Hendrix ready, waiting
Andrew Hendrix gained two yards to the USC 1-yard line. On the next play, Jawanza Starling returned Dayne Crist's fumble for a touchdown that sent USC to a 31-17 victory on Oct. 22.
Hendrix hasn't played since.
"When we look at it as it's probably more about the time in the game," coach Brian Kelly said when asked why Hendrix hasn't played in Notre Dame's last four games. "We were backed up pretty good [against Boston College]. I don't want to risk turnovers in those situations. So it's either been we've been up a lot or have been in tight ball games that have kept him from getting on the field."
Kelly said the sophomore is improving in practice even if he's not playing in games.
"He just stays ready," Kelly said. "We continue to give him work. As you see, we're committed to Tommy being in there. He's ready. He has a package of plays that has expanded from week to week. I know he's not on the field but he's getting valuable time being on the sideline and being close to the game."
One of the reasons Kelly started using Hendrix was to give the offense a new wrinkle that opposing defenses would have to prepare for. He made sure Hendrix got some experience against Air Force so he wouldn't be seeing the field for the first time against the Trojans.
Considering all that, it's possible Hendrix could take a few snaps when the Irish visit No. 4 Stanford on Saturday.
"He's done well," Kelly said. He's learned so much more about our offense. He's a lot more comfortable in his own ability to run our offense. As I said earlier, that's the way we evaluate this program. His progress is what we're looking for."
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