South Bend • In frigid conditions seemingly better suited for defense than offense, Notre Dame and BYU found plenty of the latter in the early going at Notre Dame Stadium on Saturday. As time wore on, though, the scoring slowed.
At the half, Notre Dame built a 10-point lead.
At the end, the Cougars, who fought hard through the second half, couldn't make up the difference, falling 23-13.
The Irish used a field goal, against two by BYU in the third quarter, to hold a late lead. Early in the fourth, a long Notre Dame drive was halted when Craig Bills intercepted a Tommy Rees pass in the end zone. Another Irish drive resulted in a 51-yard field goal with 6:53 remaining.
BYU attempted to cut the lead to seven in the closing minutes on a short field goal, but it was blocked.
Notre Dame scored on a 61-yard touchdown pass from Rees to DaVaris Daniels at the 10:11 mark of the first quarter. The Cougars answered with a 12-play, 71-yard move that included four conversions on four third downs and ended with a 7-yard TD pass from Taysom Hill to JD Falslev.
Before that initial quarter ended, Notre Dame stirred a 75-yard drive for a score, punctuated by a short Tarean Folston run to the left side, making it 14-7 with 4:43 to play. BYU then had a long drive stopped on 4th-and-two at the Irish 30.
In the second, a Notre Dame 26-yard field goal punched the Irish's lead to double digits. Another Irish drive stalled at the BYU 24. BYU tried a Hail Mary pass at the end of the half, but - really? - a Hail Mary against Notre Dame? It failed.
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