Golson steps up his game for Irish

Robin Alam/Icon Sportswire

Everett Golson has helped lead Notre Dame to at least 30 points in all 3 games this season.It did not take Everett Golson long to show his improvement this season. In the first half of the season opener against Rice, Golson was responsible for four touchdowns and 250 yards.

He capped off the half by escaping from the pocket with five seconds left and throwing a 53-yard touchdown pass (all in the air) to C.J. Proise.

Golson has been responsible for 11 touchdowns in three games this season and ranks 13th in the FBS in Total QBR (85.3), up 23 places from his freshman season.

Golson and Oregon’s Marcus Mariota are the only FBS quarterback who have been responsible for at least 10 touchdowns and have no turnovers.

Let’s take a look at where Golson has played better this season.

Better downfield

Golson has completed 54.5 percent of his passes thrown 15 yards or longer, fourth-best among Power Five quarterbacks with at least 20 attempts.

Everett Golson Throws of 15+ Yards

He has had at least one such touchdown pass in all three games this season and has one fewer (four) than he had total as a freshman (five).

More efficient in pocket

Golson has been more effective throwing from the pocket this season.

His completion percentage on such throws is up almost four percentage points, and he has one fewer touchdown (five) than he had all of 2012 (six).

He is one of four Power Five quarterbacks with 75 attempts from the pocket and no interceptions.

Better under pressure

Golson has been much more effective when pressured this season.

He has been knocked down or hurried on 23 percent of his dropbacks, four percentage points higher than the Power Five average.

Everett Golson Passing Under Duress

Yet, on such plays, he is averaging 9.7 yards per attempt, which is almost twice the Power Five average (5.0).

Golson might need to be good under pressure against a Syracuse defense that averages 4.0 sacks per game, tied with Virginia Tech for the most in the ACC.

The Orange have pressured the opposing quarterback on 28 percent of their dropbacks, five percentage points higher than the average for a Power Five school.

However, they have given up big plays on the back end. The Orange have allowed opponents to complete an ACC-worst 50.0 percent of their passes thrown 15 yards or longer.