The quarterback situation for the No. 13 Notre Dame Fighting Irish has been a wonky one for the past few weeks, but a veteran hand will lead the team into Saturday’s battle with rival USC. Head coach Brian Kelly confirmed this week that grad transfer Jack Coan will get the start for the Golden Domers on Saturday, mostly based on the way he closed out the game in Notre Dame’s 32-29 victory over Virginia Tech two weeks ago.
Trailing 29-21 deep into the fourth, the super senior stepped in and marched the team downfield for a game-tying drive. After the Irish defense forced a three-and-out, Coan helped march the offense down the field once again to set up what would be the game-winning field goal with 17 seconds left.
Notre Dame’s QB carousel officially began three weeks ago when Coan was benched midway through their 24-13 loss to Cincinnati. Backups Drew Pyne and Tyler Buchner stepped in to take snaps at QB, causing questions over if a permanent QB shift would be made. Kelly went with Buchner as the starter for the Va. Tech game, but pulled him after he threw two costly second half interceptions, one of them being a pick six. That’s where Coan came in to save the day.
Coan may be getting the nod tonight, but the last two games have indicated that his head coach won’t be hesitant to yank him if he’s ineffective against USC. We’ll see how this one plays out.
This line has moved back and forth throughout the week on DraftKings Sportsbook, but Notre Dame is now listed as a 7-point favorite with the over/under set at 59. The game will kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET and can be seen on NBC.