Latest in the revolving door behind center:
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
QB Sharpley gets start for Notre Dame vs. USC
SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- Evan Sharpley of Marshall, Mich., will start at quarterback for Notre Dame against No. 13 Southern California, making the junior the third starting signal-caller for the Fighting Irish this season.
Sharpley, the backup to Brady Quinn last season and the No. 2 quarterback when Demetrius Jones and Jimmy Clausen started the first seven games this season, will make his first career start Saturday at home.
"I think Evan this week gives us the best chance of winning," coach Charlie Weis said during his weekly news conference Tuesday.
Sharpley has led the Fighting Irish (1-6) to four of its seven offensive touchdowns, despite playing significantly less time than Clausen, a freshman who had started the past six games. Weis said part of the reason for the change is Clausen's health.
"The separation between the two isn't enough for the banged up guy to start ahead of the fresh guy," Weis said.
Weis had said Clausen had been the starter because he's been more accurate, completing 81-of-141 for a 57.4 completion rate, compared with Sharpley's 43-of-80 for a 53.8 completion rate. But Clausen had his worst outing last week, going 7-of-20 for 60 yards against Boston College with two interceptions.
Sharpley replaced Clausen early in the second half against Boston College and was 11-for-29 for 135 yards and a touchdown. Another TD pass was called back because of a holding penalty. Sharpley also rallied the Irish in the second half of a loss to Purdue.
Weis also announced that James Aldridge, who is leading the Irish with 249 yards rushing on 67 carries, is doubtful for the game with a high ankle sprain.