With Everett Golson suffering a concussion in the fourth quarter of last Saturday's win over Stanford, the quarterback situation has been up in the air all week. Golson failed his cognitive test on Monday and didn't pass until Tuesday, returning to practice on Wedneday. The late start to his week, plus his gradual progress throughout the week, prompted Irish coach Brian Kelly to spend much of the week preparing Rees and Andrew Hendrix, in case Golson couldn't play. Kelly said on Thursday it would be a game-time decision, and the official announcement wasn't made until less than a half-hour before kickoff.
Golson has started every game this season except for the Miami game, when he was benched for the first four plays as punishment for arriving late to a team meeting. Rees has relieved Golson in victories over Purdue, Michigan and Stanford.
During pregame warmups, Rees was working with the first team, while Hendrix worked with the second unit. Golson was on the field and throwing, too, but Kelly told NBC right before the game that Golson will not play.