Dayne Crist

Gold Defeats Blue, 17-14, in Spring Game

April 16, 2011

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NOTRE DAME, Ind. (AP) – Coach Brian Kelly said Notre Dame’s Blue-Gold game would be fun. He never said it would be decisive in determining the Irish quarterback.

For the record, quarterbacks Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix guided the Gold team to a 17-14 victory over the Blue team led by Dayne Crist and Everett Golson.

All eyes were on the performance of the four quarterbacks, in particular returning starters Crist and Rees. Rees completed 7 of 14 passes for 64 yards, but also tossed on interception and had a touchdown pass dropped on the first series. Crist was 5 for 10 for 34 yards.

“Tommy was by far the most accurate out there today,” Kelly said. “He had three legitimate drops.”

With Rees and Crist wearing the bright red “do-not-touch” jerseys and playing only seven series between them, it became an opportunity for freshman Everett Golson and sophomore Andrew Hendrix to make their case for the third-string job.

Hendrix had the best day overall, completing 10 of 16 passes for 139 yards and scoring twice, once on a 15-yard run late in the third quarter and later on a 10-yard scamper in the fourth.

After a slow start, Golson got on track late in the game, completing 9 of 18 passes for 91 yards, including a 15-yard touchdown pass to John Goodman. He also showed off his quickness in the open field, particularly on a 23-yard scramble that set up the TD pass to Goodman.

“The biggest thing I learned out there today is that I have a long way to go,” Golson said. “I saw my weaknesses. Sometimes in high school, your weaknesses are not exposed. But I found out that one of my weaknesses is my mechanics.”

Kelly said that when fall practice starts, he will cut down on the number of quarterbacks taking reps during practice. “We won’t have the luxury of (repping all four quarterbacks),” he said. “But now we have knowledge (of what each can do).”

The biggest head-turner during the game, however, belonged to freshman Aaron Lynch. The 6-foot-6, 260-pound defensive end joined Golson as an early enrollee this semester. Lynch was spectacular in the first half and ended the game with six tackles, 1 1/2 for a loss, and a quarterback rush. He also delivered several of the hardest hits in the game.

“Lynch is a good football player,” Kelly said. “We have to go slow with him. He went against our first-string offensive linemen today. While I’d like to keep down the expectations for him, I would also like to give him credit. But it will be a process with him.”