No team, or storm (as witnessed last week in the team’s 20-13 stunner over Stanford) can stop the 6-0 N0.5-ranked Notre Dame this season. The BYU Cougars (4-3) will try their best this weekend to be the first team to do so this Saturday, September 20th in South Bend at 3:30 pm The game will be broadcast on NBC.
The schools are no strangers. The Cougars in 1994 21-14 triumph over the then No.17-ranked Lou Holz-led Fighting Irish is considered one of the greatest in its history. It was the Utah team’s last and only victory in South Bend in a series that the Fighting Irish lead 4-2.
Here’s a preview of The Notre Dame vs. BYU Action:
Notre Dame Offense
QB Everett Golson has been practicing since Wednesday but still has not been cleared to play this week after suffering a concussion from a nasty blow in last week’s victory over Stanford.
Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly will monitor this situation very closely as a starter at this hour has not been named.
''I don't think there's a cookie cutter approach to concussions,'' Kelly said Thursday night. ''You want to see how they handle exertion. You want to see how they handle all the things leading up, film study, watching, and then getting back on the field. So I want to take the 48 hours that I have before I make that decision.''
The job may land on Irish QB Tommy Rees who took the team by the reins after Golson’s untimely exit, leading them on two straight scoring drives and the eventual overtime victory. He finished the day perfect going 4-for-4 and one touchdown.
The Offense hopes to get continued production out of WR TJ Jones (52 yds., 1 TD) and All-American TE Tyler Eifert (57 yds., 1 TD) who both trail WR Theo Riddick in receptions with 20.
The Triple Threat of Theo Riddick (308 yds, 3 TDs), George Atkinson III (290 yds., 3 TDs), and Cierre Wood (279 yds., 2 TDs) can be counted on for 189 ypg (the hightest Notre Dame Average in 11 years).
Notre Dame Defense
What has not been written about Manti T’eo and company that has not yet been written? The Hawaiian’s myth grows larger yet larger last week as he stopped the Cardinal in OT at the Notre Dame goal line and that team’s perpetual dominance over the blue and green. He captains the nation’s second most proficient scoring defense as well as the best in red zone defense.
CB Bennet Jackson and his four interceptions (ties for fourth in the nation) has emerged as an unlikely defensive star of an Irish secondary that has only allowed 173.5 yards a game.
QB Riley Nelson is nicked up and returned from an injury last week. He looked rusty in a loss to Oregon State. On the year he has an above average statline: 1,059 yards, 6 TDs, 8 INTs, 115.5 %.
Wily freshman RB Jamaal Williams (345 yds., 5 TDs) leads the Cougars rushing attack.
The Cougars’ answer to Manti T’eo is LB Kyle Van Noy. The defensive standout has racked up 7.5 sacks, 11.5 tackles for a loss, and 26 tackles overall. His havoc on offenses has produced 5 pass breakups and three forced fumbles as well. He could give Golson another headache if he starts.
He leads a unit that ranks a formidable seventh in scoring defense and fourth against the rush.
Prediction: Notre Dame 20 BYU 10