson struggled to find a good rhythm throughout, Zaire seemed to have no issues running the Fighting Irish offense, finishing the afternoon with 292 yards on 18-of-27 passing with two scoring strikes and no interceptions.
Everyone in attendance and those watching on TV around the country could quickly figure out that this will not be a situation where Golson will just be handed his job back, and Kelly now definitively knows that as well.
“We should be as coaches and myself, personally, I should be able to figure this thing out, and we should be able to get our players in a position where we can have a starting quarterback,” Kelly said.
“So I’ve been doing it long enough that I would hope that I can figure it out come time to play Rice.”
If anyone can remember, Zaire was the sixth-ranked dual-threat quarterback coming out of high school in the 2013 class, so there was a good possibility that the day would come where Kelly would have to choose between Golson and Zaire, and that time–after what we saw yesterday–is now.