How long of a leash should Drew Pyne have for Notre Dame?

·2 min read

We are all a bit shellshocked after the news Tyler Buchner is lost for the season. The next man up at quarterback is Drew Pyne, and we all should know that Marcus Freeman and offensive coordinator Tommy Rees aren’t brimming with confidence for the red-shirt sophomore.

His career numbers aren’t awe-inspiring, Pyne has completed just over 50% of his attempts (20 of 39) for 256 yards and three touchdowns to one interception. He hasn’t played much, so there isn’t a lot of data to go on. What we do know is that the quarterback competition in the fall was a quick one, Freeman and Rees announced Buchner as their starter just a few days into camp.

Pyne will get the start against California this week, but the real question is how long will he hold onto the role? His backup, Steve Angeli, has not yet taken a collegiate snap but looked competent during the Blue and Gold Game. In fact, if you recall, he scored the game-winning touchdown with his legs.

If Pyne gets off to a solid start, he could hold onto the job for a good amount of time. But Freeman told the media on Monday that practice reps will be shared, around a 60/40 with Pyne getting a bit more than Angeli. Freeman also mentioned there will be a package for Angeli, hopefully, not just as a run-only option.

This alludes to the question of Pyne’s grasp on the starting role. If he struggles early, as he did during the Blue and Gold Game, he very well could be pulled quickly. If Pyne brings the magic he had against Wisconsin last year? The job could be his for the foreseeable future. Consistency is the key at the moment, especially since Pyne fits a bit more of what Rees would like his quarterback to do in this offense.

If I had to guess, Pyne holds the job for a few weeks (looking at after the Las Vegas contest against BYU) before the keys are handed over to Angeli. I just believe that the offense has so much more upside with a pure-passer than a duel-threat. Don’t get me wrong, this isn’t a knock on Pyne (or on Buchner for that matter), I just think that Angeli has more upside in the short-term and long-term given the current situation.


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Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire