Notre Dame plans to use a two-quarterback system in the team’s opening game against the Texas Longhorns. Both DeShone Kizer and Malik Zaire commented on the plan as the Irish attempt to make an appearance in the College Football Playoffs.
Roughly two weeks ago, Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly stated that the Irish would feature two different quarterbacks in their matchup against Texas on Sunday, Sep. 4.
Before the announcement, it was speculated that Kelly would have to make a tough decision between Kizer and Zaire for the team’s starting quarterback start. Apparently he thought that having both players appear in the game against the Longhorns would suffice.
After all, Kizer won nine games for the Irish after Zaire went down in the second week against Virginia — suffering a fractured right ankle.
When Zaire had gone down, Notre Dame’s playoff hopes seemed to be all-but-done for. Kizer wasn’t supposed to be as good as he was, and here we are now — with Kelly deciding that having two good quarterbacks playing was better than just one.
The one downside to featuring multiple quarterbacks in a game is that it doesn’t allow much of a rhythm to develop either for either player.
“It would be nice to have a little bit of direction,” Zaire said. “With us not really knowing how things are going to go it’s just important to be able to adapt. For me being here I’ve had to adapt to a lot of different directions. For me, I play better when it’s just time to play. And that’s what I look forward to do.”
“Obviously we’d both like it to be where we knew exactly what was going to happen, how we’re going to go out there and play,” Kizer said. “We’d both rather be the only guy playing but this is how it is so we’re going to continue to compete and maintain that same focus level and try to go out and get a W against Texas.”
At first glance, neither player seems to be too fond of the strategy of using more than one quarterback in a game.
Looking at the other side of the debate, the Ohio State Buckeyes won the 2014 National Championship with multiple quarterbacks starting for them throughout the season. Since then, multiple teams have tried to copy the strategy — so it goes as no surprise that Kelly is willing to experiment while he has two quality quarterbacks on his roster.
It is possible that the experiment could be a success, if that is the case then don’t expect Kelly to shy away from his strategy moving forward.
Notre Dame faces Texas in a rematch from last season’s opener on Sunday, Sep. 4 at 7:30 p.m ET.
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