Staff Predictions: Notre Dame vs. BYU
| Thursday, October 18, 2012
At the beginning of the year, this looked like the second of an absolutely brutal three-game stretch. At the beginning of the week, this looked like a textbook opportunity for the Irish to trip up. But after hearing about how Notre Dame’s coaching staff has prepared their team for the Cougars, I just don’t see how this game is anything but an Irish victory.
The BYU defense is stingy, but it hasn’t faced anything like the Irish offense that showed up against Navy or Miami. The BYU offense? Let’s just say it’s going to be five straight touchdown-free games for the Notre Dame defense. If Everett Golson can play, he’ll have a big game to build his confidence. If not, Tommy Rees and Andrew Hendrix will pick up the slack just fine. Bottom line: 7-0 awaits.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 35, BYU 3
Assistant Managing Editor
In 2005, the last time BYU traveled to Notre Dame, the Irish won 49-23 behind six touchdown passes from Brady Quinn, four of which went to receiver Maurice Stovall.
While Saturday’s final result will be the same, the method of victory will be quite different for the Irish.
Notre Dame’s offense will struggle to muster points against another difficult defense. With the up-and-down play from the quarterback position, asserting the run game will again be important for Brian Kelly’s squad. With three options in the backfield, the Irish running backs should be fresh in the second half when the stout Cougar defense is slowing down. A fourth-quarter score will put the game away in what will be the fifth consecutive contest in which the defense holds the opponent out of the end zone.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 20, BYU 6
The Irish defense has danced around it all year. Against Michigan State it allowed three points. Against Michigan, six. Against Miami, three again. This unit that has been on a four-week tear has been so close to posting a zero on the scoreboard – and I say this is the week they finally do it, against a BYU offense that has struggled to low totals on a couple occasions.
The output from the Irish offense this week will be a mystery as Everett Golson recovers from a concussion. He will need to have had a good week of practice to prepare for the Cougars defense. But he won’t have to do much – the Irish defense will rule the day.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 17, BYU 0
Associate Sports Editor
Teams like BYU come into Notre Dame Stadium ready to play. And if the Irish aren’t prepared for a fight, the result will be far too close for Brian Kelly’s tastes.
BYU’s defense is extremely underrated and Notre Dame could have some trouble early. Defensively, the Irish cannot allow the Cougars to throw the ball down the field and open up the running game.
The Irish offense is still a bit of an enigma and it can’t be caught looking forward to Oklahoma next week, especially against a BYU team that was ranked in the top-25 earlier in the season.
The Irish went away from the rushing attack too early in the first half before getting back to its success in the second half against Stanford. Don’t expect the same this week.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 24, BYU 6
Associate Sports Editor
If you are tired of hearing that this game is a “trap game,” join the club. A trap game creeps on an unfocused team, jumps out from the bushes and ambushes them, ruining their season at the same time. This Irish team is not that team.
And that is precisely why this team is different from any of the ones in the past 10 years. They have fought to win the close games while blowing out their lesser opponents. They have refused to play down to their competition and have a 6-0 record and a top-five ranking to show for it.
So if you want to talk about how tough the Cougars’ front seven is, go ahead. If you want to talk about Everett Golson’s concussion, go ahead. Just don’t tell me this game is a trap game as the team looks forward to Oklahoma.
FINAL SCORE: Notre Dame 23, BYU 3