Notre Dame will use two quarterbacks in its Music City Bowl game against LSU, coach Brian Kelly told reporters Monday night.
That sets up a rather off-the-wall storyline for Irish quarterback Everett Golson: He has applied for feedback from the NFL Draft Advisory Board but no longer is his college team's unquestioned quarterback.
Earlier this month, Kelly had said there would be an open competition for the starting job, but he said Monday that playing both Golson -- who has started all 12 games -- and Malik Zaire increases the chances for a Fighting Irish win. Kelly said there will be a plan on when to use each quarterback.
"I think both have some different traits and we need a way to win the game," Kelly told reporters after Monday night's practice. "I think both of them can help us win."
Further, Kelly said, "Both have skill sets that are a little bit different that we'll use in the game (Golson is the better passer, Zaire the better runner). ... I feel very confident I can manage both of them."
Golson's status has taken a huge drop. He was on most Heisman watch lists when he and the Irish started 6-0. But they have won just one of their past six. Golson has thrown for 3,355 yards and 29 touchdowns, but he also has thrown 14 interceptions and lost eight fumbles. In Notre Dame's current four-game losing streak, Golson has as many TD passes as interceptions (seven).
It seems doubtful that Golson gets the good word from the advisory board. NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah wrote in November that Golson "has plenty of developing to do" and called him "a raw project."
Mike Huguenin can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. You also can follow him on Twitter @MikeHuguenin.