SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) — The poised play of Everett Golson has Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly pleased with the quarterback's development heading toward a tough stretch of schedule.
The sophomore quarterback was 17 of 22 for 186 yards and ran for another 51 in a 41-3 victory against Miami on Saturday.
Those numbers won't set any records, but backed by Notre Dame's incredibly stingy defense, Golson doesn't need to. Kelly said Golson "grew up" before a sellout crowd at Chicago's Soldier Field.
His coming of age comes at just the right time, with 17th-ranked Stanford, BYU and 13th-ranked Oklahoma up next for the 5-0 Irish.
Kelly said Golson clearly benefited from having an off week before Miami.
By Thursday of last week, his knowledge of Miami's defensive schemes had become clear in practice, Kelly said.
Of course, he'll have no such luxury in preparing for Stanford.
"You're always concerned when you have a younger quarterback that he's going to be able to pick up a lot of things that a team like Stanford likes to do defensively," Kelly said.
"They're an aggressive defense, they bring a lot of looks. But I will say this: He did a lot of things in the second half that he had not done all year. He recognized pressure, did not run out of the pocket, stayed in there and delivered some balls on time. If that continues to show itself, he's going to be very, very difficult to defend because he's got that confidence level and a strong arm that he can deliver the ball."
Kelly said Golson is feeling more confident and he thinks his performance against Miami will be a "great step forward."
"We'll just take it one step at a time with Everett," Kelly said. "We're not ready to feel like we're anywhere near the finished product, but a game like this will certainly buoy his confidence and ability to really focus in on the details of practice."