Rapid reaction: Notre Dame 17, BYU 14
Matthew DeFranks | Saturday, October 20, 2012
No. 5 Notre Dame survived a scare from BYU and pulled out a 17-14 win over the Cougars on Saturday at Notre Dame Stadium.
Senior running back Theo Riddick ran for a career-high 143 yards on 15 carries as the Irish (7-0) piled up 270 rushing yards on the day. BYU (4-4) previously had the third-ranked rushing defense in the country.
The good: The Irish dominated on the ground, pushing around a defense that came into the game allowing less than 68 yards on the ground per game. Notre Dame had two 100-yard rushers for the second time in three weeks – senior running back Cierre Wood had 114 yards.
The bad: Notre Dame was flagged too many times for personal fouls. From Troy Niklas’ retaliation to Matthias Farley’s late hit to Louis Nix’s facemask, the Irish made too many mental mistakes. They were able to pull out a victory this time but giving away chunks of yards could come back to haunt them.
What we learned: The Irish are not satisfied. Following a close win over an okay opponent, Irish coach Brian Kelly said the mood in the locker room was not very celebratory. Notre Dame is happy with the win and to be 7-0 but they are not content heading into a road collision with Oklahoma next week.