Notre Dame head coach Marcus Freeman informed the media Monday that starting quarterback Tyler Buchner sustained a high-grade AC joint sprain in his left shoulder during Saturday’s 26-21 loss to Marshall as a 20.5-point home favorite. He will have surgery Tuesday and miss the rest of the season.
Drew Pyne will make his first career start in Saturday’s home game vs. California. True freshman Steve Angeli will move into the backup role.
Freeman told reporters that Buchner’s recovery time will take four months.
“We can all do the math and probably put it somewhere, maybe January,” Freeman said. “So, that’s where we’re at with that. Moving forward Drew Pyne will be our starter, and as I said when we addressed the quarterback competition in fall camp I had the utmost confidence in both of those guys being able to lead our offense and lead this football team.”
In two games including a 21-10 loss at Ohio St., Buchner completed 28-of-50 passes (56.0%) for 378 yards with zero touchdowns and two interceptions. He had 62 rushing yards and two TDs on 24 attempts for a 2.6 yards-per-carry average.
As a true freshman in 2021, Buchner played sparingly in 10 of the Fighting Irish’s 13 games. He completed 21-of-35 throws (60.0%) for 298 yards and three TDs with three interceptions. Buchner ran for 336 yards and three TDs for a 7.3 YPC average.
That’s what Notre Dame will miss most about Buchner, who has excellent speed and elusiveness to make plays with his legs.
After Buchner was injured against the Thundering Herd, Pyne completed 3-of-6 passes for 20 yards with one TD and one interception. He was intercepted on the second play after replacing Buchner, but Pyne bounced back nicely and found Michael Mayer for a five-yard TD pass on a fourth-and-one play.
Pyne played in only two games as a true freshman in 2020. He completed 2-of-3 passes for 12 yards and gained four yards on his lone rushing attempt. Pyne played just twice in 2021 as well. In a 41-13 win over Wisconsin, he completed 6-of-8 throws for 81 yards and one TD without an interception. In a 24-13 home loss to seventh-ranked Cincinnati, Pyne connected on 9-of-22 passes for 143 yards and one TD without an interception.
Angeli, a 6-foot-2, 205-pounder who was a four-star recruit, played at Bergen Catholic High School in Oradell, New Jersey. He was ranked as the No. 21 QB and No. 365 overall prospect in the 2022 class by 247Sports. Angeli, who chose Notre Dame over LSU, Michigan, Ohio St. and Penn St., enrolled early and participated in spring practice.
As of Monday afternoon, most betting shops had Notre Dame installed as an 11-point home favorite vs. the Golden Bears, who are 13-1 against the spread in their last 14 games as road underdogs.