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Irish Insights

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Rees to start for Irish

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly named his second starting quarterback in as many weeks when he met with the media Tuesday afternoon.

Kelly named Tommy Rees the starter for Saturday night's game at Michigan. Rees replaced starter Dayne Crist after halftime of the season-opening loss to South Florida.

"As we had talked about relative to Dayne, we talked about production, and Tommy was very productive in the second half," Kelly said. "He'll get a chance to start against Michigan."

Rees took over at quarterback in the season opener after halftime, which lasted two hours, 10 minutes because of severe weather in South Bend.

The sophomore went 24-of-34 passing for 296 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions.

Last season, Rees took over as the starter after Crist's season ended because of a knee injury.

"Nobody wants to go in and change their quarterbacks every week. That's just not the way you play this game," Kelly said. "So our hopes are Tommy is productive and can play at a high level week in and week out.

"He's got a pretty good resume. He's 4-0 as a starter and he's come off the bench twice and played well. We don't come to this decision thinking, well, he'll give us one game and go back to Dayne."

Crist struggled in the first half against the Bulls, going 7-for-15 passing for 95 yards with one interception. Crist's interception came when he tried to hit Theo Riddick in the end zone early in the second quarter.

Crist did lead Notre Dame 79 yards on its first possession, but the drive ended when backup running back Jonas Gray fumbled on the 1-yard line and South Florida returned the ball 96 yards for a touchdown.

"Let's keep it in perspective, the quarterback gets way too much blame and way too much praise, I think we all know that," Kelly said. "He didn't have a lot of help on Saturday.

"It wasn't all Dayne Crist. Unfortunately, it falls on the quarterback as the leader to be productive. That's why we went with the decision."

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