Drew Pyne still expected to play important role despite being named backup QB

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 11:50 AM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - The Fighting Irish football team named true sophomore Tyler Buchner its starting quarterback on Saturday over Drew Pyne, who is now in his third year with the program.

But immediately following the announcement, Pyne received a lot of praise for how he’s battled throughout his time at Notre Dame, and that the now-backup QB remains a key piece for the team going forward.

“This program needs Drew Pyne,’ says Tommy Rees, offensive coordinator. “There is zero doubt in my mind. I don’t know when, how, why, where, but this program needs him right now, and this program is going to need him moving forward. There are not 15 guys in the program that are not more important to Notre Dame than Drew Pyne. And so, I cannot give him enough credit for the way he’s prepared, practiced, out himself in a position to be the best version of him he can be.”

Meanwhile, Buchner praised Pyne for not only being a great friend, but also for being someone who motivated him.

“Luckily, throughout this whole time, I’ve had an amazing friend and competitor in Drew Pyne,” Buchner said. “And every single day, he pushes me to get better. He pushed me to spend more time in the building and watch film with him. We compete every single day in practice, and he’s worked unbelievably hard. I couldn’t be happier to have him.”

Head Coach Marcus Freeman commended Pyne for being supportive of Buchner despite learning the hard news.

“As I told both of those guys, I can’t think of—in my years of playing football and my years of coaching football—a time where you didn’t have two quarterbacks play throughout the season,” Freeman says. “Somehow, someway. Drew is an ultimate pro. Like any competitor, he took it hard. But the guy that was most excited for Tyler was Drew Pyne. And it’s a reflection of him.”

Despite being named the backup, Rees emphasized the importance of Pyne being ready to play at any moment.

“He needs to continue to lead, continue to be a guy that everyone counts on,” Rees says. “He’s going to be great in the room. He’ll be very supportive of Tyler. And at the of the day, he needs to be ready to play. I think we’ve all been around this game long enough to know that you better have two that can help you win games, and that’s how we feel right now. We’re extremely confident in our group. I think they’re extremely confident in themselves, and we’re ready to continue forward.”

Notre Dame’s season begins on Sept. 3 at Ohio State. Kickoff at Ohio Stadium is set for 7:30 p.m.

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