Tim O'Malley -- PublisherBrian Kelly's staff will have the Irish players ready with the only major letdown for this classic "sandwich game" occurring in the stands. Notre Dame fans fully expect a victory after their team surged into the BCS top five with wins over four consecutive program rivals. I've seen more than 180 games in this Stadium, and I'll be stunned if the House that Rockne Built's partisans provide a fever pitch reminiscent of last week's win vs. #17 Stanford.
A middling BYU team will do little for the let-down atmosphere and the Cougars defense won't help the Irish find consistent momentum -- expect their stout rush defense to force a few too many punts for an inconsistent ND offense.
Notre Dame hasn't score more than 20 points vs. a team with a legitimate defense since Game Five of 2011 (at Purdue) -- and that might be pushing the definition of "legit."
But the Irish defense is no joke, and BYU won't score more than a few field goals or a fluke touchdown.
Notre Dame 19 BYU 12 (Full prediction column forthcoming)
Brian Dohn -- Recruiting ReporterNotre Dame could have a bit of a "trap game" mentality as it hosts BYU between last week's overtime thriller against Stanford and next week's visit to Oklahoma. It doesn't matter. BYU isn't very good, and the Cougars really struggle against good defense. Notre Dame has a great defense, so it will be ugly. Irish 34, BYU 10
Dave Berk -- Recruiting AnalystWhile some may not think BYU has the ability to hang with Notre Dame, one look at their season shows a team capable of playing defense. Brian Kelly will have to make a decision early if he wants to attack the Cougars in the air or on the ground. So far the Cougars have only given up nine total touchdowns (4 rushing / 5 passing) on the season and have shutdown most teams rushing attack giving up an average of 67.9 yards a game.
However, look for the Irish to come out and show the physical style they played with last weekend and have success running the ball setting up the pass. Tyler Eifert should get at least one score with the Irish three-man rushing attack posting at least 150 yards on the ground in a 31-17 victory.
SeattleNDFan -- ModeratorAs Notre Dame's running game goes, so goes the Irish offense. I have no doubt that BYU will have much of the same struggles to score against Notre Dame that every other opponent this season has, so the question is how the Irish offense in evolution will fare against the Cougar defense.
BYU plays hard and hits hard but in general are not as impressive in my view as Stanford. I would expect the same basic scheme if Golson starts, load up at the line and dare him to beat you with his arm, and if Rees starts to see a rush three and drop eight look as Tommy has shown this year he can make you pay for the blitz.
If ND can run the ball and allow Golson to pick and choose his spots, they should roll. Since BYU will likely load up at the line to prevent this, it will be up to Golson to hit a few passes early to loosen them up. If he can get that done, then: Notre Dame 38 BYU 9
If he cannot, then Notre Dame 17 BYU 9
GaviND-- ModeratorAfter an emotional victory over a very physical Stanford Cardinal squad a week ago, the Irish welcome Bronco Mendenhall and his BYU Cougars to town.
BYU has proven that they can stop the run this season and, like last week, the Irish will feel this game on Sunday and Monday.
This weekend will be another big test for an Irish offensive line that has not come close to reaching their potential over the first half of the season.
While I do not ever expect this the outcome of this weekend's tilt to ever be in question -- largely because the BYU offense is in over their head -- the Irish will have to work to score.
To do that, two things need to happen:
1. Get the offensive line going -- As mentioned before, this group's performance this year has shown them to be an above average unit. While Everett Golson's inexperience has made them look worse than they are at times, they have also been easily beaten by three and four man rushes. That can't happen. They need to play well and allow Golson to feel safe in the pocket.
2. Everett has to hold on to the ball -- Golson has been everywhere between spectacular and scary in his six games this season. Right now, he needs to focus on being steady and keeping the ball in his teams hands -- particularly his own. The defense is going to keep this team in position to win the game...all he had to do is manage the game and put a few points on the board.
At the end of the day, I think we leave feeling better about Golson, still nervous about the line...and most importantly with a win. ND 27 BYU 6
BNolan -- ModeratorPlenty has been discussed about a 'let down' game.
Hopefully the rhetoric from the head coach about keeping the lads focused on the task at hand is spot on. Manti says so, and I believe him. Then again, I'd believe Manti if he told me Elvis and Bigfoot just landed in his yard in a UFO.
BYU isn't to be taken lightly. But... ND is starting to show me that they can play like they haven't for about the life of a good dog -- be the better team and beat any team, without too much effort, that you are bigger and better than. Thus should be Saturday.
Good QB play and minimal mental errors, ND puts on a clinic. The alternative... ND wins but in less than impressive fashion. So I'll say:
ND 27 BYU 10 just to split the difference.
KurzND -- ModeratorBYU comes to ND with a strong and physical defense, but a struggling offense. BYU has some athletes and good defenders, but ND should be able to wear them out. If by chance Tommy starts for the injured, ND should have more success on a weak passing defense. ND, after running on Stanford last week must again run on a hard BYU defense.
As for the ND defense, it should be another strong performance. BYU's offense has been poor scoring only 6 points in one loss and 6 points in one win. Riley Nelson has throw 6 TDs this season but 8 INTs in 5 games of action this season. Look for BYU to struggle, ND defense to feast and no more than 10 points from the BYU offense.
This shouldn't be close unless the BYU defense makes it tough for ND to run.
Notre Dame 37 BYU 9