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Friday, December 7, 2012
Who will transform the bowls?

By Matt Fortuna

My pick for who will transform the bowls for Notre Dame is Everett Golson.

No, this doesn't mean he will throw for 300 yards and lead Notre Dame to a national title. The game is a month away, and I've gone back and forth over the matchup in the five days since it was announced, and am sure to do that some more in the next 31 days.

But one player I would not worry about if I were an Irish fan is Golson, regardless of the challenge of facing Alabama's defense.

The redshirt freshman has been stellar on the road all season, winning big night contests against then-top-10 opponents Michigan State and Oklahoma before closing things out at rival USC two weeks ago.

He is not fazed by the big stage, or by intimidating atmospheres. He has rushed for 200 yards away from Notre Dame Stadium, 105 at home.

All four of his lost fumbles have come at home, and only one of his eight total fumbles has come on the road. His only road interception came in the first half of his first game, in a 50-10 rout of Navy in Dublin.

It is easy to forget that Tommy Rees became the popular quarterback pick following Golson's home struggles through the season's first four games. But Golson has come on strong since, bringing the offense along with him as both continues their growth.

It is also easy to forget that, starting with the national title game, Golson has a potential 40 starts left in a Notre Dame uniform.

He will only get better, and the national title game in his first year as a starter, win or lose, should serve him well as perhaps Notre Dame's quarterback of the future.