Coach of Notre-Dame Brian kelly doesn’t reveal which quarterback will start against Virginia Tech on Saturday night, but a good guess is that the second Drew pyne is the starter.
Kelly said on Monday that he knew who was going to start, he just wasn’t ready to go public. Pyne played the second half against Cincinnati, completing 9-22 passes for 143 yards with a touchdown in a 24-13 loss. Pyne led the two touchdowns for the Irish. Jack Coan started the game and went 14-22 for 114 yards with an interception. Coan’s choice came in the game’s first practice after leading Notre Dame to the Bearcat 6-yard line.
Monday’s depth chart showed Coan as a starter, Pyne as a substitute and Tyler Büchner as the third string quarterback.
“We’ll talk to the guys today when they come, but it’s no different than what I’ve kind of mentioned to everyone here,” Kelly said. “We’re going to have a guy and we’re going to let him know the reps are for him to be the starter and focus on a guy. We just haven’t had a chance to speak to that person yet. We know exactly who it is.
Kelly said choosing the starter isn’t all science. Part of it is the feeling.
“We’ll go with who scored well and who played well,” said Kelly. “No one was perfect, as we know, at quarterback. There were mistakes made by all three. But I think in the end that gives you the best chance of winning. It’s always about winning football matches. We feel like we have a team that can win the rest of their games and we want to be able to put the quarterback in there who we think gives us the chance to do that. “
Coan has started all year, and previously Kelly had indicated that Coan would be the starter after the Wisconsin game if he was in good health. Coan sprained his ankle against the Badgers and was replaced by Pyne in the second half of the 41-13 victory.
Coan played all but two of the first-half records against the Bearcats. Buchner, a pace-changing quarterback, replaced him for those practices.
Kelly had committed to a two-quarterback system prior to last week, using mostly Coan, then replacing him with Buchner for a few playoffs each game. Buchner suffered a hamstring injury against Purdue and did not play against the Badgers.
He threw an interception that led to a field goal for Cincinnati after being hit while throwing.
Kelly said the quarterback squad would not be a strategy going forward. When asked if Pyne deserved to start on Saturday after the loss to Cincinnati, Kelly replied, “That’s a good question, a good question. It is clear that we cannot continue down this road to find out who is the flavor of the week here. We’re going to have to sit down and figure that out and decide which direction we want to go. It doesn’t give us the kind of continuity and consistency on offense that we need. “
Notre Dame was a little better in the major categories offensively in the second half under Pyne. He scored 13 points, rushed for 48 of 84 yards and converted 3 of 7 third downs. They were 2 out of 6 in the first half. Her mobility and ability to lead the ball give the Irish offense an option it doesn’t really have with Coan.
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