Senior quarterback Brandon Wimbush will start for No. 12 Notre Dame in its opener against No. 14 Michigan on Saturday night in South Bend, Ind., head coach Brian Kelly confirmed on Wednesday.
Even though Wimbush started all but one game as the Irish went 10-3 last season, there has been speculation that backup quarterback Ian Book might have overtaken Wimbush.
“Brandon’s our starter,” Kelly said. “We’re going to go into the game (thinking) that he needs to win the game for us.”
Book, who is a junior, replaced Wimbush in the Citrus Bowl last and completed 14 of his 19 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns, including a 55-yard scoring pass with under two minutes left in the game to give Notre Dame a 21-17 victory over LSU on New Year’s Day.
In the only game Wimbush did not start last season, Book completed 17 of 31 passes for 146 yards with one touchdown and two interceptions in a 33-10 victory over North Carolina in October.
Book also performed well in spring practice and in camp leading up to the regular season.
Wimbush passed for 1,870 yards and 16 touchdowns with six interceptions last season, but completed only 49.5 percent of his 275 throws.
Michigan announced last week that Shea Patterson, a transfer from Mississippi will start at quarterback against Notre Dame.