Instant reaction | Notre Dame 28 BYU 20

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After BYU, the emotions of Notre Dame fans must be running high.

At certain points in the game, they probably felt elated. After another dominant performance in the middle of the match, they probably felt relaxed. Then they may have received an Apple Watch alert about a sudden increase in their heart rate as things seemed to go off the rails and a game that could have been a blowout suddenly turned into a nail biter.

They may even have had flashbacks of late-game meltdowns that happened earlier this season.

But just when it looked like the game was headed in the wrong direction with BYU going to have a chance to tie it, the defense stepped up with two big plays on short yardage.

And when the offense had a waiting call against them and returning the ball to BYU seemed inevitable, Logan Diggs had perhaps the best run of the year off a Notre Dame back. Not to be outdone, Audric Estime finished the game on a 3rd and 4 shots to seal the win.

The Irish did more than enough to win this game. They also did things that could have caused them to lose. They finally got the win because when they needed it most, they were able to finish. Our Lady answered the call and showed that they had that in them.

– Drew Pyne has exceeded all expectations with his game the last two games. It certainly doesn’t seem like what he’s doing is a fluke.

He completed 79% of his passes and his ball placement on many of those Michael Mayer catches was superb. He also gave his receivers the opportunity to make plays after the reception and that opened up a new element of the attack.

– I know BYU doesn’t have good passing throwers and they certainly didn’t come into this game with strong run defense, but the offensive line controlled this game. Pyne had so much time in the pocket when his first read wasn’t there and they again opened up holes for the backs to have a chance to gain big yards after contact.

– To say that it was important for Jayden Thomas to do the pieces he did is an understatement. Notre Dame needed someone else to be an option as a playmaker besides Lorenzo Styles in the worst possible way and the fact that he made a disputed hold like the one he did for a touchdown just might change the dynamic of what the offense can do in the passing game.

Someone was going to have to emerge as a threat to win an intermediate ball and Thomas just proved he deserved more chances on those types of passes.

– It was an extremely Jekyll and Hyde performance for the defense.

In the first half, the Doc was present. It was about as good as anyone could hope for.

Jaren Hall looked like a shadow of the player he’s been all season, and BYU averaged 3.2 yards per game. Their only points came on a short pitch after a long punt return. The Irish defense had six Havoc plays from the first 16 snaps.

BYU was lucky that Clarence Lewis dropped what could have been a six pick and two forced fumbles weren’t picked up by Notre Dame defenders.

Then that bad old Mr. Hyde came out in the second half with a failed high school play that gave BYU life and a problematic run defense with the Cougars averaging 6.5 yards per carry after halftime. time.

I’m officially concerned about the run defense if Howard Cross is going to be out for an extended period of time. They desperately missed his presence in this game and if TaRiq Bracy is out for a period of time, then they are two of the top three defense players this season.

I think you have to watch the whole game and see that Hall only threw 120 yards, Gunner Romney and Puka Nacua combining for a catch on six targets for 8 yards, and they’re 3 of 9 on 3rd down in the grand scheme of it all.

If I had given you those numbers before the game and said BYU would be held to 20 points, anyone would have taken it.

They were successful when it counted, but I’m starting to wonder how much better they can be. They have yet to play four great quarterbacks in a game.

– What more can we say about Mayer except that he manages to continue to amaze us even though we have all seen him do incredible things for three years. What an absolute baller.

– In a weird way, I think it might have been good for Notre Dame not to convert so many chances to make this game a three-touchdown win. If they were better in the red zone, if Lewis gets his pick of six, if they even score one more time than three or four times than they should have, then they don’t have to get through adversity and prove to themselves that they can win a game like this when it all goes the other way.

This team has surprised me in many ways over the past few weeks and they still have a lot of room to improve. Everyone prefers easy wins, but this team might be better off in the long run by having to win like they did.

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