Notre Dame Football: Has Brian Kelly Undermined Everett Golson?

Michael Felder@InTheBleachersNational CFB Lead WriterSeptember 8, 2012

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 08: Everett Golson #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish runs around end to try to score a touchdwon against the Purdue Boilermakers at Notre Dame Stadium on September 8, 2012 in South Bend, Indiana. (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Everett Golson didn't get undermined; Notre Dame's offensive line did. By Purdue. Despite that simple fact, the Fighting Irish are 2-0 and waiting on Michigan State in Week 3 to continue their climb up the rankings.

Yes, Tommy Rees came in and won the game for the Irish. If you're simple, then that's what you'll focus on.

For the rest of us, the big issue is not that Brian Kelly brought in Rees, rather that he had to adjust his plan of attack against Purdue, because his top-shelf offensive line was not getting the job done. Kelly's team only ran for 52 yards today. Their top running back had 53 yards.

That's the real controversy when it comes to Notre Dame; not "who will play quarterback."

Kawann Short and the rest of the Boilermaker defense made the Irish offensive line look silly at times. They sacked Everett Golson five times and shut down the run game that Notre Dame was supposed to have as a strength in 2012. That should alarm the Fighting Irish; if they have those issues, they can kiss the dreams of a double-digit win season goodbye and saddle up for another eight-win affair.

Brian Kelly did what he had to do: win the football game. It took bringing in Tommy Rees, and we'll see what that means for the quarterback situation going forward; expect Golson to get the start against Michigan State.

The big story out of the Notre Dame game is the offensive line. They have to be better, regardless of who the quarterback is. Next week, against Michigan State, a team who will bring pressure up the middle and get physical, the Irish have to be better up front.