Posted on: December 4, 2011 1:40 am
Edited on: December 4, 2011 1:40 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist has asked for and been granted his release from the school and will begin talks with other schools about a transfer according to the Chicago Tribune.
This does not come as much of a shock to anybody who has been paying attention to Notre Dame this season. After beginning the season as the team's starter after a competition with Tommy Rees during the spring and fall, Crist lasted only one half before being benched for Rees in Notre Dame's season-opening loss to South Florida.
Yet, even when the Notre Dame offense struggled with turnovers the next few weeks under Rees, Crist only saw playing time after Rees suffered an injury and had to come out. Crist was even surpassed by Andrew Hendrix, who came in as a change of pace quarterback over the last month of the season.
Crist met with head coach Brian Kelly to discuss his situation on Friday.
Since Crist has only one year of eligibility left he will not be required to sit out a year before playing at another school. Exactly what school that will be is not known, though Wisconsin, Utah and San Diego State have all been mentioned as possibilities while rumors swirled Crist would transfer over the last few weeks.
Posted on: September 26, 2011 12:07 pm
Edited on: September 26, 2011 12:07 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
When the 2010 season ended with a win over Miami in the Sun Bowl, the competition between Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees to be Notre Dame's starting quarterback began. It lasted all spring, through the summer and into the days before the Irish started the season against South Florida. After those months of practices, Brian Kelly decided that he was going to roll with Dayne Crist.
After 30 minutes of play in which Crist completed less than half of his passes and threw a costly red zone interception -- one that wasn't his fault, as evidenced by Kelly's tantrum with receiver T.J. Jones -- Crist lost his job as the Notre Dame quarterback. In stepped Rees, and he hasn't given up the job since.
Though he has given up the ball quite a bit. In his three and a half games of action, Tommy Rees has been responsible for 9 turnovers, with 6 interceptions and 3 fumbles. Those 9 turnovers are more than 88 FBS teams have committed all season. Yet, through all of these turnovers, Kelly says he has no plans on making another change at quarterback.
"Right now Tommy is 6-1 as a starter," Kelly said on Sunday. "He's led two very huge drives for us late in the game for us against Michigan and of course against Pittsburgh. He's obviously not a finished product, nobody is. He'll continue to get better and better."
While the Michigan loss can't be pinned on Rees, he did fumble the ball away with the Irish clinging to a 24-21 lead in the fourth quarter. He also threw 2 interceptions earlier in the game. Without those three turnovers, the Irish might not have needed Rees to lead that late drive to take the lead back and Michigan may have been in too large a hole to dig out of.
In Saturday's win against Pitt, Rees led another drive to give Notre Dame the lead in the fourth quarter, and this time it held. He also committed two more turnovers in the first half that made sure Notre Dame was never able to pull away from Pitt. Rees wouldn't have to be so adept at fourth quarter drives if he was able to keep from turning the ball over in the first three quarters.
Why is it that Kelly was only willing to give Dayne Crist a half before pulling him, yet has allowed Rees chance after chance?
The only reasoning that makes sense to me is that Crist is a senior and Rees is a sophomore. Kelly is approaching this situation like he knows his team is making progress on the field, particularly on defense, but that it's just not ready for primetime BCS glory just yet. Kelly is essentially using the 2011 season to prepare for 2012, his third season in South Bend, to truly try and wake up those echoes.
It's a calculated risk that, while frustrating for Notre Dame fans, could be one that pays off the next two seasons.
Posted on: September 6, 2011 12:34 pm
Edited on: September 6, 2011 5:25 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
In an announcement that doesn't really come as a surprise to anybody who watched Notre Dame's season opening 23-20 loss to South Florida on Saturday, Brian Kelly said on Tuesday that Tommy Rees would start at quarterback this weekend when the Irish head to Ann Arbor to take on Michigan.
"I want to win right now and believe Tommy gives us the best chance to win against Michigan," Kelly said.
Following a rough first half and a two-hour lightning delay, Kelly decided to bench Dayne Crist for Rees. Rees came on and nearly led Notre Dame back from a 16-0 deficit, throwing for 296 yards and two touchdowns while completing 24 of his 34 pass attempts. Crist completed only 7 of his 15 passes for 95 yards in the first half, and though he threw only one interception to Rees' two, Crist's came on a terrible throw in the end zone. He also had accuracy issues throughout his time on the field, missing open receivers. (One of Rees's interceptions bounced off of receiver T.J. Jones.)
Rees started the final four games of the season for Notre Dame last year following an injury to Crist. The Irish went 4-0 in those starts--a trend Kelly and Notre Dame fans no doubt are hoping to see continue this weekend against Michigan.
They have some reason to be optimistic, too. Rees won't be intimidated by the venue, not after starting games last season in Yankee Stadium and the Coliseum in Los Angeles. He also started the Irish's Sun Bowl victory over Miami.
And while the South Florida loss was one that Notre Dame has seen too many of in recent seasons, the fact remains that the offense did finish with over 500 total yards and the defense played well despite being put in a terrible position so many times by the offense. Plus, Notre Dame had 5 turnovers on Saturday, 3 of which came in the red zone, and the Irish still only lost by 3 points.
To be clear, it wasn't a game that Notre Dame deserved to win, yet, it almost did anyway. If the Irish offense can avoid the back-breaking turnovers this weekend in Ann Arbor, it wouldn't be all that much of a shock to see Notre Dame leave the first night game at the Big House with a victory.
Information used in this post was provided by the Associated Press.
Posted on: August 23, 2011 11:59 am
Edited on: August 23, 2011 12:06 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
Notre Dame fans have high expectations for the Irish heading into Brian Kelly's second year at the helm. They find themselves ranked in the top 20 of both major polls, with CBSSports.com's Brett McMurphy and others placing them in the top 10. Among all this hype, Kelly has kept the quarterback competition open between junior Dayne Crist and sophomore Tommy Rees.
On Tuesday Kelly ended the speculation naming Crist the starting quarterback for Notre Dame's season opener against South Florida on Sept. 3. The two quarterbacks had flip-flopped reps with the first-team, and after a weekend of meeting with his staff Kelly made the call.
"Both of those young men had a great battle for that starting position, but Dayne will be our starter, and I expect him to be the starter for 13 weeks," Kelly told the media.
Crist started the 2010 season as the starting quarterback and threw for 2,033 yards and 15 touchdowns before suffering a season-ending knee injury against Tulsa. Rees took over as the starter against Utah and led the Irish to four straight wins to finish the season, tossing 8 touchdowns and 4 interceptions in those starts.
Posted on: August 5, 2011 1:40 pm
Edited on: August 5, 2011 1:41 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Another college football season is right around the corner which means that now is the time of year filled with high expectations for Notre Dame. In spite of the fact that the Irish have won 9 games or more only three times since the turn of the century, Notre Dame finds itself ranked 18th in the preseason Coaches Poll that was released on Thursday. Whether it deserves that ranking or not, I'll let you decide for yourself, but it is somewhat understandable considering how Notre Dame finished the 2010 season.
That being said, Notre Dame has a recent history of not being able to live up to the expectations placed upon it, and now that he's entering his second season as head coach, the pressure on Brian Kelly is even greater. Which isn't the best feeling in the world when you're not even sure who your starting quarterback is going to be.
"If it's an ideal situation, I'd like to know who the starter is before camp," said Kelly in a press conference on Friday.
"I don’t know if there's a certain date (to name a starter) other than we're only going to use the first 19 practices for the evaluation process. We're spending two weeks on South Florida. We're gonna know going into the last 10 days who the starting quarterback is."
Kelly also went on to say that he plans on naming the starter publicly and that there is no need to be "stealth-like." Which is somewhat funny considering that I'm not all that convinced Kelly doesn't already know who his starter is at this point. Dayne Crist is widely-considered to be the favorite seeing as how he started the first nine games of the season for the Irish last season before going down with an injury.
What's thrown a wrinkle in the process is that Notre Dame finished the season very strong under Tommy Rees, Crist's strongest competition this fall. Still, even though Notre Dame won every game Rees started, a lot of the credit for those victories goes to a defense that played fantastic down the stretch and should be even better this season given the haul of players Kelly brought to town in his first recruiting class like Aaron Lynch.
So while the job may not be Crist's yet officially, he's going to have to do a lot in the coming weeks to lose it.
Posted on: May 12, 2011 4:11 pm
By Eye on College Football Bloggers
Each week, the Eye on CFB team convenes Voltron- style to answer a pressing question regarding the wild, wide world of college football. This week's topic:
We've already talked about No. 1, but the end of spring has also meant a revision of the rest of the preseason top 25, like our colleague Dennis Dodd's. What teams do you feel like might deserve a better ranking at this stage (or one at all)? What teams do you feel like might be ranked too highly?
Jerry Hinnen: There always seems to be one team from the SEC that comes from outside the preseason polls and surprises--think Mississippi State last year, Ole Miss in 2008, etc. But Dennis's 25 already includes every SEC team but Ole Miss, Tennessee, Kentucky and Vanderbilt, and I'm not sold on any of those teams as poll material. (There's a case to be made for the Vols, but only if Tyler Bray takes a major step forward, and his 5-for-30 spring game suggests that step may not be imminent.)
So I'll look elsewhere for a sleeper and mention how much I like San Diego State. The Aztecs have absorbed some heavy losses in their pair of NFL-bound wideouts and, of course, the head coach-offensive coordinator pairing of Brady Hoke and Al Borges. But Ronnie Hillman is an All-American running back waiting to happen, and senior Ryan Lindley is easily the best MWC quarterback this side of Kellen Moore. Together, they're one of the nation's best RB-QB combos, and new OC Andy Ludwig (the man behind Utah's undefeated 2008 attack) should know how to get the most out of them.
Defensively, the Aztecs should be much more comfortable in the second year of Rocky Long's unorthodox 3-3-5 scheme, and the schedule also offers the opportunity for two huge statement wins since TCU and Boise State travel to San Diego. Put it all together, and I don't think the departures of Hoke and Borges will be nearly enough to stop the program's momentum towards the polls.
Bryan Fischer: One team I think is a bit under the radar is Georgia. The Dawgs get the other division favorite, South Carolina, early in the schedule--that could be key if the Gamecocks are breaking in Connor Shaw, who has all of 33 passes to his name. I'm concerned about Georgia's running game but they have a good quarterback and the defense should be markedly improved in year two under Todd Grantham.
West Virginia is another team that can really make a move. They lose a lot from last year on defense but should be solid nevertheless. They might have one of the best offenses in the country with Geno Smith running the show and get their big non-conference game against LSU at home.
Chip Patterson: I agree with Bryan that West Virginia is a team that could cause some problems this fall. Dana Holgorsen might have done the coaching job of the year in 2010 with Oklahoma State's offense; the Cowboys did not return a single offensive lineman and his scheme resulted in the third-most productive offense in the nation anyway. Now he gets a stable full of athletes that, in many people's opinions, have been underperforming under Bill Stewart. Smith is the type of quarterback who can be a threat in Holgorsen's spread, especially once he gets familiar with the reads and changing plays at the line of scrimmage. The toughest challenge on the Mountaineers' slate is an early-season battle with LSU in Morgantown (as Bryan mentioned). I think that game is winnable, and could give them confidence headed into the back-loaded conference schedule.
Virginia Tech, though, is a huge question mark in my opinion. While I'm not sure whether they will end up higher or lower than 17, there's as much of a chance of them finishing the season unranked as getting to 10 wins. Their schedule does set up extremely well, with Clemson, Miami and North Carolina coming to Blacksburg and Florida State, Maryland and N.C. State avoided completely. But Logan Thomas needs to prove himself in a game situation, and running back David Wilson will have to work without Darren Evans or Ryan Williams to compliment him. Even if the Hokies finish the season strong, the eye test does not have them as "Top 20 good" just yet.
Adam Jacobi: After the first, oh, eight teams, I've got some major concerns about nearly every team on the list. Spring is the season for questions, of course, but it's like, "Michigan State at 11? Really? Wisconsin at 12? Really? Arkansas at 13? Really?" But you look at that list, and yeah, that's about right.
The one team that stands out to me is Notre Dame, who sort of creeps in under the radar at 19. I don't expect that sterling recruiting class to make much of an impact in Year 1, but there's a lot of talent coming back for Brian Kelly to build on. They have options at quarterback with Dayne Crist and Tommy Rees, the passing game basically only lost tight end Kyle Rudolph (who was injured for the second half of the season anyway), and four of five starting linemen return. The defense, meanwhile, is still led by Manti Te'o and returns its top eight tacklers. There's some retooling to do up the middle of the front seven, but the leadership and experience are there for the D to take a big step forward this year.
Lastly, I really like the Irish's schedule. The only truly worrisome game is the season finale at Stanford; the rest of the games are winnable. That's not to say the Irish are definitely going 11-1 in the regular season -- that's not happening without a ton of luck -- but it's a nice very-best-case scenario.
BF: I think the top 10 is pretty much standard for everyone. Sure, you can change the order and move teams around, but you can't argue with those 10 teams much.
After that, I have an issue with Auburn at 15. I know they're the defending champions, but they lost a lot of talent on both sides of the ball, and the Tigers have a very tough schedule where they could take some losses. I'm also not sold on Utah after watching them collapse down the stretch last year, and they've had a ton of guys sit out this spring with injuries. I'd swap them in the rankings with USC -- who has depth issues but also has Matt Barkley and Robert Woods throwing the ball around -- or UCF.
AJ: Here's something I want to know -- what do you do about Ohio State if you're a voter? Do you ding them since the Buckeye Five are suspended for five games? Do you un-ding them when they come back? How many spots does Jim Tressel's situation cost them? What's the protocol here?
Tom Fornelli: I would have them lower on my rankings, personally. Losing some of your best players and your head coach for five games is a big deal, even if those games are against MACifices that shouldn't prove much of a test to the Buckeyes. Either way, those players and Tressel aren't there to start the season, so we should treat Ohio State as if they're not there. And do you see Ohio State being a top-25 team with Joe Bauserman?
JH: Disagree. I don't think there's a "protocol" on how to deal with the Buckeyes' current (unprecedented) situation as it relates to preseason polls; your guess is as good as mine is as good as anyone else's. But I don't think dropping them out of the top 25 all together is fair. Until we hear otherwise from the NCAA, the Buckeye Five and Tressel won't miss any more than the first (mostly winnable) five games. Dropping them entirely -- under the mere assumption Tressel, Pryor, et al are a dead team walking -- seems to put the cart before the horse.
TF: Seriously, though, I need somebody to explain to me why Arizona State is suddenly the cool team to vote for. Do people just really like their new uniforms? Is Vontaze Burfict sitting over their shoulders as they fill out their brackets? This is a team that won six games last year, with those six wins coming against Portland State, Northern Arizona, Washington, Washington State, UCLA and Arizona. Arizona is the only impressive win on that list, and it was a one-point victory in double overtime. This is a team that may have a lot of returning starters this year, but they're returning starters from a team that wasn't exactly a world-beater last season. Also, after losing quarterback Steven Threet to injury, the guy who has to lead that returning-starter-filled offense is still new.
JH: You didn't even mention their plague of torn ACLs this spring. I wish I could disagree -- the Sun Devils have had a ton of bad luck the last couple of seasons -- but they strike me, too, as a prime candidate to disappoint.
Tags: Al Borges, Andy Ludwig, Arizona, Arizona State, Arkansas, Auburn, Bill Stewart, Boise State, Brady Hoke, Brian Kelly, Buckeye Five, Clemson, Connor Shaw, Dana Holgorsen, Darren Evans, David Wilson, Dayne Crist, Eye on CFB Roundtable, Florida State, Geno Smith, Georgia, Jim Tressel, Joe Bauserman, Kellen Moore, Kentucky, Kyle Rudolph, Logan Thomas, Manti Te'o, Maryland, Miami, Michigan State, Mississippi State, N.C. State, NCAA, North Carolina, Northern Arizona, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Ole Miss, Portland State, Ronnie Hillman, Ryan Lindley, Ryan Williams, San Diego State, SEC, South Carolina, Stanford, Steven Threet, TCU, Tennessee, Todd Grantham, Tommy Rees, Tyler Bray, UCF, UCLA, USC, Utah, Vanderbilt, Virginia Tech, Vontaze Burfict, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin
Posted on: May 6, 2011 3:01 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Every Friday we catch up on four stories you might have missed during the week ... and add a few extra links to help take you into the weekend.
FOUR LINKS ...
1. It hasn't exactly been a state secret, since it's a matter of simple addition, but it wasn't until this post at SEC blog Team Speed Kills this week that we realized that Vanderbilt has seven quarterbacks legitimately battling for the Commodores' starting quarterback position (and six of them on scholarship). And we thought Notre Dame was overrun. (Though, like the Irish and Dayne Crist, we'll be surprised if the current favorite -- Larry Smith -- doesn't hold onto the job as expected.)
2. Since we spent so much time yesterday informing you of games re-scheduled to Fridays, how 'bout another? USC and Colorado will play their first-ever Pac-12 conference game Friday on ESPN2, Nov. 4, instead of Saturday Nov. 5. We're not sure the Trojans really need the boost in exposure of a Friday night Boise State special, but no doubt Larry Scott (and his billion-dollar quest to break his conference out of the regional-network prison they've been confined to the last few seasons) approves.
3. It seems perhaps a little ... tactless for Jim Delany to welcome Lincoln as the Big Ten's new Green Bay when his conference already includes such "charming smallish town" candidates as West Lafayette and Champaign, but no doubt the Huskers won't mind the comparions between their successes and the Packers'.
4. You noticed Oregon honoring the armed forces at their spring game last Saturday, right? If not, well, they did, but the highlight had to have been this speech from Chip Kelly after the game:
AND THE CLOUD ...
Nebraska looks poised to introduce a substantial pistol element to their new Tim Beck- directed offense, which should be good news for Taylor Martinez if the Huskers can make it work ... BYU receiver Cody Hoffman was arrested recently on failure-to-appear charges after he left a speeding ticket unpaid ... Also appearing in the police blotter was Colorado signee Nelson Spruce, arrested for marijuana possession ... former Navy players talk about the death of Osama Bin Laden ... receiver Brandon Felder has transferred from North Carolina home to Pitt to help care for his ailing grandparents; Felder redshirted last fall ... We're told by the first line of this story not to ask, but we're going to anyway: Why were Penn State's original uniforms pink and black? ... and for all the lonelyhearts in Gainesville, have we got the site for you.
Posted on: March 25, 2011 3:51 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist hasn't had much luck on the injury front in his relatively brief Irish career.
Crist tore his ACL during the 2009 season and was limited in his first spring practice under Brian Kelly, then won the Irish's 2010 starting job anyway. But then Crist's season was ended by a torn patellar tendon against Tulsa Oct. 30. With Tommy Rees leading the Irish to a surprising four-game winning streak to end the season and Crist presumably limited again this spring, Rees was a narrow favorite to maintain his lead for the starting nod when the Irish began spring camp this week .
But that might not be the most accurate portrayal of the situation, not if Crist is being honest about how well that injured knee is responding:
"I'm cleared for everything right now," Crist said Friday, following a morning practice. "I'm 100 percent cleared for everything I'm doing" ...If there's truly "zero issues" with Crist's knee, that's terrific news for Crist and less-than-stellar news for Rees; despite Rees's heroics last fall, a healthy Crist -- having already won the job once and still boasting the raw talent and size that made him a five-star recruit out of high school -- would likely be tipped by many to reclaim the starter's position.
But the bottom line is that it's unambiguously good news for the Irish as a whole, who now have a legitimate quarterback competition in place to help both players get better throughout the spring, two quarterbacking options who have been able to fully participate in spring camp, and (of course) the likely higher-ceilinged of the two back on the field.
Now, though, comes the next question: can the brittle Crist stay healthy?