Rice at Notre Dame

Golson leads No. 17 Irish to 48-17 win over Rice

Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Everett Golson looked better after a year off than he ever did in helping Notre Dame get to the national championship two seasons ago.

In his first game back after missing last season for academic impropriety, Golson threw touchdown passes of 75 and 53 yards and became just the third Notre Dame quarterback to run for three touchdowns in a game as the Irish beat Rice 48-17 on Saturday.

''Everett Golson was electric,'' coach Brian Kelly said. ''He kept his eyes down field. He knew when to run. He knew when to throw it.''

Golson was 14-of-22 passing for 295 yards and ran for 41 yards on 12 carries. He threw the ball away on purpose three times and three other times Irish receivers dropped passes. His only big mistake was a pass early in the second quarter that Rice safety Gabe Baker should have intercepted but dropped.

Golson said it was the type of comeback he envisioned while spending a semester away from Notre Dame.

''That's what inspired me through all the training and all the days of me just working out by myself. I think that's what helped me get through it,'' he said.

Because of privacy laws, Notre Dame never disclosed why Golson was suspended from school. Golson said he used ''poor judgment on a test,'' but never elaborated.

Golson's most exciting throw was a 75-yard touchdown pass to Will Fuller that traveled nearly 60 yards in the air. Fuller was in a full sprint and wide open and needed to slow down to catch the pass near the 25-yard line. Fuller then made Rice safety Julius White miss as he raced into the end zone. It was the longest TD pass for Notre Dame since 2010.

The 53-yard touchdown pass was a little better timed as Golson scrambled and threw a perfect pass to a wide-open C.J. Prosise in the end zone with 5 seconds left in the half, giving the Irish 28-10 lead. Golson was hit hard just after throwing the pass.

Rice coach David Bailiff said Golson is amazing in his ability to extend plays.

''We left our corner on an island for too long and he got separation. Because that's what great quarterbacks do,'' Bailiff said.

Golson scored on an 11-yard run on a planned keeper, a 14-yard scramble and a 4-yard run on a blown handoff.

Kelly said Golson had shown a lot of confidence in recent days.

''There's a lot of things that he will tell you that he's got to continue to improve on, but there's a confidence that he carries with him that is starting to emanate, and that's going to only get better and better as he gains more confidence,'' Kelly said.

Driphus Jackson, making his second career start at quarterback for Rice, was 13 of 24 passing for 163 yards and one touchdown and the key interception.

''I've just got to be better managing the ball, and understand it's OK to throw the ball away,'' Jackson said. ''I don't have to try and make plays all the time.''

Rice backup quarterback Tyler Stehling threw a 53 yard TD pass to James Mayden later.

Notre Dame was playing without five players on its roster, including three starters. The group is being investigated for possible cheating. But the Irish haven't let it affect them, Kelly said.

''They care about their teammates. That's clear. But they also know that they are here at Notre Dame to get a degree and to play for Notre Dame and represent Notre Dame on the football field. So they have been really focused on their job and going out there. They have been really purposeful every single day.''

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Scoring Summary
NDEverett Golson 11 yd run (Kyle Brindza kick)
RICEZach Wright 26 yd pass from Driphus Jackson (James Hairston kick)
NDWilliam Fuller 75 yd pass from Everett Golson (Kyle Brindza kick)
RICEJames Hairston 33 yd FG
NDEverett Golson 14 yd run (Kyle Brindza kick)
NDC.J. Prosise 53 yd pass from Everett Golson (Kyle Brindza kick)
NDKyle Brindza 36 yd FG
NDEverett Golson 4 yd run (Kyle Brindza kick)
NDKyle Brindza 29 yd FG
RICEJames Mayden 53 yd pass from Tyler Stehling (James Hairston kick)
NDGreg Bryant 17 yd run (Kyle Brindza kick)
Team Stats
First Downs1623
Third Down Efficiency6-156-13
Fourth Down Efficiency0-10-0
Plays-Net Yards66-36764-576
Passing Yds226295
Kick Return Yds2949
Punt Return Yds080
Time of Poss.29:5130:9
Individual Stats
RICE: Driphus Jackson 11-61, Jowan Davis 14-33, Brandon Hamilton 6-29, Darik Dillard 6-18, Luke Turner 2-2, Team 1--2
ND: Tarean Folston 12-71, Greg Bryant 8-71, Malik Zaire 2-58, Everett Golson 12-41, Cam McDaniel 8-40
RICE: Driphus Jackson 13-24-163-1, Tyler Stehling 2-2-63-0
ND: Everett Golson 14-22-295-0
RICE: Dennis Parks 3-37, Darik Dillard 3-30, Zach Wright 2-39, Luke Turner 2-33, Jowan Davis 2-8, James Mayden 1-53, Darrion Pollard 1-16, Cameron Decell 1-10
ND: William Fuller 4-85, Ben Koyack 3-51, Amir Carlisle 2-54, Chris Brown 2-20, C.J. Prosise 1-53, Corey Robinson 1-25, Cam McDaniel 1-7
Rice1st Conference USA West0-00-0
Notre Dame1st FBS Independents 0-00-0

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