Notre Dame Football: Why Everett Golson Will Lead ND Past BYU

Ryan DavenportContributor IOctober 19, 2012

CHICAGO, IL - OCTOBER 06:  Everett Golson #5 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish breaks away from Anthony Chickillo #71 of the Miami Hurricanes at Soldier Field on October 6, 2012 in Chicago, Illinois.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

Everett Golson has been battered, bruised and dazed over the course of the 2012 season, but that won't stop him from leading Notre Dame to a 7-0 start. 

Golson, who sustained a concussion during Notre Dame's win over Stanford last week, was cleared to return to practice earlier this week, and appears poised to keep the Fighting Irish undefeated going into their big test against Oklahoma next weekend. 

So far this season, the Fighting Irish have been receiving key contributions from both Golson and junior Tommy Rees, as coach Brian Kelly has taken a unique approach with his quarterbacks from the get-go. 

For the most part, Kelly has gone with Golson to start, but has also used Rees when the sophomore has failed to get the offense rolling. 

Heading into the game, according to CNNSI.com, Kelly declined to name a starter. 

Coach Brian Kelly added more intrigue into the Notre Dame quarterback situation Thursday evening by saying he wouldn't decide on a starter for the fifth-ranked Fighting Irish (6-0) until game time, and added the choice might be Andrew Hendrix. The Irish have been using Golson as a starter and Rees as the closer with great success.

Nonetheless, Golson is clearly Notre Dame's No. 1 quarterback, and given how much his play has improved as the season's gone on, Kelly will certainly put the ball in his hands if he's healthy enough to play. 

That's because Brigham Young boasts one of college football's top defenses (ranked seventh in the nation in points allowed), and has kept things close against top-25 teams like Boise State and Oregon State. 

Furthermore, if No. 5 Notre Dame intends on beating a fast-improving Oklahoma team next week, Kelly will want Golson to keep rolling against the Cougars on Saturday. 

Like BYU, the Fighting Irish are led by a stingy defense, but Golson will be the difference maker in what should be a low-scoring game, and he'll help Notre Dame remain undefeated heading into the team's most important game of the season.