The Buch Starts Here: Tyler Buchner named QB1 for Notre Dame
SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The wait is finally over.
Saturday, the Notre Dame football program put their fall camp quarterback competition to bed, naming sophomore Tyler Buchner their starting quarterback over third-year QB Drew Pyne.
“It was a very hard decision,” said offensive coordinator Tommy Rees at a press conference held shortly after the news went public. “You have two kids that are working very hard to accomplish a goal. Drew has been the best Drew Pyne he’s been since he’s been at Notre Dame, which is a huge credit to him.”
“I think Tyler’s finding his stride right now,” Rees added. “I think part of this decision is to allow him to have that platform to really not be apprehensive about every play, every decision. It allows him the freedom to go out there and operate knowing that this team has his back and we’re ready to move forward.”
Buchner was also on hand to field questions from the media as well, despite the news having not quite set in when he did.
“I don’t know if it’s completely hit me yet,” said Buchner. “It’s a pretty surreal feeling.”
Buchner agreed that getting the decision out of the way frees him up to play more free in the weeks leading up to the season.
“That’s typically when I play the best is when I’m just out there -- I like to say I’m just ‘balling.’ You know? Just playing ball. I think that thought process or that mindset of just going out there and balling is something that comes from preparing and being so confident and so prepared that you don’t have to do any thinking because it’s almost subconscious at that point.”
The announcement comes exactly three weeks ahead of Notre Dame’s week 1 date with Ohio State in a hostile road environment -- hardly the type of place you’d want your young quarterback to make his first-ever college start. But offensive coordinator Tommy Rees doesn’t seem phased by the stakes facing his signal-caller -- and frankly, neither does Buchner.
“I’ve been in games in some pretty big spots, and I feel confident in myself in those situations,” says the sophomore field general.
“I’ll be there for Tyler every step of the way,” said Rees. “You’ve got to remember, he played three quarters in Blacksburg (against Virginia Tech). That’s a hard place to play, and he operated at a high level. If he had zero experience going into this, then you try to create all these different environments and opportunities for him to learn. But I think the way he handled himself in critical moments last season provides us with some ability to see how he reacts in those situations.”
“This isn’t a guy who hasn’t played. This isn’t a guy who hasn’t played in big moments,” Rees adds. “I think a lot of the confidence we have in the staff started last year, and it’s continued to build through the last nine months.”
Buchner will be short one key weapon this season -- 2021 captain Avery Davis.
Davis is expected to miss the entirety of the 2022 season after suffering an ACL injury in practice Friday.
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