By Anthony Caruso III
There have been questions about who would be the Notre Dame Fighting Irish starting quarterback this season. Head coach Brian Kelly said on Wed. that junior Malik Zaire and soph. DeShone Kizer will split time against Texas during their Sept. 4th opener.
“If I list (the roster’s) top five playmakers, they’re (both) in it,” he said. “So my ultimate decision was I can’t put one of those guys on the sideline against Texas.”
Kizer came in for him and threw the game-winning touchdown against the Cavaliers. The then-redshirt freshman was 8-3 as the starter.
Zaire went 26-of-40 for 428 yards and four touchdowns last season. He went 19-of-22 for 313 yards and three touchdowns against the Longhorns.
Before his injury, he was seven-of-13 for 115 yards and a touchdown against the Cavaliers.
Kizer went 211-of-335 for 2,884 yards and 21 touchdowns. He also had ten interceptions on the season.
There’s a theory that if you have two quarterbacks, you have none. The Fighting Irish are in the same boat that the Ohio State Buckeyes were in going into last season.
Jones began the season as the starter, before Barrett replaced him late in the season.
Then, in the Battlefrog Fiesta Bowl, they had lost 44-28 to the Buckeyes.
“These two guys are just too good,” Kelly said. “I watched them in practice and they’re making plays, and then I watched the guys around them and they’re just not as good. It was counterintuitive for me (to name one as a starter.)
“It’s never easy playing two quarterbacks, it’s much easier playing one. But we’re in the business of winning football games. If it’s a little harder on us, we can make it work if the net result is winning. My job is to win, and my belief is playing both of them gives us the best chance to win.”
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