Notre Dame Spring Blue/Gold Game Filled with Storylines

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The University of Notre Dame football team has a big weekend ahead with the 82nd-Annual Blue-Gold Game on Saturday at 2 p.m ET. The spring college football intra-squad game will be broadcast live nationally on Versus and available via live video stream at und.com.

And this year’s spring scrimmage is extremely intriguing as it poses a ton of questions; let’s get to it.

By Paul M. Banks

dayne crist

How is the convalescence of Dayne Crist coming along? And the rest of the QB situation?

Crist is good to go, and he even led the team in their latest charity endeavor. But you’ll barely see him Saturday; along with Tommy Rees. The two quarterbacks with experience will go 25% of the time, with the unknown but highly regarded recruits Andrew Hendrix and Everett Golson playing 75% of the time.

“It’s going to be Golson versus Hendrix, relative to the offense,” Coach Brian Kelly said.

“They are going to do everything. They will be live. They will run the ball. They will throw the ball. We will get a really good feel for both of those guys because we know the other two guys can win football games.”

We’ve heard Kelly extol the virtues of Hendrix, and we’ll get to see in him, something we don’t .

Who will be the featured tailback?

Cierre Wood. With Armando Allen gone, it’s his job now. But he won’t play much in spring game. Backup Jonas Gray will need to be huge this season for the Irish. There are future recruits are on the way, but lately tailbacks have been thin and the depth is really non-existent now. It’s clear that the spread-option’s pass happy offense has discouraged some of the top-notch tailback prospects from coming to South Bend; but on the flipside, WRs and QBs love it.

Will any rookies make an impact?

Keep an eye on the highly regarded freshman in the front seven. Aaron Lynch and Williams. Lots of blue chip recruits in the defensive line for this class; and a couple of them will be making position switches. In this game, the teams will be divided equally between the blue and the white (first and second string), with the offensive line wearing green and playing as a single unit.

Will the Michael Floyd situation be a distraction?

Probably not; as he is enrolled in school, but does not have any official role with the football program at this point. Expect him back in the fall though. For Saturday, receivers Theo Riddick and T.J. Jones will try and make the most of their added roles, showing what they could possibly do and go-to receivers in 2011.

Who are the rising stars in the program?

Kelly said Braxston Cave is most improved player on offense, and he’s starting to look a potential NFL level lineman. Kapron Lewis-Moore is considered most improved on d, and he might be considered a very late round next level prospect in the next draft. Also look out for Ethan Johnson, who will have an increased role on the defensive line in replacing the departed Ian Williams, who might also see on draft day; somewhere in rounds 3-5.

And what about Injuries?

Manti Te’o is out of the Blue-Gold game, as expected. Teo didn’t do much this spring, although Kelly said on his radio show yesterday that overall he’s fine, and coming back strong now. Also sitting out will be guard Chris Watt and wide receiver Daniel Smith.

Paul M. Banks is CEO of The Sports Bank.net , a Midwest webzine. He’s also a regular contributor to Chicago Now, Walter Football.com, Yardbarker, and Fox Sports

He does a regular guest spot each week for Chicagoland Sports Radio.com You can follow him on Twitter @thesportsbank

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