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Notre Dame quarterback Everett Golson's development as the Irish starter has been a slow, gradual journey, but Golson's light on the horizon was visible last Saturday against Miami.
The redshirt freshman completed 17-of-22 pass attempts for 186 yards and, most importantly, did not turn the ball over.
Yet the most impressive feat from Golson's performance against the Hurricanes was his ability to run the football, as he accumulated 51 yards on the ground.
Against Stanford, the Irish offense will go as far as Golson can carry it, as the Cardinal ranks sixth nationally in rushing defense, allowing 77.2 yards per contest through six weeks of the regular season.
Following the common blueprint for corralling Golson, the Cardinal defense is likely to sell out against the run until the Myrtle Beach native can prove he's capable of moving the ball through the air.
Because Stanford's opponents have been forced to throw the ball, one would think the Cardinal's passing defense numbers would be skewed, but that's not the case as their secondary ranks 113th nationally against the pass.
This leads me to believe, that against the Cardinal, Everett Golson will take another step in his development as a passer.
Edge: Everett Golson