In a game that Notre Dame absolutely dominated on the stat sheet, BYU somehow used a combination of luck and preparation to make things tight late in the 4th quarter — but the Irish held on for a 28-20 win over the #16 team in the country.
Much of the talk leading up to the game was about BYU quarterback Jaren Hall, and finally getting boith of his top targets on the foemd at the same time in Gunner Romney and Puca Nacua. Instead, Hall’s first pass of the game was an interception via TaRiq Bracy.
Notre Dame turned the Bracy interception into just 3 points. It felt like a missed opportunity then, and those missed opportunities kept happening throughout the game despite relative success on the field.
BYU took a 6-3 lead with a short 26 yard TD drive thanks to a long punt return by Nyberg. The Cougars looks out of sorts putting a PAT group on the field and missed the kick.
The Irish scored touchdowns on three of their next four possessions to end the 1st half and start the second half with a BYU safety in the mix as well. Michael Mayer caught two of those touchdowns, while Jayden Thomas pulled in a touchdown as well.
The Irish took what looked like a commanding 25-6 lead halfway through the 3rd quarter. Notre Dame was humming, and BYU couldn’t move the ball at all. So... Al Golden thought it was a good time to send a deep safety blitz again, and Jaren Hall tossed a 53 yard TD to Kody Epps.
After the Epps touchdown, the Irish punted on a three and out, and pinned BYU back deep near the goaline. The Cougars had a 3rd and 17 and handed the ball off just to get off the field — but ended up gaining 20 yards. BYU would capitalize on that Irish mistake with a 10 play drive that ended with a 28 yard touchdown run from Christopher Brooks to make it a 25-20 game.
Notre Dame started to answer the Brooks TD and turned out 49 yards before a tipped Drew Pyne pass was intercepted. The Irish forced a three and out, and drove the next possession down to the 2 yard line before they were forced to kick a Blake Grupe field goal to make it 28-20.
BYU took its next possession down the field for 48 hard yards, but on 4th and 1, Jayson Ademilola made a huge stop to give the Irish back the ball. A combination of Audric Estime and Logan Diggs had the Irish moving the ball down the field, and the Irish ran the clock out for an 8 point win to improve to 3-2 on the season.