Joe Sampson, Theo Riddick

BYU looking to settle score after last year’s close defeat


In a season filled with high-wire acts and death-defying escapes, Notre Dame’s 17-14 victory over BYU feels like a chapter you might skim through. With Everett Golson out after a bell-ringing concussion against Stanford, the Irish leaned heavily on the running game, with Tommy Rees throwing just three times in the second half as the Irish came back from a halftime deficit to lock up a victory thanks to Theo Riddick’s clutch running and the defense pitching a second half shutout.

Among the year’s unforgettable memories, you could understand if the hard-fought victory was one that’s already started slipping away from the Irish (or at least their fans).

But that certainly isn’t the case for BYU.

With an easy victory against Idaho State hardly in the rearview mirror, the Cougars were already moving on to Notre Dame on Saturday, heading back to South Bend with the goal to spring an upset that was almost in the books last year.

“I don’t remember many games, but I remember that one,” BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall told the Deseret News’ Jeff Call after his team’s easy 59-13 victory over Idaho State. “So I’m looking forward to going back.”

Mendenhall isn’t the only one on BYU’s sideline that’s looking forward to a return trip to South Bend. Quarterback Taysom Hill talked about his chance at facing the Irish, after sitting out last season with a knee injury.

“I’m really excited,” Hill told the Deseret News. “Much like Wisconsin, you get a team like Notre Dame that’s known around the country for being a quality football team. It gives us an opportunity again to go on the road to showcase what we can do on a national stage.”

Wide receiver Cody Hoffman, who had eight catches and a touchdown last season against the Irish put it more candidly.

“It’s stuck with us because we easily could have won,” Hoffman said. “Seeing them in the national championship, knowing that we could have and should have beat them, it will be nice to go back this year and hopefully get revenge.”



Even with heavy rain in forecast, kickoff stays in primetime

Post & Courier via Twitter
Post & Courier (via Twitter)

With rain falling and the forecast expecting much more, Notre Dame and Clemson are kicking off in primetime anyway.

College GameDay was on campus this morning, showcasing the soggy conditions and the mud-covered campus. And while some wondered whether or not the kickoff would move up to earlier in the day to take advantage of a slight lull in the conditions, kickoff is remaining at 8:22 p.m.

“We’ve been in constant communication with state and local law enforcement and have monitored weather throughout the week and today,” director of athletics Dan Radakovich said in a statement Friday night. “I’ve spoken with campus leaders, State Highway Patrol, and Governor Nikki Haley, and feel confident we can play the game as scheduled. We ask our fans to be conscientious arriving and departing from our campus as we will have some limitations due to this ongoing weather event.”

Ball security will be key this evening, and during an interview with Tom Rinaldi this morning Kelly mentioned the punting and kick game as concerns in these conditions. The Irish came to Clemson prepared for miserable conditions and if the forecast holds, they’ll get just that.

Irish get commitment from 2017 TE Cole Kmet

Cole Kmet

Notre Dame’s tight end recruiting keeps rolling. The Irish received a commitment from Illinois tight end Cole Kmet, who adds a third piece to Notre Dame’s 2017 recruiting class.

Kmet is a 6-foot-4, 230-pounder, joining fellow blue-chipper 2017 tight end Brock Wright in next year’s recruiting class (they won’t sign until February 2017). He had early offers from plenty of the top programs around the country, but picked Notre Dame over finalist Ohio State, a nice recruiting victory for Scott Booker and Brian Kelly.

Kmet talked about the decision with Irish 247 who broke the news:

“I think it was just a gut feeling knowing it was Notre Dame,” Kmet to Irish 247. “I didn’t want to pass on playing for that program and attending that university. It’s always been the school I wanted an offer from and Ohio State made it really close, but I just couldn’t pass on Notre Dame.”