Looking Back At Notre Dame’s Quarterbacks: Last 15 Starting Debuts

Flickr/West Point Public Affairs

Since the news broke earlier this week that Tommy Rees will be suspended for Notre Dame’s season-opener against Navy in Ireland, there will be a first-time starter under center for the Irish, regardless of whether Andrew Hendrix or Everett Golson is chosen. Both have awesome potential, but the truth is that none of us really know what we are getting into.

So while it would a bit silly or presumptive to project how either candidate will fare against the Midshipmen this fall, there is something that we can do; look to the past.

Here are how each of the last fifteen Irish quarterbacks fared in his first start (preceded by some notable stats):

  • Of the 15 QBs, 6 were juniors, 4 were sophomores, and 5 were freshmen
  • 9 of these first starts occurred at home, 6 were on the road
  • Notre Dame has had to break in at least one new starting quarterback in 9 of the past 18 seasons

Dayne had to take his talents elsewhere. Photo by @dcrist10 via Twitter

15. Tommy Rees

Year: 2010
Opponent: Utah
Line: 13-20 for 129 yards. 3 TDs – 0 INTs
Outcome: Win: 28-3

14. Dayne Crist

Year: 2010
Opponent: Purdue
Line: 19-26 for 205 yards. 1 TD – 0 INTs
Outcome: Win 23-12

13. Evan Sharpley

Year: 2007
Opponent: USC
Line: 17-33 for 117 yards. 0 TDs – 1 INT
Outcome: Loss 38-0

Jimmy always had all of the tools necessary, but couldn't find a way to win. Flickr/SD Rebel

12. Jimmy Clausen

Year: 2007
Opponent: Penn State
Line: 17-32 for 144 yards. 0 TDs – 1 INT
Outcome: Loss 31-10 (PSU win vacated by the NCAA)

11. Demetrius Jones

Year: 2007
Opponent: Georgia Tech
Line: 1-3 for 4 yards. 0 TD – 0 INT
Outcome: Loss 33-3

10. Brady Quinn

Quinn's NFL career hasn't turned out like he expected. Flickr/tomwardmichigan2010

Year: 2003
Opponent: Purdue
Line: 29-59 for 297 yards. 1 TD – 4 INTs
Outcome: Loss 23-10

9. Pat Dillingham

Year: 2002
Opponent: Stanford
Line: 14-27 for 129 yards. 1 TD – 1 INT
Outcome: Win 31-7

8. Carlyle Holiday

Year: 2001
Opponent: Texas A&M
Line: 6-13 for 73 yards. 0 TDs – 2 INTs
Outcome: Loss 24-3

More First Starts >


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Former Managing Editor at College Spun. Notre Dame alumnus from Erie, PA. Diehard sports guy, obviously. Love 90's music, naps, and watching movies. I hate vegetables. Extremely sarcastic. Love reading comments on my pieces. Follow me on Twitter @TMoorehead627.