The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will hope to avoid a trap game against the BYU Cougars today, and they will look to do so with Tommy Rees as the team’s starting quarterback. With Everett Golson having suffered a concussion in last week’s big win against the Stanford Cardinal, Rees is expected to get the start this afternoon.
Golson was unable to practice until Wednesday, but he was medically cleared and could still see some game action against the Cougars. It is likely that Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly will see how Rees performs. If he plays well, Golson will likely be held out. But if Rees struggles and Kelly is not confident enough in the skills of Andrew Hendrix, Golson could be called into action.
The Irish are coming off of a big win last week, and may also be looking ahead to next week’s huge road test against the Oklahoma Sooners. But as good as the two teams are on the book ends, the team in the middle is no pushover either.
Notre Dame’s fellow independent opponent today can play some solid defense. The Fighting Irish are No. 2 in the country in points allowed, but the Cougars are No. 7. While both have offenses capable enough of putting together a key scoring drive, they have also been known to struggle at times. While BYU may not have wins anywhere near as impressive as Notre Dame, they should not be taken lightly.
And the Irish know that they cannot afford any slip up if they have any shot to reach the BCS Championship Game. While many people may argue or dispute this, there is still more than a decent chance that Notre Dame could finish the regular season undefeated and still not play in the BCS Championship Game. A loss would all but assure the Irish they will not play for the title.
But Notre Dame will not lose anything with Rees as starting quarterback. In fact, they may be better off with him under center. Rees has already replaced Golson on two separate occasions due to performance, and may be seen as the more talented overall player as the Irish continue their march to perfection.