College Football

Kelly: Wimbush will be a game-day decision for No. 21 Irish

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

By JOHN FINERAN

Associated Press

SOUTH BEND, Ind. (AP) Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly said Thursday that he will wait until kickoff of Saturday's game at North Carolina to name his starting quarterback.

Junior Brandon Wimbush, who has led the 21st-ranked Irish to a 4-1 start, is still recovering from the right foot strain that has been bothering him since Notre Dame's 52-17 victory over Miami (Ohio) last Saturday.

Limited in practice Wednesday and Thursday, Wimbush has been sharing reps on the No. 1 offensive unit with sophomore Ian Book as the Irish prepare to play the Tar Heels (1-4).

"(Wimbush) practiced today (Thursday) and did some good things," Kelly said during his final meeting with reporters before Notre Dame departs for North Carolina. "We'll go day to day and make a decision on game day."

Wimbush has rushed for 402 yards and eight touchdowns while completing 52.3 percent of his passes for 782 yards, six touchdowns and two interceptions.

Wimbush was given a protective walking boot and crutches after the strain was revealed following an MRI and X-rays. He used both in going to class Monday. Wimbush was limited to light throwing and some off-the-field exercises Tuesday while Book got all the work with the No. 1 offensive unit. He returned to the practice field Wednesday.

Kelly said he expects to have Wimbush in uniform, and that he would back up Book if he decided to keep Wimbush on the sideline.

"If (Wimbush) doesn't start, he'll be able to do something," said Kelly, who has been pleased with Book's work this week. "He's in a good place. We've got two days. He will get some more rehab."

Kelly is not concerned about starting Book.

"Ian is very accurate with the football, has a good grasp of the offense and he elevates the play of the guys around him," Kelly said.

Book has played in Notre Dame's last four games, including the entire fourth quarter of last week's win. Book, a sophomore, has gained 40 yards on five rushes and completed 3 of 8 passes for 51 yards.

Updated October 5, 2017

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