- Associated Press - Tuesday, September 6, 2011

SOUTH BEND, IND. (AP) - Tommy Rees is in and Dayne Crist _ benched after halftime of Notre Dame’s ugly 23-20 loss to South Florida _ is out.

Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly announced a quarterback switch Tuesday with the Irish coming off a dreadful showing in their opener and facing a Saturday night game against Michigan in the Big House.

Crist’s regular-season stay lasted about as long as Notre Dame occupied a spot in the Top 25. The Irish were knocked out of the poll Tuesday following their stunning loss to USF on a wild day interrupted by dangerous weather.

Just two weeks ago, Crist was announced as the starter after beating out Rees in training camp. Kelly said at the time he expected the senior to keep the job for the rest of the season.

But Crist’s uneven performance on Saturday and Rees‘ strong relief job in the second half prompted the change.

“A very difficult situation that I felt needed to be addressed,” Kelly said.

“I want to win right now. I believe Tommy gives us the best chance to win against Michigan. There are so many things you do within your program that you build for the future. Recruiting is always about building for the future. But your roster has to be evaluated about how to win right now. Especially at Notre Dame.”

Kelly called Saturday’s loss “probably one of the most frustrating experiences that I’ve ever had as a head football coach. I mean, extremely frustrating. Everybody was frustrated.”

And Kelly, who gave Crist an earful on the sideline as the Irish fell behind 16-0 at the half, erupted in the second half after a Rees pass hit receiver TJ Jones and was intercepted as the Irish were in position to score. Notre Dame had five turnovers in the game, three interceptions.

TV cameras showed Kelly screaming at Jones and the coach’s outrage prompted criticism across chat boards, websites and publications.

Asked about his demeanor Tuesday, Kelly first answered with a question to a reporter: “Did I hit somebody? Did I strike somebody? Is that what you’re referring to? I’m asking specifically what you’re referring to.”

Told that there were numerous articles about his sideline outburst, Kelly acknowledged that with the cameras on him — Notre Dame’s home games are televised by NBC — he has to be more careful.

“Yeah, I think I was extremely frustrated with the game. You know, what I have to recognize is that I’m on TV all the time,” he said. “You know, do a better job of understanding when that camera is on me. Seems like it’s on more than I’m used to. So I’ll have to do a better job of controlling my emotions.’

It will now be up to Rees to lead the team against the Wolverines (1-0).

Rees, who won four games as the starter to close last season after Crist suffered his second season-ending knee injury in as many years, looked much more comfortable and got rid of the ball quicker. He completed 24 of 34 passes for 296 yards with a pair of TD passes to Michael Floyd, who caught 10 of his 12 passes Saturday from Rees.

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