Dayne Crist Beats Out Tommy Rees for Notre Dame Starting QB Job

In the end, the California golden boy got the edge over the local kid from Lake Forest.

Notre Dame Head Coach Brian Kelly said today that Senior Dayne Crist will be the starting quarterback in the season opener versus South Florida September 3rd.

Tommy Rees was the other starting candidate,and Kelly said the difference between the two QBs was very small. Last year, Crist started 9 games before a knee injury sidelined him for the season.  ND went 4-5 in his starts as he completed 59% of his passes, threw for 2,033 yards and 15 TDs.

"I expect him to start all 13 weeks," Kelly said Tuesday.

"I think the biggest thing is if we pick the right guy and our team performs as we expect it to then we won't have to yank that guy at the first moment of controversy," Offensive Coordinator Charley Molnar said at media day about a week in advance of the decision.

But it doesn't mean that the decision is set in stone for the entire year.

"The battle could continue as we go through the season; the point is there's two potentially really good football players at that position, and if the right guy is picked, there would be no reason to hook that guy prematurely," Molnar continued.

And there shouldn't be too many differences in the way the offense is run with either guy.

"They both have a lot of the same attributes. There are some skills that Dayne has  that Tommy doesn't and vice versa, and calling the game won't change much given whether Tommy or Dayne is in there. We feel very confident that they can both our offense as we game plan it from week to week," said Molnar.

Rees went 4-0 as a starter in Crist's absence including victories over USC at the Coliseum and Miami in the Sun Bowl. He completed 61% of his throws for 1,106 yards, 12 TDs with a quarterback rating was 132.7.

The ND offense should see a benefit from another year in the system this fall, especially the signal caller.

"Just the knowledge base that this team has across the board, you can say that you can gain experience going through a camp, but we went through a spring and fall camp last year, but had no game experience. This team has been through an entire season, we've seen the ups and downs of a season and we've grown closer in enduring some of those hardships, and it's really that same core coming back," Crist said this preseason.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports, an official Google News site that generates millions of unique visitors. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports 

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