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First-half recap: Notre Dame 17, BYU 7

Samantha Zuba | Saturday, November 23, 2013

Notre Dame leads BYU 17-7 at the half.

After a short series from the Cougars, the Irish opened their first drive by handing it to freshman running back Tarean Folston, who, in his first career start, ran for 18 yards on three carries during the drive. Senior quarterback Tommy Rees then aired it out to junior receiver DaVaris Daniels for a 61-yard touchdown and a 7-0 Irish lead.

Daniels had already blown past the coverage when he caught the ball at the 23-yard line, and he cruised in for the score.

Folston scored his second career touchdown on the next Irish drive. The rookie scampered around the left side from two yards out into the end zone to put Notre Dame up 14-7. A 29-yard pass from Rees to senior receiver TJ Jones set up the score that capped the 75-yard drive.

BYU scored its first touchdown on a seven-yard pass from Cougars sophomore quarterback Taysom Hill to senior receiver J.D. Falslev with 6:48 left in the first quarter. Hill rushed for nine yards to the Notre Dame 24 and completed a nine-yard pass to senior receiver Skyler Ridley to set up the touchdown. Hill carried the ball five times in the first quarter and was sacked by Irish senior linebacker Dan Fox once.

Slick field conditions helped limit the Irish to a field goal on their first possession of the second quarter. Jones stayed on his feet to make sharp cuts on the punt return but lost his footing at the 31-yard line when he started to break through coverage.

Notre Dame drove deep into Cougars territory on its final drive, but junior running back Cam McDaniel slipped on his way through a blocking lane, and BYU disrupted a pass from Rees to Daniels on 3rd-and-8. Brindza kicked the 26-yard field goal and gave the Irish a 17-7 lead, which they take into the locker room at the half.

Contact Samantha Zuba at szuba@nd.edu