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Notre Dame prepares for 2 QBs

Air Force is having its own quarterback issues as the Falcons (1-6) prepare to play host to Notre Dame (5-2) on Saturday.

The Falcons have had to shuffle quarterbacks because of injuries and other issues this season.

Kale Pearson started the season opener for Air Force, but he was lost for the season to a right knee injury that required surgery. Jaleel Awini started the next three games, but he was suspended from the team in September because of a violation of academy standards.

And in 27-20 loss to San Diego State on Oct. 10, Air Force lost sophomore quarterback Karson Roberts to a concussion and had to turn to freshman Nate Romine.

Roberts returned to practice Monday, giving Air Force coach Troy Calhoun to option of using Roberts or Romine or both against the Irish.

"Karson did everything (Monday)," Calhoun said Tuesday. "We'll base (who plays Saturday) on practice skills, especially today and tomorrow."

Roberts has played in all seven games this year, throwing for 207 yards with three touchdowns and running for 206 yards with four touchdowns.

Romine has played in four games, throwing for 126 yards with a touchdown and running for 44 yards with a touchdown.

"You know, they're challenged there, when you're talking about the quarterback position," Irsih coach Brian Kelly said Tuesday. "I would say both of them have shown some things that (the defense) is going to have to deal with. Their offense didn't look that much different when they were in there. I think both of them add something to it. So we're preparing more for the structure of the offense more than the particular quarterback."

Kelly's quarterback situation appears more settled with the coach saying starter Tommy Rees was cleared to practice after suffering a neck injury against USC last Saturday.

But Kelly knows the challenges the come with dealing with quarterback uncertainity.

Notre Dame lost Dayne Crist to a knee injury for the last month of the season in Kelly's first season with the Irish. Kelly then benched Crist and went with Rees the rest of the way after the first half of the 2011 season.

Last year, Kelly went with sophomore Everett Golson as the starting quarterback used Rees in relief when the first-year starter struggled at times.

This year, Kelly had to go back to Rees as the fulltime starter after Golson was suspended for the semester because of an academic violation.

"This has not been the easiest run in four years here at Notre Dame with quarterbacks," Kelly said. "So we're prepared for it at this point."