Purdue vs Notre Dame: Tommy Rees' Heroics Shouldn't Create QB Controversy

Brian Mazique@@UniqueMaziqueCorrespondent IIISeptember 8, 2012

Sep 8, 2012; South Bend, IN, USA; Notre Dame Fighting Irish quarterback Tommy Rees (11) throws in the fourth quarter against the Purdue Boilermakers at Notre Dame Stadium. Notre Dame won 20-17. Mandatory Credit: Matt Cashore-US PRESSWIRE

Tommy Rees was clutch on the game-winning drive of Notre Dame's 20-17 win over the Purdue Boilermakers.

But the starting job should still belong to Everett Golson. That's assuming he's healthy, of course.

Golson injured his hand late in the fourth quarter, and he had trouble gripping the ball. Irish head coach Brian Kelly turned to Rees, and the junior delivered. His performance was exemplary, but it doesn't erase the job Golson did in the opener.

It also doesn't outshine the job Golson had done in the game up to that point. He was 21-31 for 289 yards and one touchdown before leaving. He also ran for a score.

Fans aren't likely to call for a switch right now, but if he hits a speed bump, you'll hear references to Rees' "drive."

In football, the most beloved player is the backup quarterback. That love is intensified when a fanbase has positive memories to draw from. Though Rees had his struggles in 2011, he also had some very promising performances.

Rees led the Irish to a memorable upset of USC in 2010, and he threw 19 touchdown passes in 2011. Some may even believe he should have been the starter this year to begin with.

All of that is water under the bridge at this point. The job was given to Golson, and he has responded in his two games this season. The rope that holds his job shouldn't be shortened by anything Rees does while Golson was injured. 

Barring injury or a complete collapse, Golson has earned the right to run this team for the rest of the season.


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