Rees to start, Crist status for bowl uncertain

Brian Kelly's first interview since Notre Dame's Nov. 26 loss at Stanford revealed a lot more than just his thoughts on the Irish's bowl game (the Champs Sports Bowl in Orlando, Fla.) and their opponent (Florida State).

During a conference call Sunday night, Kelly said Tommy Rees would start the bowl game, marking the sophomore's 12th consecutive start since replacing Dayne Crist in Week 1. Crist, meanwhile, had been granted a release, Kelly confirmed, though the senior's status for the Dec. 29 game remains uncertain.

Kelly said Andrew Hendrix would see some action against the Seminoles and would have a much heavier workload in the lead-up to the game.

"He's gonna have to get a lot more, as you know, because there's only two," Kelly said. "Dayne and I will have further conversations, but the way we left it is he's got a lot of work left to do working on his transfer, so he's not gonna be able to put the time in necessarily. So Andrew's gonna have to get a lot of that work because he's got to go in there and play. So his role definitely will increase in practice."

Kelly also said freshman end Stephon Tuitt, who missed the last two games with an illness, was cleared to work out last week. Theo Riddick will return to running back for the bowl game.