Notre Dame tabs Tyler Buchner as starting QB, loses WR Avery Davis to ACL injury

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Notre Dame has decided on its starting quarterback for the season opener versus Ohio State.

The school announced Saturday that sophomore Tyler Buchner has won the job entering the Irish’s first season with Marcus Freeman as head coach. Buchner edged out Drew Pyne to win the job.

Buchner, a four-star recruit in the class of 2021, saw the field last year as a freshman but was used primarily as a runner with Jack Coan in place as the starter. Buchner was quite effective, racking up 336 yards and six touchdowns on just 46 carries. Additionally, Buchner was 21-of-35 as a passer for 298 yards, three touchdowns and three interceptions.

Pyne also saw some playing time last season, completing 15-of-30 passes for 224 yards and two touchdowns. Pyne will open the season as the backup.

Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) in action against Toledo in an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Notre Dame won 32-29. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Notre Dame quarterback Tyler Buchner (12) in action against Toledo in an NCAA college football game in South Bend, Ind., Saturday, Sept. 11, 2021. Notre Dame won 32-29. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)

Notre Dame loses Avery Davis to knee injury

In addition to naming a starting quarterback, Notre Dame also announced some injury news on Saturday. Avery Davis, a senior wide receiver, injured the ACL in his right knee during practice on Friday and will miss the entire 2022 season.

Davis, the team’s starting slot receiver, injured his left ACL last November. Before the injury, he caught 27 passes for 386 yards and four touchdowns. For his career, Davis has 66 catches for 862 yards and eight scores.

It’s a tough loss for the Irish, who enter the season very light on experience at receiver. Without Davis, Braden Lenzy (50 catches), Lorenzo Styles (24 catches) and Joe Wilkins (11 catches) have the most career production at the position. Freeman told reporters Saturday that a few players on the roster may have to switch positions to bolster the receiver depth chart.

The Irish, of course, will lean heavily on Michael Mayer, one of the top tight ends in the country. Mayer caught 71 passes for 840 yards and seven touchdowns last season and had 42 catches for 450 yards and two scores as a freshman in 2020.

Notre Dame's opener against Ohio State is on Sept. 3 in Columbus.