The Notre Dame Fighting Irish looked great following a 48-17 win over the Rice Owls. The one player that impressed me the most was quarterback Evert Golson who was returning from his yearlong suspension. Golson looked the part of a quarterback who can elevate his teammates on Saturday afternoon. He was able to shake off the rust and throw for 295 yards and two touchdowns.
Stats can tell one thing but the way Golson was operating the offense tells another story. The Irish offense was moving the ball with good tempo throughout the game. The high tempo that they played at forced the Owls to play with a vanilla defense. This made life easier for the Irish and more specifically the offensive line. This all came back to Golson starting at quarterback.
Another thing that Golson did that was impressive was spreading the ball all over the field and taking what the defense gave him. Golson hit seven different receivers on the day. He didn’t look like he was rushed at any point throughout the game even when the Owls did get some pressure on the quarterback.
Finally his legs were great throughout the day he scored two touchdowns running the ball. One play was by design and it was a quarterback draw and another was on what appeared to be a read option gone wrong. Both instances there was a mistake that Golson made up for. On the quarterback draw the left tackle whiffed on the block and on the read option Golson ether turned the wrong way or the running back made the mistake. Never the less Golson was able to turn those chances into something and score.
Going forward I would really like to see Golson move the ball with his arm and use his legs as a last resort. He is a great athlete and he can use that to his advantage but to become an elite on in college football his arm has to do most of the damage. On Saturday he could get away with running the ball but against other top teams he is going to have to move the ball with his arm. This was a great start for Golson and this is something he can build on moving forward.