Kelly: Golson should be 100 percent for OU game


Kelly: Golson should be 100 percent for OU game

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Brian Kelly decided Friday he didn't want Everett Golson to play against BYU, citing health concerns following a concussion the redshirt freshman suffered against Stanford.

So Tommy Rees started Saturday, leaving many to wonder if it would finally spur the quarterback controversy that logic says should've materialized a few weeks ago.

But, as has been the case since Week 2, Kelly reiterated that Golson is Notre Dame's starting quarterback. He'll regain that role next week for Notre Dame's biggest game of the year to date, a showdown with No. 9 Oklahoma in Norman that carries plenty of BCS implications.

"He wanted to play," Kelly said, adding there was no chance Golson was going to play against BYU. "He made his case. I just felt like where we were (during the week) and my evaluation of him cumulatively, I felt like this was the best thing to do. He was supportive, he was great on the sideline. But he clearly, he really wanted to get in there as well.

"We feel like we've got a kid now that's 100 percent ready to go for Oklahoma."

Rees didn't blow the hinges off Notre Dame's depth chart on Saturday, though, completing seven of 16 attempts for 117 yards. He threw for a touchdown and was picked off, although the latter was hardly his fault -- wide receiver DaVaris Daniels whiffed on a pass, which bounced off his face mask and into the waiting hands of BYU linebacker Kyle Van Noy.

One thing Rees did show that Golson hasn't this year was a connection with tight end Tyler Eifert, although it was fleeting. All of Eifert's stats were compiled in the first quarter, with Rees finding him four times for 73 yards and a touchdown. Those four receptions were as many as Eifert had Oct. 13 against Stanford, and were one more than he had against Michigan State, Michigan and Miami combined.

"There's no magic there," Kelly said. "They clearly are very close friends, we all know that. They have been together for a while. But the routes were called to get him the football and we connected on those opportunities."

But the opportunities dried up in the second quarter, as Rees didn't attempt a pass in the final 15 minutes before the half. Rees didn't complete a pass from the start of the second quarter until the final seconds of the third, and then only threw once in the fourth. As the game progressed, it became clear if Notre Dame was going to win it, it was going to be on the ground.

So while Golson's development has become a series-by-series process, perhaps he wouldn't have gained much by playing Saturday.

"He could have reversed, pivoted and handed the ball off like Tommy did 30, 40 times in a row," Kelly said. "I think when we cut through all of this, my gut feeling was I wanted to err on the side of caution relative to playing him."

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

Summer of Sammy: Sosa's 10th, 11th homers in 1998

It's the 20th anniversary of the Summer of Sammy, when Sosa and Mark McGwire went toe-to-toe in one of the most exciting seasons in American sports history chasing after Roger Maris' home run record. All year, we're going to go homer-by-homer on Sosa's 66 longballs, with highlights and info about each. Enjoy.

Sosa is heating up, but even a red-hot Sosa doesn't automatically equal wins for the Cubs.

Slammin' Sammy notched his first multi-homer game in 1998 in a 9-5 loss to Kevin Millwood and the Atlanta Braves. Sosa drove in 4 of the Cubs' 5 runs on a solo shot in the 4th inning and a three-run shot in the 8th. 

Sosa tallied 830 feet of homers in the game, with his first blast going 410 feet and the second shot measured at 420 feet.

The big game bumped Sosa's overall season slash line to .337/.411/.551 (.962 OPS) with 11 homers and 35 RBI.

Fun fact: Mickey Morandini hit second for the Cubs in this game and went 4-for-4, but somehow only scored one run despite hitting just in front of Sosa all game. That's because Morandini was caught stealing to end the 3rd inning, leaving Sosa to lead off the 4th inning with a solo blast.

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Steve Kerr told a Michael Jordan Bulls story to give advice to Kevin Durant

Anyone who lived through the Michael Jordan Bulls remembers those games when he was putting up tons of points, but the Bulls were still struggling overall.

Steve Kerr referenced one of those games to give advice to Kevin Durant during Game 5 of the Western Conference Finals. The TNT broadcast caught the conversation and aired it late in the third quarter.

"When MJ was with the Bulls, we had a playoff game," Kerr began the story. "He kept trying to score and he was scoring, but we weren't getting anything going. Phil Jackson said 'Who's open?' He said, 'John Paxson.'"

Paxson famously hit the game-winning shot in Game 6 of the 1993 NBA Finals to clinch the series. Kerr, who later hit his own championship-winning shot on an assist from Jordan in 1997, was trying to get to get his teammates involved.

"I want to trust your teammates early," Kerr said. "What you're doing is you're getting to the rim and then you're trying to hit him. I want you to trust the first guy and then move. Still attack, still look to score, but trust these guys, OK?"

Watch the video above to see the interaction.

Durant scored 29 points in Game 5 to lead the Warriors, but Houston took a 3-2 series lead with a 98-94 win.