October 21st, 2012
Irish 7-0 For the First Time Since 2002
Golson out, Rees rolls to another Notre Dame win
from www.chicagotribune .com
SOUTH BEND, Ind. - At the Friday walk-through, after a session of high-tempo offense vs. defense snaps, and after Everett Golson had made his case in other ways, Brian Kelly settled it: The sophomore quarterback had the week off.
Notre Dame would go to its bullpen for Tommy Rees and some long relief.
"It was pretty brief and quick," Rees said of the conversation with Kelly. "We prepared all week for an opportunity to play, knowing the situation. (Kelly) just told me, and we rolled with it."
For the fourth time this season, Rees won a game for the Irish. This time the junior piloted the offense basically from start to finish in a 17-14 win over BYU, subbing in as Golson continued to work back from a concussion suffered against Stanford a week earlier.
And he has worked back. "Health and safety" reasons kept Golson out of the BYU game, but Rees will give way again for the titanic Oklahoma showdown next Saturday.
"He wanted to play," Kelly said of Golson. "I just felt like where we were, and my evaluation cumulatively, I felt like this was the best thing to do. He was supportive. He was great on the sideline. He wanted to get in there as well.
"We feel like we've got a kid now that's 100 percent ready to go for Oklahoma."
Rees, meanwhile, did what he had to. He got the offense off on decent footing by starting 6-of-7 on the night, including a 4-yard scoring toss to tight end Tyler Eifert. After that, both by design and by BYU's doing, he took a pass.
Rees missed his next seven throws after the 6-for-7 start. He was the victim of misfortune on his one interception, a pass that sailed through DaVaris Daniels' hands and off his helmet and into a BYU defender's mitts.
And then Notre Dame threw just three second-half passes, though one was a 31-yard bomb to TJ Jones that sparked the go-ahead touchdown drive. Rees finished 7-of-16 for 117 yards and one touchdown and interception apiece.
"I'll let other people assess it," Rees said of his game. "Played well enough to get a win, didn't play well enough to really get the offense going."
And that job once again falls to Golson next week. At least to start.
"(It's) just being selfless, playing for your teammates, playing for the guys you go to work with every day," Rees said of his backup role. "Just finding a way to contribute to our team's success any way I can.
"Obviously it wasn't an easy transition, but I've had a lot of support, a lot of people that have been behind me. I just keep pushing forward."