Notre Dame to Bench Quarterback Crist Following 23-20 Season-Opening Loss

University of Notre Dame senior quarterback Dayne Crist won’t start the team’s next game after being benched in the second half of the Fighting Irish’s 23-20 loss to South Florida last weekend, coach Brian Kelly said today.

Crist, 21, will be on the sidelines when unranked Notre Dame travels to play the University of Michigan on Sept. 10, Kelly said during a press conference. Crist, who was named the starter on Aug. 23, was 7-of-15 for 95 yards and one interception before being pulled against South Florida.

Sophomore Tommy Rees will start in Crist’s place, Kelly said. Rees was 24-of-34 for 296 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions in the second half against the Bulls, when Notre Dame scored all its points.

The Fighting Irish, who were ranked No. 16 in the Associated Press poll before hosting South Florida, lost their season-opening game for the first time since 2007, when the team started 0-5. Notre Dame has won a record eight national titles since the AP began naming a winner in 1936, according to the team’s media guide.

Notre Dame and Michigan play in Ann Arbor at 8 p.m. on Sept. 10. The Wolverines’ 885 wins are a Division-IA record. The Fighting Irish rank third with 845, according to the school’s athletic department.

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To contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Sillup at

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