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Golson to start against Spartans

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Sunday he doesn?t want to take starting quarterback Everett Golson out of games like he did for the final drive of Saturday?s 20-17 home win over Purdue.

But he also didn?t rule out using Tommy Rees in the right situations.

Rees led the No. 20 Irish (2-0) on the game-winning drive against the Boilermakers (1-1).

Golson, who will start Saturday?s game at No. 10 Michigan State (2-0), had a thumb injury that made the decision easier, but Kelly reiterated that he would prefer to use only one quarterback.

?I see it as if we feel like Tommy can help us win a game or he can come in a situation where we believe it?s the right fit, then he?ll be prepared to do so,? Kelly said during a teleconference Sunday. ?I used this baseball analogy: We like our starters to finish the game. We want them to go all nine innings. Occasionally we might need some help.

?I don?t want to take anything off the table, but we?d like our starter to start it and finish it.?

Kelly said Golson, who completed 21 of 31 passes for 289 yards with a touchdown and ran for a touchdown Saturday, understands that he is still the starter, and that the sophomore reacted well to being removed from the game.

?I think anybody that gets taken out of the game is going to react in a manner that he wants to play, and if they don?t, I don?t want him to be our quarterback,? Kelly said.

?I know Everett wanted to be in the game. That?s a good thing. He?s been supported by Tommy and Andrew, now it was his chance to support Tommy in that situation. He?s a young man that?s growing every day. We won?t have issues moving forward.?

There also will not be an issue at running back as Cierre Wood returns from his two-game suspension for violation of team rules.

Kelly said Theo Riddick is still the No. 1 running back, but Wood and George Atkinson III will factor heavily into the game plan.

?We?ve got to do a good job of making sure that all those guys are reintegrated,? Kelly said. ?But certainly (Wood is) a player that can help us win.?

The Irish should have plenty of players back to help them win after Saturday?s game saw a number of injuries.

Kelly said tight end and Bishop Dwenger grad Tyler Eifert (concussion), safety Jamoris Slaughter (shoulder), defensive ends Kapron Lewis-Moore (calf) and Sheldon Day (cramps), linebackers Manti Te?o (sternum) and Ishaq Williams (elbow), Golson (thumb) and receiver DaVaris Daniels (ankle) should be able to play this weekend.

Even kicker Nick Tausch, who didn?t play Saturday because of groin injury, is on the mend and will compete with Kyle Brindza for kicking duties against the Spartans.

Kelly also gave some insight into his decision for why he only allowed Te?o and left tackle Zack Martin, who are both captains, talk to the media after Saturday?s win.

?Last night, I thought it was best for our team to have a couple of captains speaks, and I will just leave it at that,? Kelly said.

tkrausz@jg.net

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