Everett Golson got a win in his first start, and the sophomore quarterback showed us that he's more than capable of operating within the offense to win games and fight off the competition. With Andrew Hendrix, Tommy Rees and Gunner Kiel, the Fighting Irish have a cornucopia of quarterback talent, but Golson, going into Week 2, will maintain his stranglehold on the position.
Everett Golson did not wow the masses. He threw a couple errant passes, including throwing Tyler Eifert out of bounds on a sure touchdown, plus an interception on a late and telegraphed toss. However, he was an efficient passer, going 12-of-18 for 144 yards and one touchdown. He rebounded from the Eifert overthrow to hit the big tight end on the next play for his lone touchdown toss.
Golson, in his first game against real competition, showed he can operate within the Fighting Irish's scheme. He can hand the ball off to the running back, manage the clock and in the passing game, he is capable of making the throws he needs to in order to extend drives and put the Irish in position to score.
The sophomore was poised, he was confident and when he got into trouble, he rebounded well.
In short, Golson didn't show a ton of his huge upside, but he did the most important thing he could do: not go out there and give Brian Kelly a heart attack. His play wasn't something to make the head coach second guess his decision, and for a first game, that's what the young starter needed to do.
Down the road, as the season wears on and the playbook expands, expect to see more of Golson's potential. Not much scrambling or designed runs this game, but the Fighting Irish didn't need Golson to do those things to win. As they get ready for serious competition (Michigan State looms in two weekends), expect to see more of Golson's talent utilized to get victories.
As for the other guys, Rees, Kiel and Hendrix are three players who, for a lot of college teams, might get the nod to start; they'll be forced to continue to sit. Kelly's got a true wealth of resources at the quarterback position and as long as Golson is performing, he need not reach into his pocket to play another card. Certainly, teams with no experience at the position or lacking talent at the spot are looking enviously at the trio sitting behind Golson.
All eyes will now turn to Purdue, a team with a top-flight defensive lineman in Kawann Short who will look to stop the run and put the pressure on Golson. The sophomore experiment continues and Golson will look to build on the solid effort from his debut.