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23


BYU (7-3) at Notre Dame (7-3)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, November 23, 3:30 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Notre Dame Stadium (80,795) -- Notre Dame, Indiana. Television: NBC. Home Record: BYU 5-1, Notre Dame 4-1. Away Record: BYU 2-2, Notre Dame 2-2. Neutral Record: BYU 0-0, Notre Dame 1-0. Conference Record: BYU 0-0, Notre Dame 0-0. Series Record: Notre Dame leads, 5-2.

GAME NOTES: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish will try to climb back into the Top 25 as they host the BYU Cougars at Notre Dame Stadium for a matchup between the top Independent programs in the FBS.

BYU bounced back from a 10-point loss at Wisconsin and improved to 7-3 last week with a 59-13 rout of FCS foe Idaho State. The Cougars have won six of their last seven games and became bowl eligible for the ninth consecutive campaign in the process. If not selected for a BCS Bowl, the Cougars have already accepted a spot in the Fight Hunger Bowl in San Francisco on Dec. 27.

The Fighting Irish dropped out of the Top 25 after their 28-21 loss to Pittsburgh at Heinz Field on Nov. 9, which snapped a four-game win streak. The setback to the Panthers prevented Brian Kelly from becoming the first coach in the school's storied history to win at least eight games in each of his first four seasons. Notre Dame has managed to compile a 7-3 record despite having all 11 of its starters on the defensive side of the ball missing at least two games due to injuries.

The Fighting Irish return from their open week hoping to build on a 17-14 win last year that was their second in a row and the third in the last four meetings versus the Cougars. Notre Dame holds a 5-2 edge in the all-time series as a result of its back-to-back victories.

Idaho State was no match for BYU last week as the Cougars' 59 points were the most the school has registered in a single game since Oct. 10, 2009. Six different players scored a touchdown in the game while Jamaal Williams tied his career-high with three rushing scores to bring his season total to six. BYU's outstanding performance versus the FCS opponent was not due to its inferior competition, as it has been exceptional all season to rank 12th in the FBS in rushing offense with 265.4 yards per game. The Cougars are also 13th among FBS programs in total offense at 503.7 ypg.

Taysom Hill has started all 10 games under center and spearheaded the charge en route to 3,335 yards of total offense, which is already the third most by a sophomore in school history. His average of 333.5 total yards per game ranks eighth nationally and his 956 rushing yards are the second most by a signal caller and 27th most among FBS players in 2013. Williams is only five spots behind Hill with 940 yards in just nine games.

Despite missing two games, senior wideout Cody Hoffman is still the team's leading receiver with 38 catches for 664 yards and five touchdowns. Sophomore Mitch Mathews (23 catches, 397 yards, four TDs) does not have his number called as often, but usually provides a few big plays per outing.

Equally important to BYU's success has been its impressive defensive unit, which allows just 21 ppg to rank 23rd nationally. The Cougars have a solid leader in Uani' Unga, who averages over 10 tackles per game and is one of just 15 players in the FBS with over 100 stops on the season. Linebacker Kyle Van Noy is also an impact player as he has registered 26 career sacks, which is the second most in the nation among active players.

The Fighting Irish's offense is not quite as explosive as BYU's attack, but they still have decent averages of 28.2 points and 404.9 total yards per game. Notre Dame's run for a return to the BCS national title game was hindered over the offseason when last season's starting quarterback Everett Golson was suspended. He passed for 2,405 yards and 12 touchdowns as a redshirt freshman last season and rushed for 298 yards and another six scores.

Golson may be back in the fold at some point as he applied for readmission to Notre Dame this week. The Fighting Irish had a serviceable replacement in Tommy Rees, who has started all 10 games under center. The senior quarterback had a tough outing versus the Panthers as he completed just 18-of-39 passes for 318 yards and two touchdowns along with two costly interceptions in the fourth frame. Rees has completed a career-low 54.6 percent of his throws for 2,504 yards and 24 TDs. His total of interceptions has grown to 10 after being picked off twice in his last two outings.

The Irish received another solid contribution versus Pittsburgh from T.J. Jones, who caught six passes for 149 yards and a touchdown, while adding 41 yards and another score on three carries. Jones also lost a fumble as the team tallied only 355 total yards. Notre Dame has a decent running back tandem in George Atkinson, III. and Cam McDaniel. The duo is combining for just over 100 ypg and both have scored three times on the ground.

Kelly's defensive unit has been strong throughout the 2013 slate to limit the opposition to only 369 total yards of offense and 23.5 points per outing. Notre Dame surrendered 28 points to the Panthers its last time out, although the Panthers were held to only 355 total offensive yards. Senior linebacker Carlo Calabrese has been the most consistent member of the unit with an average of 6.9 tackles per game, 5.5 TFL and a pair of sacks in 10 games.

The Irish would still be ranked if their offense could have avoided miscues in the Steel City. They will lose their second game in a row if they continue to commit turnovers, as BYU's offense needs to be kept on the sidelines as much as possible.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: BYU 31, Notre Dame 28

11/20 10:40:31 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR
 
Final
TEX 3
CLE 12
Final
COL 6
CIN 4
Final
MIA 2
PIT 5
Final
CWS 5
TOR 3
Final
KAN 2
NYY 4
Final
BOS 4
MIN 6
Final
PHI 0
NYM 7
Final
SEA 3
TAM 0
Final
SFG 3
MIL 1
Final
DET 3
OAK 2
Final
HOU 4
BAL 5
Final
WAS 3
CHC 0
Final
ARI 3
STL 4
Final
SDP 5
ANA 4
Final
ATL 3
LOS 2
1:05pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
4:35pm Today
CWS
BAL
 
8:05pm Tonight
BOS
TEX
 
10:05pm Tonight
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Tonight
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Tonight
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Tonight
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Friday
KAN
CHC
 
7:05pm Friday
COL
PHI
 
7:05pm Friday
TAM
BAL
 
7:10pm Friday
MIA
NYM
 
7:10pm Friday
WAS
CIN
 
8:05pm Friday
BOS
TEX
 
8:10pm Friday
ARI
MIL
 
8:10pm Friday
CWS
HOU
 
8:10pm Friday
TOR
MIN
 
8:15pm Friday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Friday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Friday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Friday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Friday
PIT
SDP
 
10:15pm Friday
ATL
SFG
 
2:10pm Saturday
TOR
MIN
 
3:05pm Saturday
COL
PHI
 
4:05pm Saturday
TAM
BAL
 
4:10pm Saturday
ARI
MIL
 
4:10pm Saturday
CWS
HOU
 
4:10pm Saturday
MIA
NYM
 
4:10pm Saturday
WAS
CIN
 
7:15pm Saturday
BOS
TEX
 
7:15pm Saturday
KAN
CHC
 
7:15pm Saturday
LOS
STL
 
10:05pm Saturday
ATL
SFG
 
10:05pm Saturday
DET
ANA
 
10:05pm Saturday
NYY
OAK
 
10:10pm Saturday
CLE
SEA
 
10:10pm Saturday
PIT
SDP
 
1:10pm Sunday
MIA
NYM
 
1:10pm Sunday
WAS
CIN
 
1:35pm Sunday
COL
PHI
 
1:35pm Sunday
TAM
BAL
 
2:10pm Sunday
ARI
MIL
 
2:10pm Sunday
CWS
HOU
 
2:10pm Sunday
TOR
MIN
 
2:15pm Sunday
LOS
STL
 
2:20pm Sunday
KAN
CHC
 
3:05pm Sunday
BOS
TEX
 
4:05pm Sunday
ATL
SFG
 
4:05pm Sunday
NYY
OAK
 
4:10pm Sunday
CLE
SEA
 
8:05pm Sunday
DET
ANA
 
9:10pm Sunday
PIT
SDP
 
7:05pm Monday
TOR
WAS
 
7:10pm Monday
CHC
MIA
 
7:10pm Monday
MIN
BOS
 
8:10pm Monday
BAL
HOU
 
8:10pm Monday
MIL
STL
 
8:40pm Monday
LOS
COL
 
9:40pm Monday
ATL
ARI
 
10:05pm Monday
TAM
ANA
 
10:10pm Monday
NYM
SDP
 
10:10pm Monday
NYY
SEA
 
10:15pm Monday
PIT
SFG
 
Final
HOU 90
GSW 104
Final
ANA 2
CHI 5
8:00pm Friday
TAM
NYR
 
8:00pm Saturday
CHI
ANA
 
12:00pm Friday
AUBURN
CHARLESTON
 
1:00pm Friday
CALIFORNIA
CCAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
COLUMBIA
ECAROLINA
 
1:00pm Friday
ORALROBRTS
ARKANSAS
 
1:00pm Friday
OREGON
IOWA
 
1:00pm Friday
SFLORIDA
FAU
 
1:00pm Friday
WRIGHTST
NOTREDAME
 
2:00pm Friday
MICHIGAN
BRADLEY
 
2:30pm Friday
STONYBROOK
NCSTATE
 
2:30pm Friday
TEXAS
OREGONST
 
3:00pm Friday
INDIANA
RADFORD
 
3:30pm Friday
ULLAFAYETE
RICE
 
4:00pm Friday
LEHIGH
LSU
 
6:00pm Friday
CANISIUS
SWMISSOURI
 
6:00pm Friday
CLEMSON
ARIZONAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MERCER
FLORIDAST
 
6:00pm Friday
MOREHEADST
LOUISVILLE
 
6:00pm Friday
VIRGINIA
USC
 
7:00pm Friday
FIU
MIAFLA
 
7:00pm Friday
FLAAM
FLORIDA
 
7:00pm Friday
MARYLAND
MISS
 
7:00pm Friday
SACREDHART
TCU
 
7:00pm Friday
STJOHNS
OKLAHOMAST
 
7:00pm Friday
TSOUTHERN
TEXASAM
 
7:00pm Friday
VCU
DALLASBAPT
 
8:00pm Friday
HSTNBAPT
HOUSTON
 
8:00pm Friday
LIPSCOMB
VANDERBILT
 
8:00pm Friday
OHIO
ILLINOIS
 
8:00pm Friday
TULANE
NWILMINGTN
 
10:00pm Friday
PEPPERDINE
FULLERTON
 
10:00pm Friday
SANDIEGOST
CSANTABAR
 
11:00pm Friday
CSBAKER
UCLA
 
Final
ROC 8
DUR 2
 
7:05pm Friday
SYR
DUR
 
6:35pm Saturday
SYR
DUR
 
5:05pm Sunday
SYR
DUR