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And in that corner… The BYU Cougars

Oct 17, 2012, 1:32 PM EDT

Riley Nelson

There is no preordained headline for Notre Dame’s battle this Saturday against BYU. It won’t be in a historic location or against a natural rivalry. ESPN won’t be staked out in front of the library. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a critical Saturday for the Irish.

With BYU heading to South Bend, two independent teams with a ton of football tradition collide. For the Cougars, a win will get their season back on track after uncharacteristic mistakes have led to three losses. For the Irish, it’ll mean getting win number seven before heading to Norman, Oklahoma for the next biggest game of the year.

To get everybody up to speed on the Cougars, Jeff Call of the Deseret News was kind enough to answer some questions for me. Jeff has been covering Cougar sports since 1993, so needless to say he’s seen his fair share of football teams roll through Provo.

I asked, Jeff answered. Let’s all learn a little bit.

***

1. From afar, it feels like an up-and-down season for BYU. I’d probably make the argument that the Cougars have to feel like they should be 5-1. Is that the feeling inside the program?

With 29 seniors on the roster, BYU entered the season with very high expectations. Losing by a combined four points at Utah and Boise State in back-to-back weeks was a disappointment. Riley Nelson suffered a back injury in the win against Weber State, rendering him ineffective against the Utes and Broncos. The Cougars felt they had a great shot to knock off No. 10 Oregon State last week, and they were tied with the Beavers heading into the fourth quarter before some mistakes cost them the game. BYU is still a confident team, knowing it is just a few plays away from being 5-1, and the Cougars are looking at this week’s game at Notre Dame as another great opportunity to prove how good they are.

2. Obviously, the strength of this team is the defense. They’ve put up some impressive numbers and kept BYU in just about every football game. They don’t look like the biggest unit, so how are they playing as well as they are?

We knew going into the season that BYU would be strong defensively. The Cougars had a lot of veteran players returning. But they have been better than advertised. They did give up 332 passing yards last week against Oregon State, but other than that, they’ve been very impressive this season. These guys have great chemistry, they love playing together, and they pride themselves in being in the right spot and executing. Linebackers Kyle Van Noy is a big play-maker, while Brandon Ogletree is the emotional leader. USC transfer Uona Kaveinga and Spencer Hadley have been solid this year. On the defensive line, Ezekiel “Ziggy” Ansah, a native of Ghana who only started playing football a couple of years ago, has also made an impact and is drawing considerable attention from NFL scouts.

3. Taysom Hill seemed like an intriguing dual-threat player until he went down with an injury. That puts the offense back in Riley Nelson’s hands, who looks to have really regressed this season. Can it all be blamed on a back injury? What’s the current state of the quarterbacking position?

Riley Nelson’s back injury has really hampered him this season, obviously. But what we’re seeing from him this year is what we’ve always seen from him. He’s a risk-taker. Sometimes that results in big plays, sometimes that results in turnovers. There are times when he will scramble around and force a throw into triple coverage rather than throw it away. BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall is adamant that Nelson continues as the starter because he loves his grit and leadership. With Hill out for the season with a knee injury, James Lark, a senior, is Nelson’s backup. Because Nelson is injury-prone, it wouldn’t surprise anyone around here if Lark ends up seeing significant playing time at some point this season.

4. Give me one player on offense and one player on defense that Notre Dame fans should be worried about.

Offense: Wide receiver Cody Hoffman. He has caught at least one pass in 26 consecutive games and is BYU’s leading receiver (41 catches for 534 yards and two touchdowns). Hoffman is Nelson’s favorite target and he can be dangerous.

Defense: Linebacker Kyle Van Noy. Despite being double-teamed often this season, Van Noy has 11.5 tackles-for-loss, 7.5 sacks, five pass breakups, eight quarterback hurries and three forced fumbles.

5. As someone that follows BYU football, can you give me your perspective on what football independence means for BYU? Do you feel like Notre Dame has been an ally in that process?

BYU officials love independence so far because it provides the school, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, a tremendous amount of exposure thanks to the broadcast partnership with ESPN. There are BYU fans throughout the country and throughout the world, and ESPN has given those fans the opportunity to follow the Cougars. Independence also gives BYU flexibility in scheduling, and the series with Notre Dame is something that everyone associated with BYU is excited about. The fact that Notre Dame was willing to schedule BYU shows that Notre Dame has been an ally. However, nobody seems to know how Notre Dame’s decision to partner with the ACC will affect the six-game series. While BYU knows it is not Notre Dame, I think the Cougars are watching Notre Dame very carefully as it navigates independence waters.

6. The Irish opened up as two-touchdown favorites. What’s the recipe for a BYU upset victory?

With the way BYU’s defense has been playing for most of the season, I think the key for an upset rests in the hands of the offense. The Cougars can’t afford to turn the ball over. In their three losses, they have had 10 turnovers — including a pair of pick-sixes and a fumble return for a touchdown. Nelson needs to avoid mistakes like that if BYU has any hope of an upset. The Cougars will need to generate some semblance of a run game, and that could be tough against Notre Dame’s defense, and BYU’s starting running back is a 17-year-old true freshman, Jamaal Williams. The Cougars have had trouble at times getting into the end zone this season, and I know Notre Dame hasn’t given up a touchdown in weeks. But if BYU can keep it close going into the fourth quarter, it has a shot.

***

Read Jeff’s work at the Deseret News here. You can also follow him on Twitter @ajeffreycall.

  1. ndfanwabashman - Oct 17, 2012 at 1:46 PM

    As cliche as it may be, this is a classic trap game. Tough, hungry, senior laden team facing an Irish squad sandwiched between two ranked opponents. This game worries me, but BK has done a great job keeping the team focused on the task at hand all year. I think ND wins. But it’s going to be close.

    • natesullivan24 - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:53 PM

      You’re definitely right. Or maybe the bigger issue is that BYU has a solid team and Notre Dame can’t score that many points right now. I for one am calling for Rees this week – a little warm-up before Oklahoma would be good. You can see more what I think about the Irish here: http://allducksallday.com/?p=347

      • jmfinsd - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:27 AM

        Hey natesullivan24 – thanks for your unsolicited opinion regarding how overrated ND is. I’m not surprised by the opinion and the focus on ND’s offense to support your argument. Of course, equally expected is the lip service given to ND’s defense because, as we all know, offense wins championships and defense doesn’t. This according to history because we all know that the Ducks, who averaged 49 points a game in 2011, had their offensive way with Auburn in the BCS Championship Game. That high-powered offense, the potency of which I readily admit I wish would rub off on ND, scored 19 points, 30 below their season average. This year, while ND has scored only about 50% of the points that OU has scored this year (324 v. 164), they’ve given up 43% of the amount of points UO has given up (120 v.52), and that 120 includes games against such powerhouses as Arkansas State and Tennessee Tech.

        I like the Ducks. I admit their talented. But please don’t downgrade the quality of my nephew’s degee from UO with that rubbish of an opinion.

      • NotreDan - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:05 PM

        go spam another site doofus

  2. nudeman - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:05 PM

    Things I’m tired of reading:

    1) “This is a classic trap game”. Bullshit. ND plays well and everything else takes care of itself

    2) “One game at a time”. For players and coaches, this is true. But does it really matter for fans? Why do I, c4ever, don74, ndgoldandblue, NotreDan and others need to take it one game at a time? If ndgoldandblue posts something about beating USC, will it affect the prep for this week’s game?

    3) Using the word “effort” as a verb; as in “he efforted nicely there”. No, he tried hard.

    4) Bitching about Rick Reilly thinking ND is irrelevant. Seriously, who cares? I didn’t care 5 weeks ago and don’t care now. Except for the last two years under CW, I have always enjoyed ND football and found them relevant, as do most of you, regardless.

    5) Anything about recruiting beyond 2013. As in “Irish have eyes on 2015 linebacker”.

    6) Any post, any time, anywhere that references Dayne Crist. Newsflash: Hasn’t taken a snap at ND in over a year. And he fumbled that one, btw.

    7) Anything about Cam. Barring three torn ACLs, you’re not going to get a Cam fix anytime soon. Deal with it.
    8) And a bunch of other stuff that I can’t get to now.

    • nudeman - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:07 PM

      Keith,
      Where does that smiley face come from? I have seen that before when trying to post the number “8″ then a parentheses. Seen it from others too. Think you’ve got a bug here.

      • don74 - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:35 PM

        And I thought you were just showing off your fun side!

      • 808raiderinparadise - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:46 PM

        Tommy Rees (aka the kitten) > Mariano Rivera

      • dickasman - Oct 17, 2012 at 6:41 PM

        I agree with your statement that Americans are better than Mexicans 808.

      • ndirish10 - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:16 PM

        dickasman,

        You sir are an idiot. Mariano is Panamanian, born in Panama. I’m this close to addressing you as dicklessman.

        From an American whose parents are Mexican, US Naturalized Citizens.
        GO IRISH!!!

      • irish4006 - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:42 PM

        Dude (Nude), it’s a keyboard shortcut, just like colon, hyphen, parentheses.

      • joeschu - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:48 AM

        Smiley face with sunglasses – lame beyond belief. Not your fault, it is wordpress doing it to you. I’m not sure if there’s a way to get around it. Try using 1. and 2. instead of the parenthesis.

    • 808raiderinparadise - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:31 PM

      NOT a trap game, just another tough game.

      BYU lost to Utah&BSU by a combined 4 points and hung with Oregon State till the 4th quarter.

      They should be 5-1 …

      BYU has some great, great defensive players and ND’s offense is erratic because of Golson’s turnovers and decisons and some questionable playcalling for the kid.

      Interesting watching Teo hosting a LDS school of mormons @ the catholic identity of sports.

      I’m sure Teo will be swallowed up with support from BYU after the game, not too mention plenty of polynesians like himself too.

      Player of the game …. the teo-nator

    • heisenbyrg - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:33 PM

      I think ND could win this trap game if a) they stay focused on one game at a time; b) Dayne Crist was around for a fifth year; c) Cam McDaniels gets between 55-65 carries; d) they were playing a team of 2015 recruits; e) they effort reeeally hard.

      Oh, and Rick Reilly.

      • nudeman - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:45 PM

        LOFL

        You forgot ” We’re gonna’ give 110% and the good Lord willing we’ll come out with a W”

      • ndirish10 - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:19 PM

        FLOL!!! heisenbyrg, that was hilarious!!! You even had nude laughing about it!!!

      • alsatiannd - Oct 18, 2012 at 6:54 AM

        OLFL

      • bb90grad - Oct 18, 2012 at 10:32 AM

        BTW love the handle. Best quote so far this season:

        Say my name.
        You’re Heisenberg.
        Goddamn right I am.

        Walt’s fall is a train wreck, you can’t not watch.

        Back to football…

    • ndgoldandblue - Oct 17, 2012 at 3:30 PM

      Thanks for the shout-out, nude. You know that I definitely agree about all the “trap game” nonsense. I don’t believe for one second that BK would allow his players to overlook anyone. Besides, BYU hasn’t impressed me at all, and I have no clue as to why so many posters are afraid the Irish are going to lose this week. What makes BYU so friggin’ special? “Look out for BYU!” Okay, we will so that we’re ready to capitalize when they trip over themselves offensively.

      • seadomer - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:29 PM

        Ok … I’m one of those worried about this game.

        Not that we have an uphill task but so far BYU reminds me a lot like ND last year, a few plays would be 2 more Ws and possibly ranked in the Top 25. Breaking down in the 4th etc. and losing games that they have a good shot. So it we have a Purdue-like performance, then I’ll be right but if we have a Miami 2.0, then I’ll be glad I’m wrong.

        However, ND has been solid in the 2nd half and has not allowed opponents to even dream of a comeback so the start fast – finish strong formula has been working and if not, we have Tommy “too cool” to ice the opponent.

      • ndirish10 - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:25 PM

        seadomer, imagine how many will be next week if worried about this week. Most will have to change their pants about every other hour. IRISH will will. GO IRISH!!!

      • ndirish10 - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:27 PM

        wil WIN!!

      • ndirish10 - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:28 PM

        WILL win!! Damn smartphone!!!

      • cameronemclaughlin - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:53 PM

        BYU is dangerous because they have a very good defense. A defense that will be ready to capitalize if the Irish trip over themselves.

        If our running game is stifled (BYU gives up 2.2 YPC) and Golson is forced to throw the ball while experiencing significant pressure (BYU is 6th nationally in sacks), EG needs to make significant strides this week if he’s to avoid a repeat of last week’s debacle.

      • ndgoldandblue - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:20 AM

        cameron,
        You’re right about the statistics, but I’m starting to think that you throw all those out the window when you face a great team, which I think we are. Just look at the BYU-Oregon St. game. BYU’s defense has been great this year, but they didn’t do a very good job of shutting down Oregon St. In fact, they didn’t shut them down at all. Remember the Miami game? There was a lot of chatter about Miami’s great offense and how we were going to have to put up a lot of points to win. Miami’s score, 3. Look, I respect your opinion, and I think it has a lot of merit, but I don’t think that BYU’s defense is better than Stanford’s, and we managed to put the ball in the endzone twice against them (albeit once in overtime). If we score only two touchdowns against BYU, I think it’s still enough. Their offense is more inept than ours has ever been this year, and yes, I’m including the Michigan game in that scenerio as well.

    • ndfanwabashman - Oct 17, 2012 at 3:51 PM

      “If ND plays well…”. Yes there’s an “if” in there chief. That’s the fucking point of calling it a trap game. The team could get caught looking ahead. BYU is a better team than people give them credit for and ND’s schedule hasn’t been as good as it looked at the beginning of the year.

      • nudeman - Oct 17, 2012 at 4:29 PM

        wabash
        Relax man. This isn’t life or death

      • 808raiderinparadise - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:00 PM

        No nudeman it can be death ….

        I used to think last season when Rees would turnover the ball and come to the sidelines, when BK’s furious purple face would explode, I thought he would turn into some type of gargoyle or dragon and start screeching fire onto Rees and forcing sharp talons thru his chest ripping him to shreds…

        then I woke-up this season and realized it was all just a dream and Rees is now BK’s little fuzzy kitten that he only takes outside the house every now and then for some charming moments only to quickly return back inside to protect him from danger.

      • nudeman - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:24 PM

        808
        That is a ridiculous metaphor but in an odd way I love it
        Rees as a kept kitty

        Works for me

      • 808raiderinparadise - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:39 PM

        - Creative Writing Major

        University of Hawaii at Manoa English Department

        dats mai edjumacayshun

        -Mahalo nudeman

        … To Golson this Saturday, may he Win without the kitten!

    • joeschu - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:59 AM

      1. Every game is a “trap game” for ND. We get EVERYONE’s best effort, because they know if they know they’re on national TV and they know the history. Find me a team that doesn’t view ND as a big game. We get everyone’s ‘A’ game, so every game is a “trap game.” That’s part of being ND.

      2. I think the argument here is to not let expectations get too far out of hand. Fans certainly don’t need to “focus,” and the fun of sports is being able to make insane arguments and hypotheticals. For me, this “one game at a time” attitude is valuable in keeping our eye on progress/process vs. short term results. Keeping expectations in check for a team that most people thought would end up around 8 or 9 wins is important. Clearly a few of our early foes turned out to be paper tigers, but it doesn’t mean we should be buying tickets to the title game yet. Players need to take it 1 at a time. Fans need to enjoy the ride.

      3. Agree. Almost as bad as using learning as a noun.

      4. Screaming about irrelevance is rather ironic.

      5. There are a bunch of guys enrolled right now, playing their guts out in blue & gold. Those are the guys I follow, not some kid in HS.

      6. See above #5

      7. I’d be interested in seeing what Cam could do returning kicks/punts. Do we think Neal hit the frosh wall or something? He’s been MIA in the offensive game plan. Of course, with the way we always run punt safe and disregard all blocking on returns, we could put Rocket back there and it wouldn’t matter. But hey, it is all Goodman’s fault, right people?!?!

  3. dickasman - Oct 17, 2012 at 2:48 PM

    Well this could be a trap game if you think we are gonna play little rat Mickey Mouse football like we played last year. ***jim mora sr.*** trap game? Trap game? Trap game? Bust out the rat poison on these fake Catholics!

  4. Jennifer - Oct 17, 2012 at 3:26 PM

    Keith, I’m really hoping there’s no let-down this week. For 17-22 year olds, stuffing Stanford at the goal line had to be a pretty heady ordeal. Hard not to feel a bit invincible just seven days after: Experiencing ESPN Game Day in THEIR town; Pulling out the victory on a last minute “one for the ages TD” in driving rain; Watching their student body storm the muddied field they had just stomped all over on, and joining them in celebration! Add to all this their new #5 ranking, and distinct reality of a top tier bowl and, well…..??? Kelly and staff know what to do, but they’ll have their hands full, because: Back to that reality that these guys they ARE just 17-22 years old! Here’s hoping everyone keeps it real! Go Irish!

    • seadomer - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:16 PM

      Is our field ok?

  5. smurphdoggy29 - Oct 17, 2012 at 3:48 PM

    Keith I have a bit of a bone to pick on ye olde Headline of: Preordained Headline

    What ? C’mon Rookie ! Like fer sure = Holy War !

    Man and I thought you were the Bees Knees.

    As usual dickasman and nudeman have kept us collectively grounded (Trap Game, Crist, effort) so I am not worried about a letdown (sorry guys had to poke fun !)

    I don’t think there will be any let down because the young men and the Coaches have continued to maintain their focus and will do so through the end of the year. I think (in my humble opinion) that this years group really wants to show the fruits of their labor, and are striving for as many wins as possible, so they will keep working towards that goal.

    We all know that on any given Saturday you could lose, yet barring a total overall meltdown I don’t see that happening here. Lose in Norman ? Possibly. Against SC ? Possibly. Any of the other remaining not very likely ceteris paribus.

    So lets all continue to enjoy the Renaissance !

    GO Irish !
    Win the Holy War !
    Keep the Faith !
    Best of Health EG !

    • dudeacow - Oct 17, 2012 at 4:31 PM

      The Holy War is between BYU-Utah…

      • seadomer - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:18 PM

        ok ,,.. how about the UNHOLY war.

      • idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:35 PM

        seadomer,

        the UNHOLY War is when BYU plays the Church of Scientology.

      • bogtrottin - Oct 17, 2012 at 6:22 PM

        I think when it’s Mormon vs. Mormon it’s the holy war. But when it’s Catholic vs. Mormon, then there’s some sort of multiplier effect, and it’s like the super holy war. The math’s a bit technical, didn’t want to get into it here.

      • dudeacow - Oct 17, 2012 at 7:50 PM

        Actually, I think it’s better described as the Very Holy War.

  6. natesullivan24 - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:48 PM

    This should be a good game, trap games are very real.. But if the Notre Dame defense continues to play like they have, then it should be a victory for the Irish. See where Notre Dame lands on this weeks top 25 – overrated/underrated here: http://allducksallday.com

    • jmfinsd - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:29 AM

      (posted above in reply to another natesullivan24 post – reposting to increase chances he’ll see it)

      Hey natesullivan24 – thanks for your unsolicited opinion regarding how overrated ND is. I’m not surprised by the opinion and the focus on ND’s offense to support your argument. Of course, equally expected is the lip service given to ND’s defense because, as we all know, offense wins championships and defense doesn’t. This according to history because we all know that the Ducks, who averaged 49 points a game in 2011, had their offensive way with Auburn in the BCS Championship Game. That high-powered offense, the potency of which I readily admit I wish would rub off on ND, scored 19 points, 30 below their season average. This year, while ND has scored only about 50% of the points that UO has scored this year (324 v. 164), they’ve given up 43% of the amount of points UO has given up (120 v.52), and that 120 includes games against such powerhouses as Arkansas State and Tennessee Tech.

      I like the Ducks. I admit their talented. But please don’t downgrade the quality of my nephew’s degee from UO with that rubbish of an opinion.

      • natesullivan24 - Oct 18, 2012 at 3:26 PM

        Hey jmfinsd, thanks for responding.

        I agree with you that defense wins championships – more so than offense. However, if you look at the past recent BCS winners, their offenses were still very solid to go along with amazing defenses (point per game in at least the high 20′s). As for the Auburn/Oregon game, anyone who was there or watched it would say the Ducks outplayed Auburn for large stretches of the game and probably should have won. Another factor as well is the amount of time these coaches have to prepare for Oregon. It has been shown time and time again (Boise, LSU, Auburn) that if you get a month or more to prepare for the Ducks, you have a lot better chance of slowing down the offense.

        Notre Dame has a great D, and I think they’re a solid team. I just don’t think they are one of the best five teams in the country. I think maybe they could be if Rees got moved to quarterback honestly.. If ND can beat Oklahoma then I’ll say for sure they are top-5. But time will tell on the Irish and Oregon!

        And I actually gave the wrong link for my article above, so here it is: http://allducksallday.com/?p=347 :)

      • jmfinsd - Oct 18, 2012 at 11:25 PM

        natesullivan24 – 164 points / 6 games = 27.3 points per game. 26.6 points per game by the offense if you take away the Tuitt funble recovery for a TD. Next point?

  7. ndfaithful - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:50 PM

    I’m a lot more worried about this being a crap game than a trap game. I don’t think BK and the Irish are going to have any “let down”. I’m just worried that BYU is a good team and can win. They haven’t been out of any game I’ve seen really. They look a lot like us with a few more turnovers. In that, I mean that they have a strong defense and a questionable offense.

    I’m a little wary of any team with an ‘ok’ defense. Like Purdue, Michigan, etc. when scoring was, ahem, difficult for the Irish. It also concerns me a bit that we have played MUCH better football away from South Bend. Add in that Golson still probably hears birds tweeting and only looked ‘ok’ in his last effort – i’m on a threat-level of “Orange” right now.

    I do expect ND to win, but I want to point out a few things that would not scare me or surprise me:

    1. Tommy Rees to start. Not trying to start a war… I’m just sayin. The offense has looked more productive under him and if EG’s hurt, I’d almost welcome it. ND will need to pass and TR throws the ball to Eifert. Just sayin…. I love EG… don’t stone me.

    2. ND to win ugly. IF our offense gets on track, I’d expect a score of like 31-9. But that IF seems like a 50/50 chance these days. If we hold them to 9, I think we can win. No TD’s, light ‘em up D-Boys.

    GO IRISH
    (please)

  8. idratherbeinsouthbend - Oct 17, 2012 at 5:56 PM

    Your moment of zen…

    Thursday — Oregon @ Arizona St. — 8:00pm on ESPN
    Friday — Uconn @ Syracuse — 7:00pm on ESPN
    Saturday — Purdue @ Ohio State — 11:00am on ABC
    Saturday — LSU @ Texas A&M — 11:00am on ESPN
    Saturday — Minnesota @ Wisconsin — 11:00am on ESPNU
    Saturday — Virginia Tech @ Clemson — 11:00am on ESPN2
    Saturday — Iowa St. @ Oklahoma St. — 11:00am on FX
    Saturday — Stanford @ Cal — 2:00pm on Fox
    Saturday — BYU @ Notre Dame — 2:30pm on NBC
    Saturday — South Carolina @ Florida — 2:30pm on CBS
    Saturday — Nebraska @ Northwestern — 2:30pm on ABC
    Saturday — NC State @ Maryland — 2:30pm on ESPNU
    Saturday — Texas Tech @ TCY — 2:30pm on ESPN2
    Saturday — UNLV @ Boise St. — 2:30pm on NBCSN
    Saturday — Rice @ Tulsa — 2:30pm on FoxSportsRegional
    Saturday — Michigan St. @ Michigan — 2:30pm on BigTenNetwork
    Saturday — Kansas St. @ West Virginia — 6:00pm on Fox
    Saturday — Alabama @ Tennessee — 6:00pm on ESPN
    Saturday — North Carolina @ Duke — 6:00pm on ESPNU
    Saturday — Florida St. @ Miami — 7:00pm on ABC
    Saturday — Mid. Tenn. St. @ Mississippi St. — 7:00pm on ESPN2
    Saturday — Penn State @ Iowa — 7:00pm on BigTenNetwork
    Saturday — Utah @ Oregon St. — 9:30pm on ESPN

    • dudeacow - Oct 17, 2012 at 6:30 PM

      Head expodes- you actually organized them!!

  9. dickasman - Oct 17, 2012 at 6:55 PM

    I just read on espn golsons cleared to practice. This didn’t really make me too firm! Does this make anybody firm up? Hope Stanford knocked some sense into this guy and hope he learned a thing or two and play well this Saturday.

    Golson, stop playin like a sociology major son!

  10. gtizzo - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:03 PM

    What arrogance from someone talking about a 3 loss team. I don’t care if BYU should be 6-0 and ranked in the top 10 they haven’t come close to playing a team like ND. The lost to a Boise State team that lost 9 or there top 10 tacklers and couldn’t beat Michigan State. When the Spartans turned the ball over 3 times in the first half. They lost to Utah! Irish fans correct me if I’m wrong but didn’t ND beat Utah 28-7? That was with a new QB some guy named Tommy Rees? BYU needs to run the ball and that “could be tough against the ND defense”! COULD BE!! I seriously doubt BYU has face a defensive linemen the size or quality of Louis Nix. I can guarantee they haven’t seen a linebacker like Manti T’eo or will they all season. Should this guy be stupid enough to think one defensive linemen can’t change a game go watch video of Ndamukong Suh. ND wins and wins big and the streak of not giving up an offensive touchdown continues. I hope BK runs up the score just so this guy is forced to eat his words.

  11. bernhtp - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:51 PM

    In case you haven’t seen it, this week’s UND ICON (Irish Connection) video is really well done.

    I think my favorite part is when Desmond Howard gets on the Gameday stage, and the crowd begins chanting “Rocket’s better … Rocket’s better …” Howard actually starts laughing. Really funny and shows the savvy/humor of the Notre Dame student culture.

    I think my favorite sign was “Catholics vs. Connifers.” It just struck me as whimsically wonderful.

    • ndfaithful - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:18 PM

      I love the work those guys do with the ICON videos.

    • alsatiannd - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:16 AM

      Funniest line @ 2:20: “What’s your poster of?” “It’s his face. He looks like an idiot.” They’ll be talking about that at the 10-year and 25-year for sure.

      What’s with Shembo’s sledgehammer? I like it.

      • bernhtp - Oct 18, 2012 at 7:28 AM

        The idiot poster/line was funny. I’m glad the kids use their high SAT scores as a force for good.

      • tburke9601 - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:22 AM

        He was going after the guy who stole his bike seat! must be alot of that going around on the ND campus!

  12. tony34343434 - Oct 17, 2012 at 8:57 PM

    As an alum no one loves the Irish more than me. i know i will get tons of negative words but i am hoping Rees starts, i want to win now not wait until next year or the year after. i am not a football expert but to me the offense looks better THIS YEAR with tommy as QB. i dont want someone learning on the job, we have a chance to do something special right now, this year. I am rooting for golson and all the guys but i think if we score 17 to 20 points per game we are winning, i think tommy does a better job right now. ok hammer away nude and all you tommy haters but stop playing for next year, we have a great defense the time is now, Manti is graduating, GO IRISH!

    • nudeman - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:37 PM

      No one has been harder on Rees than me. So TIFWIW
      Tommy is being used perfectly this year, put in situations where his ability to recognize defense, call the right protections, etc are of paramount importance
      And he’s executed to near perfection

      Having said that, as a full game player- especially against a team like OK – he’s limited. Still cannot escape a rush or extend a play. Those are the things that Golson is great at and they also wear down a defense. Further, when Rees is playing teams know he can’t run and can’t throw deep. So game planning for him involves loading up the box with 8 guys. If ND runs, they get stuffed. If he throws it he faces a vicious rush.

      I still like the Golson/Rees thing as it is now.

      Thumbs down button is right below

  13. sinister23 - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:16 PM

    Im back!!!!!!!!! It took a week but my iPhone is finally here

    • nudeman - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:41 PM

      Well that’s great news. In the same way the foreclosure crisis was good news.

      So when you last were here, we exchanged messages about SU being a solid but not great team, which we agreed on. The win against SU was not a great display of ND football offensively, but the D you have to admit is stellar.

      What is your latest assessment?

    • bernhtp - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:41 PM

      We’re all so unbelievably happy.

  14. atw34 - Oct 17, 2012 at 9:55 PM

    This is for all of those calling for Rees to start. First of all, NO coach in America would make such a significant change on an undefeated team! Secondly, Rees has thrown the ball 25 times in 6 games. That is basically one game worth of production. So how are we SO much better with Rees in there? Thirdly, Rees is the type of QB you want as a BACK UP; experienced! Also, lets remember that Golson has started in 6 games(technically 5; minus one possession last week), so why are some expecting Golson to be Tom Brady after 6 starts? Do any of you remember your 6th day at a new job? I’m sure your boss/manager wasn’t expecting maximum performance at that point! Golson is progressing well. A first time starter at any position, let alone the most difficult position on the football field takes time people!! Having a good experienced back up is crucial with a young QB! Tommy can carry us for a drive or two, but not an entire game. There is a reason Tommy is the BACK UP and NOT the starter. Coach Kelly has seen more reps than all of us put together; so I trust his judgment! Give the Tommy Rees should start talk to rest!

  15. jmfinsd - Oct 18, 2012 at 12:53 AM

    Just don’t understand all the postings showing concern about a “trap” game. As BK stated, every game is a trap game if you take a break and don’t focus. That won’t happen with this team – BK, T’eo, Kappy, Cave, Golic, etc. etc. won’t let it happen.

    Also, BYU has not impressed. They’re 4-3. They have 3 blowout wins against teams that are 3-17. They’re 1-3 against teams with winning records. Can they play well? Yes. Do they pose a danger to a team that doesn’t prepare and isn’t focused? Yes. Do they pose a real danger to this ND squad based on what we have seen from this ND squad? NO!!

    I think the concerns about a trap are more indicative of the lack of trust that we as fans have based on our experiences in past years and our expectation of disappointment, or at least preparing for it. Embrace this ND squad. Embrace this year. Have confidence and have faith. This is a good time to be an Irish fan.

    Go Irish. Beat BYU!!!

  16. jcarrillo7828 - Oct 18, 2012 at 2:47 AM

    I find it funny how every year there is a new cliche that EVERYBODY likes to throw out. This year it’s “trap game” and “video game numbers”. Last year it was . “Stout”. And before that it was “swagger.” So here we go: I think if ND plays with swagger against this stout defensive BYU line, we should put up video game numbers and overcome this trap game. How was that?

  17. sinister23 - Oct 18, 2012 at 9:15 AM

    @nudeman. Ok the Irish D, anchored by the best LB in the nation (there I said it) was solid yet again. It’s time to chalk ND defense up as the real deal. My only concern is the carousel QB offense. It’s going to bite you guys in the butt….until then ENJOY THE RANKING!

    • nudeman - Oct 18, 2012 at 10:58 AM

      Personally I’m more concerned about the OL

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