Here’s some data for some of our top QB’s. This includes only those with 20 or more starts.
I have indicated where I have some holes in the research (too lazy to go to the SB Library to check on more microfilm).
I’m ranking QB’s by their wins as ND’s starter, even though winning percentage is a more valid measure:
QB Years Starts W-L-T
1-Angelo Bertelli 1941-1943 36 30-3-3
Bertelli was not the QB in 1941. He was the left half in the single-wing style offense, but as our leading passer, I included that year.
1942 was the year that Frank Leahy switched ND to the T-Formation. This was considered such a dramatic change from the prior
offenses, that he reputedly asked the College President for permission! Imagine Brian Kelly asking Fr. Jenkins for his views on the “spread”!
2-Tom Clements 1972-1974 34 29-5
Somewhat under-remembered as QB for the Irish, but very successful.
3-Ron Powlus 1994-1997 46 29-16-1
A definite victim of over-hype, but he had fine stats with teams which did not have great offensive players.
4-Brady Quinn 2003-2006 46 29-17
Charlie Weis made Quinn. If he had not been thrust into action as a frosh, under Willingham, Brady’s record would have been even better,
And Weis would have had a veteran QB to keep us from the 3-9 season in 2007.
5-Tony Rice 1987-1989 31 28-3
Our only full-time option QB, he was one of our very most successful. Odd that Lou did not bring in more of this type.
6-Rick Mirer 1990- 1992 34 28-7-1
Very solid QB for ND.
7-Ralph Guglielmi 1951-1954 30 25-3-2
Fantastic record. First round NFL pick. May have an extra couple wins from 1951.
8-Gus Dorais 1910-1913 28 24-1-3
Back in his day, the QB was more like the Field General, but the tiny Dorais was also one of the first top QB passers.
9-Terry Hanratty 1966-1968 26 21-4-1
An all-time ND great; like Bertelli, he was a three time Heisman finalist.
10-Steve Beuerlein 1983-1986 40 21-18-1
Long NFL career. Played mostly during the Faust era.
12- Johnny Lujack 1943, 46-47 22 20-1-1
He and George Connor should lead the discussion about ND’s greatest All-Time player.
13-Joe Theismann 1968-1970 25 20-3-2
Prototypical spread QB, if he played today. Second in Heisman.
14-Joe Montana 1975-1978 25 20-5
Probably should get credit for a couple more wins, as “reliever”. ND’s greatest NFL player.
15-Frank Carideo 1929-1930 19* 19-0
*Some additional wins as QB in 1928 season. No passing by QB in his era. Field General.
Two-time All American and led us to two National Championships.
16-Harry Stuhldreher 1923-1924 20 19-1
Some additional wins as QB in 1922 season. No passing by QB in his era. Field General.
17-Blair Kiel 1980-1983 29 18-9-2
Faust’s other primary QB. Too bad his nephew did not stick it out at ND.
18-Jimmy Clausen 2007-2009 34 16-18
Had to play hurt, instead of redshirt, his frosh year, and left with another year of eligibility.
Weis would have had a far better record if Brady had redshirted and played in 2007
And Clausen had redshirted and played healthy for three or four years.
19-Tommy Rees 2010-2013 22 16-6
Rees has five more game to add to his win total. Needs four wins to tie Montana, Theismann, and Lujack.