The cold, rainy conditions made passing a tough proposition. A perfect example of how hard: two of walk-on quarterback Matt Mulvey's three throws were balls that slipped out of his hands and came out more like a pop fly than an actual pass.
The two experienced players wearing the red shirts and battling for the starting job were both pretty unimpressive. On the gold team Tommy Rees was 7-for-14 for 61 yards and an interception while blue team starter Dayne Crist was 5-for-11 for 34 yards. Rees flashed more accuracy than Crist but also made a few terrible decision, one ended up as an interception and a couple other could have as well. Dayne still flashed his maddening tendency to short-arm and bounce balls to open receivers, but his mistakes seem to err on the side of caution as opposed to Tommy's who end up in the opposing secondary's breadbaskets.
Rees was slightly more impressive overall and had some success down the field (the first play was a 24-yard strike up the seam to Mike Ragone), but there was very little clarity provided in terms of who is ahead in that battle.
The two young and mobile quarterbacks that everyone had the opportunity to see for the first time didn't disappoint in the their Notre Dame Stadium debuts. Gold team quarterback Andrew Hendrix was the Offensive MVP of the game, completing 10-of-16 for 113 yards while rushing for another 37 yards and two touchdowns. He flashed a rocket arm and some surprising wheels, punching one touchdown run in after bouncing and spinning off a couple tackles.
Blue team signal caller Everett Golson also impressed. His 62 yards on the ground were the most in the game and he also threw for 91 yards and a touchdown. Perhaps the most impressive aspect of his game was his poise just four months removed from high school. He seemed to have great command of the team and a boatload of confidence even though he's had so much thrown at him so quickly.
This was far and away the position people were most interested in examining coming into this game. Unfortunately the two players most likely to start against South Florida left a lot to be desired. Should too much be read into this soggy exhibition? I don't think so, though it was disappointing not to see at least a little more clear progress from Dayne specifically.
And while Hendrix and Golson both impressed, it's abundantly clear that they need more seasoning before being thrown into the fire of Division I football. It's encouraging to see such quality depth at the position but it's for the best if both are only called on for situational duty as opposed to captaining the ship right away.
FINAL GRADE: C