BYU at No. 5 Notre Dame postgame notes

(Photo by Mark Philbrick/BYU Photo)

HOFFMAN KEEPS IT GOING
Wide receiver Cody Hoffman kept his streak alive, now catching at least one pass in 27 straight games and 33 of 34 career games. Hoffman finished with eight receptions for 86 yards and one touchdown.

YOUNGSTERS
Two of the youngest FBS Division-I players at 17 years of age, BYU’s Jamaal Williams, born in April,1995 (RB) and Notre Dame’s Romeo Okwara (OLB), born in June, 1995, were on the field today. Williams finished with 64 rushing yards on 14 carries and had seven receptions for 42 yards. Okwara finished with one tackle.

ENDING OF A STREAK
Notre Dame’s defense went four games, 17-straight quarters without allowing a touchdown until Cody Hoffman caught a six-yard pass from Riley Nelson in the second quarter.

KVN PICK
Linebacker Kyle Van Noy recorded his first interception of the year in the second quarter. Van Noy’s pick set up BYU’s go-ahead touchdown to make the score 14-7. Van Noy finished with four tackles and one interception.

ONLY THE SECOND
BYU is just the second team in 2012 to put up at least two touchdowns on the Irish. Purdue scored two against Notre Dame in a 20-17 win for the Fighting Irish.

PUNTING EXCELLENCE
BYU punter Riley Stephenson continued to be a weapon for the Cougars, booting six kicks for 281 yards, including three over 50 and two inside the 20. Stephenson now has 20 punts of 50 yards or more, a career-high for a season.

RUNNING OUT THE FLAG
Senior defensive lineman Simote Vea led BYU out of the tunnel carrying the team flag today. Freshman defensive back Matt Hadley also ran out the special teams flag. Former Cougar John Borgia (OL, 84-87) carried the alumni flag. Borgia was an All-Conference offensive guard who saw action with BYU’s 1984 National Championship team.

BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall

Opening comments:
Congratulations to Coach Kelly and Notre Dame.  Their team played hard and physical and they had a couple more plays than our program today.  They continue to do just what they need to do in keeping their undefeated season going, and I think they are a good football team, well‑coached and they are to be credited for their effort today.

I was proud of our team, one or two plays short from being able to come away with a victory.  Most likely the best game collectively we played offensively, defense and kicking but when you put the composite together it was good enough to get us within striking distance and had a great chance, a number of chances to maybe pull off an upset.  But ultimately didn't make a critical play here or there right down the stretch to win the game.

I was proud of our team, proud of their effort, proud of their preparation from Monday all the way through this week and I thought they played really hard.

On Notre Dame’s running game:
Yeah, I was really impressed.  They were physical and we had a very difficult time making consistent tackles and a lot of times, seems like we had good contact, either at the line of scrimmage or shortly thereafter and the running backs kept driving their legs and running hard.  I was really impressed with their running game today.

Did you think about when you kicked the 47‑yard, about going for it or punting?
Yeah, thought about both, the momentum and the emphasis we have been placing in practice on him kicking and how many he's made just the last two weeks really has built my confidence to where, I felt like we had a great chance.  That had something to do with the decision the second time, kind of where we were.

Notre Dame head coach Brian Kelly

Opening comments:
Really proud of my team and the way they competed, particularly the second half.  We dug ourselves a little bit of a hole in the first half with some uncharacteristic mistakes.  But we told them at the half‑time, you know, this is about how we finish this football game.  There wasn't a panic.  We stuck with what we were doing.

It was pretty clear that we were going to be able to control both sides of the ball on the offensive line and defensive line.  And you know, really stuck with our game plan.  Came in here wanting to run the football.  Thought we controlled that quite well.  I think we rushed for over 270 yards, so I think controlling the football for us and playing great defense in the second half has been our formula for winning and we are not going to go away from that.

Again, I think the thing that was concerning for me the most is when our guys came in, and I didn't sense a great feeling after winning a tough, tough football game.  And that's a team that won ten games last year.  That's a bracket‑buster team in basketball parlance, that's a darned good football team.  Our kids hung in there and won the football game.  So really pleased to be 7‑0.

On BYU’s performance:
They played very well.  They are a well coached football team.  Very disciplined.  They made some plays.  That third down and long two trail and they threw a great corner route over KeiVarae.  They made some plays when they needed to make some plays. We expected their very best.  This is a team that's got a lot of tradition, a lot of history and have won a lot more games over the last two years. And so, again, I thought they played very well.  I thought our kids played extremely well in the second half.

Game recap