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2011 Notre Dame Football: Who Will Start at QB, Dayne Crist or Tommy Rees?

LOS ANGELES - NOVEMBER 27: Head coach Brian Kelly and quarterback Tommy Rees #13 of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish talk during the final clock killing possession in the fourth quarter against the USC Trojans at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum on November 27, 2010 in Los Angeles, California.  Notre Dame won 20-16.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Kris HillContributor IAugust 14, 2011

The 2011 Notre Dame football team has very few worries on the field. The main issue is who will start at quarterback for the season: senior Dayne Crist or sophomore Tommy Rees.

Early reports still make this one of the most intriguing races in recent memory. Most would note that had it not been for Crist getting injured against Tulsa last year, the job would be his.

I, for one, am on the Rees bandwagon. While he doesn't scramble or use the run as often as Crist, his passing is slightly better by NCAA passer ratings (see here). I looked at stats for five games for each QB from last season and 4-1 was Rees' record. I used the Michigan State loss for Crist.

Dayne Crist
Purdue W 23-12 19 26 205 73.1 1 0
@ Michigan State L 34-31 (OT) 32 55 369 58.2 4 1
@ Boston College W 31-13 24 44 203 54.5 2 1
Pittsburgh W 23-17 24 39 242 61.5 1 0
Western Michigan W 44-20 18 28 255 64.3 3 1
NCAA PR: 281.5 (4-1) 117.0 192.0 1274.0 60.9 11 3
Tommy Rees
Tulsa L 28-27 33 54 334 61.1 4 3
Utah W 28-3 13 20 129 65 3 0
Army W 27-3 13 20 214 65 1 1
@ USC W 20-16 20 32 149 62.5 2 3
@ Miami (FL) W 33-17 15 29 201 51.7 2 0
NCAA PR: 283.9 (4-1) 94.0 155.0 1027.0 60.6 12 7

Rees will most likely win out the starting job for the Irish this year based on how he preformed in those last five games, which included Notre Dame's first win against USC in eight years and the first bowl victory since the Lou Holtz era.

Further supporting my prediction, in his interview on Jim Rome is Burning August 10, head coach Brian Kelly essentially said it was Rees' job to lose and that the team would rally behind either starter.

There is no doubt that in pressure situations, Rees can come through with flying colors, as evidenced by his first four starts. So the question that remains is, who will start? Based on what I have seen in the last four games last year, Tommy Rees will be under center for Notre Dame come September 3 against South Florida.

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