BYU vs. No. 5 Notre Dame: Complete Game Preview

Samuel BensonContributor IIIOctober 15, 2012

BYU vs. No. 5 Notre Dame: Complete Game Preview

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    A week after a disheartening loss at home to 10th-ranked Oregon State, the BYU Cougars will have an even tougher test this Saturday in South Bend, Indiana. The Cougars will be facing fifth-ranked Notre Dame, who is undefeated and hasn't lost a home game since midway through last season.

    A two-touchdown underdog, the Cougs will need to limit their turnovers—and find their formerly stellar defense—to come out with a win against the Irish. So, here is a preview of how BYU can pull it off.

Game-Day Information

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    Who: BYU (4-3) at No. 5 Notre Dame (6-0)

    When: Saturday, October 20th, 3:30 p.m. (EDT)

    Where: South Bend, IN

    Stadium: Notre Dame Stadium (80,795)

    TV: NBC

    Radio: KSL Radio 1160 AM, 102.7 FM and ksl.com

BYU's Depth Chart

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    Offense (Starters in bold)

    QB: Riley Nelson, James Lark

    RB: Jamaal Williams, David Foote, Iona Pritchard

    WR: Cody Hoffman, Ross Apo, JD Falslev; Skyler Ridley, Dallin Cutler, David Foote

    TE: Kaneakua Friel, Austin Holt

    LT: Ryker Mathews, Michael Yeck

    LG: Solomone Kafu

    C: Braden Hansen, Blair Tushaus

    RG: Manaaki Vaitai, Brock Stringham 

    RT: Braden Brown, Manaaki Vaitai

     

    Special Teams

    K: Justin Sorensen

    P: Riley Stephenson

    LS: Reed Hornung

    H: JD Falslev

     

    Defense

    LE: Ezekiel Ansah, Mike Muehlmann

    DT: Romney Fuga, Simote Vea

    RE: Russell Tialavea, Ezekiel Ansah

    LB: Spencer Hadley, Alani Fua

    MLB: Uona Kaveinga, Zac Stout

    LB: Brandon Ogletree, Manoa Pikula

    OLB: Kyle Van Noy, Jherremya Leuta-Douyere

    CB: Jordan Johnson, Micah Hannemann, Robbie Buckner

    CB: Preston Hadley, Skye PoVey

    SS: Daniel Sorensen, Craig Bills

    FS: Joe Sampson, Mike Hague

     

    Special Teams

    PR: JD Falslev

    KR: Joe Sampson, Mike Hague

Notre Dame's Depth Chart

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    Offense

    QB: Everett Golson, Tommy Rees

    RB: Cierre Wood, Theo Riddick, George Atkinson III, Cam McDaniel

    WR: TJ Jones, Robby Toma, DaVaris Daniels; John Goodman, Davonte' Neal, Daniel Smith

    TE: Tyler Eifert, Ben Koyack

    LT: Zack Martin, Ronnie Stanley

    RT: Christian Lombard, Nick Martin

    C: Braxston Cave, Mike Golic, Jr. 

    LG: Chris Watt, Conor Hanratty

    RG: Mike Golic, Jr., Conor Hanratty

     

    Defense

    DE: Kapron Lewis-Moore, Sheldon Day

    DE: Stephon Tuitt, Tony Springmann

    NG: Louis Nix III, Kona Schwenke

    LB: Prince Shembo, Ishaq Williams

    LB: Dan Fox, Carlo Calabrese

    LB: Manti Te'o, Jarrett Grace

    LB: Danny Spond, Ben Councell

    CB: Bennett Jackson, Jalen Brown

    CB: KeiVarae Russell, Josh Atkinson

    FS: Zeke Motta, Nicky Baratti

    SS: Matthias Farley, Chris Salvi

     

    Special Teams

    K: Kyle Brindza

    P: Ben Turk

    KR: George Atkinson

    PR: Davonte Neal

What Happened to the Cougs Last Week

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    Although they say, "You look good, you feel good, you play good," that was not the case for the Cougars last week. Despite sporting new black uniforms, they fell 42-24 to Oregon State.

    Riley Nelson played in his first game since Week 4, and while throwing for 305 yards and a touchdown, he threw three picks (two of which led directly to OSU points). Jamaal Williams ran for only 36 yards off of 15 carries and two touchdowns, while Cody Hoffman snagged 10 passes for 102 yards.

What Happened to the Irish Last Week

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    Notre Dame slipped away from Stanford on Saturday, winning 20-13 in overtime. Before receiving a concussion late in the game, sophomore quarterback Everett Golson threw for 141 yards and a touchdown with no picks.

    Tommy Rees led the team to victory in the overtime period, completing all four of his passes and a touchdown. The defense was able to stand strong at the end, when they prevented Stanford from entering the end zone.

What This Game Means to Both Teams

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    BYU is coming off of a tough loss and could send waves through the country by beating the Irish at home. Also, the Cougar defense didn't have a great time against Oregon State and needs to regain confidence against Notre Dame.

    The Fighting Irish have beaten marquee teams so far this season, including Stanford, Michigan and Michigan State, and are in no place to lose to a 4-3 BYU team. If they want any shot at a national championship, they will need to win the rest of their games.

Key Player for BYU

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    Riley Nelson had a good game in his first start since September; well, the first half, at least. In the first two quarters, Nelson had over 100 yards passing, a touchdown and an interception. In the second half, more yards came, along with two picks and no end-zone appearances.

    Against a tough Irish defense, he can't make the risky throws that he often does. Nelson will need to play smart, and limit turnovers while making big plays. If he can do this, we will see.

Key Player for Notre Dame

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    Everett Golson put together 178 yards against Michigan State's seventh-ranked defense, one of his lower numbers for the year. Despite throwing zero interceptions, he had a tough time getting things rolling on offense.

    BYU's defense is ranked fifth, and is gifted when it comes to putting pressure on the quarterback. If Golson can't produce for Notre Dame, the Irish offense will have a hard time scoring.

Final Prediction

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    I can't see BYU leaving South Bend with a win, considering how both teams have played in the past two games. If the Cougs can play lockdown defense and score on offense, they may win, but I don't think they will do enough to win.

    My Prediction: Notre Dame wins, 24-17