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Instant Takeaways From BYU’s Loss To Notre Dame

Oct 8, 2022, 9:03 PM
Jaren-Hall-BYU...
BYU quarterback Jaren Hall (Courtesy of BYU Photo)
(Courtesy of BYU Photo)

LAS VEGAS – No. 16 BYU suffered its second loss of the season in a defeat at Allegiant Stadium to the Notre Dame Fighting Irish.

The Fighting Irish hosted the No. 16 Cougars at the home of the NFL’s Las Vegas Raiders on Saturday, October 8.

Notre Dame beat BYU, 28-20.

BYU started slow again

BYU opened the game with another slow start. Unfortunately, it’s becoming an alarming trend for BYU as they continue to dig themselves out of holes.

What made matters worse tonight against Notre Dame is that BYU also was burning timeouts due to only having 10 players on the field.

Throughout the entire first half, BYU’s defense and special teams unit were missing players or having 12 on the field. As a result, it felt chaotic, and the stage appeared too big early on.

Jaren Hall didn’t appear to be his usual self

Coming into the game, BYU offensive coordinator Aaron Roderick told KSL Sports that the hit on Jaren Hall against Utah State last week was the hardest the second-year starter has taken since he became the full-time starter last season.

After that hit, Hall was visibly rotating his shoulder and appeared bothered by the hit.

In the pregame before Notre Dame, Hall worked closely with BYU’s Sports Performance analyst Dr. Skylar Mayne. During phase one of pregame warmups, Hall didn’t throw a single pass.

Then to begin phase two he was passing directly to the trainers before throwing passes to his receivers in pregame.

To open the game, after four consecutive weeks without an interception, Hall threw a pass that was lobbed and didn’t look like his usual self.

On the next drive, Hall’s arm strength seemed to be non-existent.

He had some excellent passes in the second half. But to end up 9-of-17 for 120 yards and a 53% completion rate on the night. Hall wasn’t his usual self.

BYU struggles to score against Notre Dame

In the previous eight meetings against Notre Dame, BYU didn’t score more than 23 points in any of those games.

The 2022 meeting, which was a long-awaited meeting had a similar output with BYU only scoring 20.

Michael Mayer is the best tight end in college football

If there was any doubts about how good Michael Mayer was entering the game, he silenced those folks. Mayer was unstoppable.

He became the first tight end this year in the FBS to haul in 10+ receptions this season. Mayer finished with 11 catches for 118 yards and two touchdowns in the Notre Dame win.

His only mistake was a screen pass on a third and short in the third quarter that propelled BYU’s comeback efforts.

Kody Epps put together the best performance of his BYU career

Kody Epps hit the century mark in receiving yards for the first time in his BYU career. Epps’ route running was top-notch as he sliced through Notre Dame defenders to create separation. The redshirt freshman was one of the few BYU players that was on point throughout the entire game.

Third-down defense is still a problem

How many times can you recall Drew Pyne connecting with Notre Dame tight end Michael Mayer? Most of that took place on third down.

BYU’s defense held firm in the first and fourth quarters stopping Notre Dame in the red zone to hold the Irish to field goals. But outside of that, BYU couldn’t get off the field enough.

BYU’s first half on offense had some 2017 LSU vibes

BYU was held to 48 yards of offense in the first half. They were brought to a complete halt in the first half and looked to be dead in the water.

To their credit, they responded in the second half to make the game more competitive.

Mitch Harper is a BYU Insider for KSLsports.com and host of the Cougar Tracks Podcast (SUBSCRIBE) and Cougar Sports Saturday (Saturday from 12–3 p.m.) on KSL Newsradio. Follow him on Twitter: @Mitch_Harper.

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