Notre Dame Spring Game Recap: Notes, Quotes and Stats

The University of Notre Dame football team concludes its biggest weekend of the spring with the 82nd-Annual Blue-Gold Game, won by the Gold 17-14. The spring college football intra-squad game was broadcast live nationally on Versus and available via live video stream at

This year's spring scrimmage drew 27,863 to Notre Dame Stadium.
Not bad for a spring intra-squad, in abysmal weather conditions. ND
typically draws at least 20,000 and this wasn't too far off from
cracking the top five crowds in blue-game history. Three of the five
highest have occurred in the last five years.

-Sophomore QB Andrew "Gold Haze" Hendrix was likely
the MVP (can I copyright that nickname?) as his numbers were by far the
most impressive of the game. He went 10-16 passing for 113 yards, no
interceptions. He also made plays with his feet; running five times for
37 yards and two touchdowns in leading the gold to victory. The play of
Hendrix asked the blue defense "are you experienced?"

-Junior tailback Cierre Wood probably locked up the
starting tailback job, if he hadn't already; with 7 carries for 39
yards. He looked especially impressive on one second quarter drive.

"I like the way Cierre looked," Coach Kelly said.

"Confident in running the football is the way I would describe him. 
He was confident and decisive in his decisions.  If he couldn't hit it
at the front door, he was going to bend it back.:

-Hendrix and freshman QB Everett Golson both "went live" in this game; meaning they wore regular open contact jerseys; while the two QBs with experience: senior Dayne Crist and sophomore Tommy Rees,
wore the red "no contact" jerseys. The more experienced QBs played the
first quarter while the two fresh guys played the final three. Here's
the final quarterback box

Golson 9-18-0, 91 yards, 1 TD, 11 carries 62 yards (game's leading rusher)

Crist 5-11-0, 34 yards

Rees 7-14-1, 61 yards

Brian Kelly talked about how important it was for Golson and Hendrix to get experience; especially live contact.

I think it helps immensely just getting in there.  Little things
like we're huddling, a couple times Andrew Hendrix is on the wrong side
of the huddle, on the back of the huddle instead of the front.  It's
first time out there for those guys.  So there were a lot of jitters.

I thought they really calmed down in the second half.  Early on
everything was a 99 mile-an-hour fastball instead of feathering balls in
here and there.

I thought it was a great, great opportunity for them in a
game like atmosphere.  And I think they got that sense of playing in a
big time atmosphere.  So I thought you can't replace that kind of
experience that they got.

-Blue-chip recruit and early enrollee Aaron Lynch
was the standout star on defense, tying Danny Spond and Dan Fox for the
game lead in tackles.The stud freshman defensive end led the game in
tackles for loss with 1.5.

"He's a good football player," Coach Brian Kelly said.

"You know, we've got to go slow with him.  The one thing that he did
today is he went against our first offensive linemen, he went against
Trevor Robinson and Taylor Dever, and that would tamp down the
expectations too."

It is a spring game though, after all, so you can't read too much into the numbers today.

"It's hard to evaluate individual performances today given the
circumstances of the game.  Not having great continuity at certain
positions and the ability to work with a group on a day to day basis.

So I stay away from those right now.  All in all, I thought it was a competitive atmosphere.  Our guys played hard," Kelly said.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports , a Midwest webzine. He's also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank and Facebook


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    Paul M. Banks

    Fulbright scholar in media studies, MBA, small media business owner, Published author, Founder of The Sports, a Fox Sports affiliate Member: Society of Professional Journalists, Football Writers Association of America, U.S. Basketball Writers Association. Former political writer for Washington, NBC and numerous business journals Credentialed for: United Nations, Rose Bowl, BCS National Championship, Final Four, Stanley Cup Finals, and NBA Playoffs. Been featured on: Fox Sports 1, Fox Sports Live, The History Channel, CBS and ESPN radio. Does weekly segments for NBC and Fox Sports Radio stations across the nation.

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