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QB issues

Notre Dame freshman Andrew Hendrix will be available in a quarterback emergency for the rest of the season.

Hendrix beat out fellow freshman Luke Massa for the No. 3 job behind starter Tommy Rees and backup Nate Montana, coach Brian Kelly said.

Kelly said Hendrix's head is spinning with everything he is doing to prepare to be able to play in a game.

"We really tried, more than anything else, to slow it down," Kelly said. "He's not involved much in game planning. It's more about understanding the big picture. We want to make sure he can get the snap, hand it off, if he needs to do that. We are really going slow with him at this point."

As for Rees, Kelly said he will use a combination of what the freshman does best and what is the best way to attack Utah's defense to get ready for the final home game of the season on Nov. 13.

Kelly also cautioned for everyone to remember that Rees is young and will be making his first start.

I would have liked him to walk in and say, 'Coach, don't worry about it. I got this thing. It's on my back. Let's roll.' " Kelly said. "He's still a true freshman. He's got really good savvy, he's got a great understanding of our offense in a very short period of time, but let's make no mistake about it – He's a true freshman that has had one game, and he'll continue to get better. He loves the game, he's a great, competitive kid, but we got to take into account that he's really a young player."

As far as Dayne Crist is concerned, Kelly said he is confident the junior will be able to come back from a torn patellar tendon in his left knee.

"He's just a strong kid mentally, and he's done it already, and some who are experts … believe that this is not as severe an injury," Kelly said of the quarterback who returned from a torn ACL in his right knee to play this year. "Now, he's going to be able to come back from that, and he's going to have to go back out there and go and get comfortable again. And go through that process. That's going to take some time. All I know for sure is that he'll be back and then, just like everybody else on this football team, will be evaluated day to day as to how we can put the best 22 guys on the field."

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