Notre Dame Loses Bowl Game to Florida State, Tommy Rees Shares Quarterback Time

The Irish blow a 14-0 third-quarter lead; Rees' pair of interceptions leave his starter status in doubt heading into offseason.


THE SKINNY: Notre Dame fans are not the most optimistic of fan bases. Friday's 18-14 Champs Sports Bowl loss to Florida State gave them more fuel for what promises to be a pessimistic offseason. ended the game the way he started it: throwing an interception in the Seminole end zone. Rees' numbers on the day do not inspire confidence in South Bend for his junior season in 2012: 16-of-27 for 163 yards, one touchdown, two interceptions. The two picks were very costly as they stopped drives that could have led to points for the Irish. Rees record as a starter now sits at 12-4. 

GOOD TOMMY: With the Irish leading 7-0 at the half, Notre Dame took the opening kickoff and drove for a touchdown. Rees was the triggerman on the drive, capping an eight-play, 62-yard march with a five-yard touchdown pass to Michael Floyd. Rees also took the Irish to the Seminole four-yard line on their opening drive of the game. Rees finished the season with 2,871 yards passing and 20 touchdowns. 

BAD TOMMY: As it has been all season, the turnovers. Rees' two picks against Florida State gave him 14 on the season. The player Rees shared time with, freshman Andrew Hendrix, also threw an interception. Compounding those mistakes are if the Irish settle for field goals on the drives, they win the game. Twitter was in a frenzy over Rees during the game Thursday night. Here's a tweet that sums up Notre Dame fan's frustration after his second interception:

@tyhildenbrandt: Tommy Rees will be going pro in something other than sports.

Ouch. Twitterland is not a happy place if you are a Notre Dame quarterback.

WHAT THEY'RE SAYING: You can catch Rees' post game comments where he already is thinking about next season. Coach Brian Kelly with his reaction to the Irish loss

The Chicago Tribune's Brian Hamilton has this wrap up from Orlando and how it will be a long offseason in South Bend. 

The South Bend Tribune's Al Lesar believes the Irish have more than a few problems to address, beginning with the quarterback position. 

NBCSports.com's Keith Arnold has his five things we learned about the Irish as does ESPNChicago's Matt Fortuna. Both believe the Irish offense is the team's most pressing concern. 

UP NEXT: Notre Dame begins its 2012 season in Dublin, Ireland against Navy. 

Lake Forest-Lake Bluff Patch . We interviewed more than a dozen friends, family members, classmates and coaches of Rees for the story. 


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