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Saturday, September 3, 2011
Rees to start second half for Irish

By Matt Fortuna

SOUTH BEND, Ind. -- It took one half, two quarters and the length of an entire football game for Notre Dame to have itself a quarterback controversy in 2011.

And the Fighting Irish haven't even scored a point yet.

As Notre Dame and South Florida players take the field and warm up for their allotted prep time of 12 minutes, 30 seconds, it was announced that Tommy Rees will be the Irish's starting quarterback to open the second half, already facing a 16-0 deficit.

Dayne Crist, who won the starting job over Rees in preseason camp, went 7-for-15 for 95 yards in the first half, throwing an interception in the end zone with 12:06 to play in the second quarter.

The Irish offense as a whole generated 191 total yards  in the first half but committed two turnovers.

Rees, a sophomore, went 4-0 as a starter last season after replacing Crist in the ninth game of the season because of a ruptured patella tendon in Crist's left knee. Crist's season-ending injury came one year after seeing his sophomore season end prematurely because of an anterior cruciate ligament tear in his right knee.

It's safe to say this is not how Crist envisioned kicking off his senior campaign, as the Irish face a big hole and an unforgiving September slate following today's opener.