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Malik Zaire Stands Out as Offense Wins Notre Dame Blue-Gold Game

Using a scoring system no one can keep track of the offense beat the defense 63-58.

Matt Cashore-USA TODAY Sports

On a beautiful somewhat sunny day in South Bend the Notre Dame Fighting Irish football team played its annual Blue-Gold Game in front of nearly 28,000 paying guests. Using a funky scoring format the Offense--which jumped out to a huge early lead--held on to beat the Defense 63-58.

The most impressive player on the field was rising redshirt freshman quarterback Malik Zaire who went 15 of 19 for 259 passing yards in the first half. Although he looked shaky in the pocket at times, Zaire really showed off his arm strength, decision making, and was fairly accurate on the afternoon.

Everett Golson was also shaky in the pocket--for the second straight spring game the pass protection was not very good--and generally looked quite rusty in his first action in front of TV cameras in a year.

The offense jumped out to a big lead in the first half led by a combination of big pass plays and solid dump-offs that kept the chains moving. Serving as a distraction early in the contest was Notre Dame athletic director announcing that the University would be installing Field Turf (more on this later) for the upcoming 2014 football season.

There wasn't much in the run game in the first half although all of the backs were heavily involved, and flourished, as receivers in the passing game. In the second half rising redshirt freshman Greg Bryant had one of the big plays of the day as he broke free for a 51-yard run scampering left and right through the sand field. He followed that up with another first down run on the next play and finished the spring game with over 100 rushing yards.

Other highlights from the game included C.J. Prosise turning on the jets on a touchdown run, Chris Brown catching several passes, Amir Carlisle catching a bullet from Zaire in the end zone, Jaylon Smith showing off crazy speed beating Tarean Folston to the edge on an outside run, and Kyle Brindza nailing a field goal from way down town.

We'll have more in-depth coverage on the Blue-Gold Game in the coming soon.

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