No. 16 BYU Shows Fight In Loss To Notre Dame

Oct 8, 2022, 8:49 PM | Updated: 9:17 pm
Courtesy of BYU Photo

LAS VEGAS – No. 16 BYU battled Notre Dame in primetime, falling short 28-20. The Cougars showed fight, rallying in the second half to keep the game within one score. But Jaren Hall and the offense couldn’t get into the end zone, spoiling their comeback hopes.

BYU Shows Fight Against Notre Dame

Things started ugly for BYU when Jaren Hall threw an interception on the very first play, only his second of the season. The BYU defense came up big, holding Notre Dame to just a field goal. The Cougars got on the board after a great punt return by Hobbs Nyberg put them in great field position. Hall found wide receiver Kody Epps for a touchdown, but the kicking woes continued as Justen Smith missed the extra point.

The Irish responded right back with a touchdown drive dominated by tight end Michael Mayer. Mayer had eight receptions for 83 yards and a touchdown in the first half alone. After BYU’s defense got a key fourth down stop in the red zone, Jaren Hall was sacked in the end zone for a safety. The Irish tacked on a touchdown late in the second quarter on a great catch by wide receiver Jayden Thomas. Notre Dame led BYU at halftime, 18-6.

Notre Dame continued their dominance on offense to start the second half. The Irish took the opening drive of the half into the end zone, taking seven minutes and grinding down the tired Cougar defense. But BYU responded quickly on a big 53-yard TD pass from Jaren Hall to Kody Epps. After the defense forced a three and out, the Cougars went right back down the field to score another touchdown. Christopher Brooks scored on a 28-yard TD run to put BYU back in the game.

BYU’s defense came up big yet again with a interception by Max Tooley, his third on the season. The offense was unable to take advantage and the Irish added more points with a field goal. Jaren Hall led the team down the field, but they came up short. Notre Dame killed the clock, walking away with the 28-20 victory.

Off Night For BYU Offense

Quarterback Jaren Hall had a bad night for his standards, completing 53% of his passes for just 120 yards. He had two touchdowns and one interception, struggling to find consistent momentum on offense. Wide receiver Kody Epps had a big night, hauling in four catches for 100 yards and two touchdowns. He was the only BYU player with multiple receptions in the game.

The Cougars ran for 160 yards on the ground in a solid performance by the offensive line and backs. Christopher Brooks led the team with 90 rushing yards and a touchdown. BYU was just 3-9 on third down in the game.

The defense stepped up big in the second half, led by their MVP this season Max Tooley. Tooley led the team with 13 tackles and had the lone takeaway. Micah Harper made some big plays throughout the night, adding six tackles from the safety position.

Quarterback Drew Pyne had a big night for the Irish, throwing for 262 yards and three touchdowns. Michael Mayer, one of the best tight ends in the country, had a huge night against the Cougars. Mayer had 11 catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns. Notre Dame gashed BYU on the ground, amassing 234 yards on the ground.

No. 16 BYU (4-2) returns home for another test, this time against SEC opponent. The Cougars will host Arkansas (3-3) next Saturday at LaVell Edwards Stadium. The Razorbacks will be just the third SEC team ever to visit Provo. That game will kickoff at 1:30 p.m. MT on ESPN and on KSL NewsRadio.

BYU vs Notre Dame: First Quarter

BYU vs Notre Dame: Second Quarter

No. 16 BYU vs Notre Dame: Third Quarter

BYU vs Notre Dame: Fourth Quarter

Dallen Graff is a KSL Sports Contributor. He is the Producer of Cougar Sports Saturday (SUBSCRIBE) on KSL NewsRadio. Follow him on Twitter.

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