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Notre Dame Football

The End of Pyne Time Means the Start of the Next QB Competition

December 2, 2022
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The announcement was expected at some point. The timing of it wasn’t.

The writing was on the wall for the quarterback position for Notre Dame. It’s been an open secret that they were going to pursue a quarterback in the transfer portal to either be a starter or at the very least provide competition at the position. That meant Drew Pyne had no certainty with his spot after starting 10 games and the best option for him to find playing time would likely be somewhere else next season.

Don’t blame Pyne for the timing of it. Blame the limited transfer portal window instituted by the NCAA. If Pyne waited to enter the portal until after the bowl game, Notre Dame may have already added their next quarterback and he would have a couple of weeks to find a spot where he could be a starter or risk being stuck at Notre Dame fighting for reps with four other quarterbacks this spring.

Other programs are trying to fill a quarterback void quickly as well and that could have meant Pyne would have missed out on opportunities. No one should blame him for the decision he made, even if it does leave Notre Dame with a unique situation at the position for the bowl game.

Should Pyne have stuck around to try and prove he deserved to be QB1? I understand how people might think that’s what he should have done, but he just went through the last two off-seasons and lost the battle to be the starter twice. He could have also risked injury in the bowl game, which would hurt his chances at finding another school that would want him.

There’s betting on yourself and then there’s being realistic. He can bet on himself somewhere else with a fresh start.

Many Irish fans were harsh on Pyne and it’s understandable given the up and down nature of his performances. He was lights out against bad pass defenses. He was a replacement level quarterback against everyone else.

What Pyne did do is prove he can be a starting quarterback for someone. It may not be someone who has national championship aspirations, but he can play at this level and he should have interest from Power 5 programs. Anyone who has seen some of the quarterbacks who started this season in college football should know that Pyne could step in and be better than the current starter at many programs.

On top of that, he’s a great teammate, a hard worker, and has the respect of his peers. He’ll be an asset to any program he goes to and Notre Dame fans should continue to root for him.

The flip side of this is that Tyler Buchner will be available for the bowl game and this couldn’t be a better scenario for him. He needs the reps and also needs a chance to prove himself before any quarterback transfer gets to campus. Consider it another audition for him after missing most of the season and having his only two games against two of the better pass defenses in the country.

Buchner gets the benefit of playing with what should be a much better running game and better receiver play as well. He probably won’t get a chance to throw to the best tight end in college football or have Jarrett Patterson blocking for him. That’s pretty much the only negative part of it for him.

Drew Pyne has up to three years of eligibility left. The odds of those three years being at Notre Dame weren’t very good, whether he stuck around for this bowl game or not. With him leaving, the program gets to start the quarterback competition early. We’ll see soon enough who joins the fray.

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