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Golson dome: Irish QB electrifying in first game back

Notre Dame quarterback Evertt Gols(5) heads toward end zone during an NCAA college football game with Rice South Bend Ind.

Notre Dame quarterback Evertt Golson (5) heads toward the end zone during an NCAA college football game with Rice in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Aug. 30, 2014. (AP Photo/Joe Raymond)

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No. 17 NOTRE DAME 48, RICE 17

Rice 7 3 0 7 — 17

Notre Dame 14 14 10 10 — 48

First Quarter

ND—Golson 11 run (Brindza kick), 6:02.

Rice—Z.Wright 26 pass from Jackson (Hairston kick), 2:13.

ND—Fuller 75 pass from Golson (Brindza kick), 2:01.

Second Quarter

Rice—FG Hairston 33, 5:51.

ND—Golson 14 run (Brindza kick), 2:33.

ND—Prosise 53 pass from Golson (Brindza kick), :05.

Third Quarter

ND—FG Brindza 36, 4:07.

ND—Golson 4 run (Brindza kick), :17.

Fourth Quarter

ND—FG Brindza 29, 7:47.

Rice—Mayden 53 pass from Stehling (Hairston kick), 4:57.

ND—Bryant 17 run (Brindza kick), 3:32.

A—80,795.

TEAM STATITSTICS Rice ND

First downs 16 23

Rushes-yards 40-141 42-281

Passing 226 295

Comp-Att-Int 15-26-1 14-22-0

Return Yards 0 86

Punts-Avg. 5-48.2 3-48.0

Fumbles-Lost 1-1 0-0

Penalties-Yards 5-30 2-10

Time of Possession 29:51 30:09

INDIVIDUAL STATISTICS

RUSHING—Rice, Jackson 11-61, Davis 14-33, Hamilton 6-29, Dillard 6-18, Turner 2-2, Team 1-(minus 2). Notre Dame, Bryant 8-71, Folston 12-71, Zaire 2-58, Golson 12-41, McDaniel 8-40.

PASSING—Rice, Jackson 13-24-1-163, Stehling 2-2-0-63. Notre Dame, Golson 14-22-0-295.

RECEIVING—Rice, Parks 3-37, Dillard 3-30, Z.Wright 2-39, Turner 2-33, Davis 2-8, Mayden 1-53, D.Pollard 1-16, Decell 1-10. Notre Dame, Fuller 4-85, Koyack 3-51, Carlisle 2-54, C.Brown 2-20, Prosise 1-53, Robinson 1-25, McDaniel 1-7.

NOTRE DAME (1-0)

Aug. 30 Rice W, 48-17

Sept. 6 Michigan 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 13 Purdue (at Indianapolis) 6:30 p.m.

Sept. 27 Syracuse (at East Rutherford, N.J.) TBA

Oct. 4 Stanford 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 11 North Carolina 2:30 p.m.

Oct. 18 at Florida State TBA

Nov. 1 Navy (at Landover, Md.) 7 p.m.

Nov. 8 at Arizona State TBA

Nov. 15 Northwestern 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 22 Louisville 2:30 p.m.

Nov. 29 at USC TBA

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Updated: October 1, 2014 6:51AM



SOUTH BEND, Ind. — Everett Golson couldn’t pinpoint a singular “I’m back” moment.

But from the warm ovation he received from the 80,795 fans at Notre Dame Stadium just before his first snap to the last of his five touchdowns, Golson was happy. Happy to have the opportunity again to make an impact for the Irish.

And it was quite an impact Saturday.

Golson rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two more as Notre Dame opened the season by smoking Rice 48-17.

“I felt pretty comfortable from the get-go,” Golson said. “I don’t know if it necessarily showed the first couple of drives, but that’s one of those things where you just have to stay at it and keep being persistent in it.

“I think we did a great job of doing that, and it came out pretty good for us.”

That’s one way of putting it. The Irish finished with 576 yards of offense.

Golson missed all of 2013 because of a suspension for showing, as he put it, “poor academic judgment.” He hadn’t played since the loss to Alabama in the BCS title game at the end of the 2012 season.

He didn’t show any rust in his return. Golson passed for 295 yards and rushed for 41 more.

“Golson was electric,” coach Brian Kelly said. “He kept his eyes downfield, knew when to run, knew when to throw it, and those are things we really talked about. We didn’t want to over‑coach him in that we were going to allow him to get outside the pocket and be a football player and just naturally go play the game. And I thought he did that extraordinarily well.

“He came back and showed the kind of player he can be.”

The touchdown passes went for 75 and 53 yards.

“An emphasis for us was to go vertical,” Golson said.

His rushing touchdowns went for 11, 14 and four yards.

“I think Golson is an amazing, amazing quarterback,” Rice coach David Bailiff said. “The choices he makes, the way he can extend plays.”

It was a positive sign for a program that has spent the last couple of weeks dealing with the ramifications of an academic scandal. Five players, including three starters, are being held out of practices and games while the school looks into suspected academic dishonesty.

Their fate is up in the air. But Golson provided stability at quarterback, even when plays appeared anything but stable. That was the case for his last touchdown.

He intended to hand the ball off to Greg Bryant, only the back wasn’t there. Golson decided to run, and he scored on what Kelly joked was a “trick” play.

“I was a little fortunate,” Golson said.

Golson had a huge smile as he returned to the sideline. It was that type of day for him. And given the current circumstances, one the Irish needed.

Email: lpope@post-trib.com

Twitter: @lamondpope



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