SHAMROCKING IN LAS VEGAS October 8, 2022
Statistically, this game was a rout for the IRISH. The final score, 28-20, doesn’t reflect how dominant the ND offense performedwith almost 500 yards of total offense compared to less than 300 yards for BYU, but Irish fans already know that no game is EVER easy!
In the 1st half, Notre Dame won the coin toss and elected to defer. BYU went on offense first. On the first play of the game, Tariq Bracy of Notre Dame intercepted BYU QB, Jaren Hall’s pass. The IRISH took 8 plays to go 36 yards and were forced to settle for a field goal by Blake Grupe.
On their 2nd possession of the game, BYU had two runs for 16 yards. On their 3rd try, Hall’s pass went incomplete, and the Cougars were forced to kick.
BYU kicked the ball, and Notre Dame’s Brandon Joseph called for a fair catch. The IRISH started their 2nd possession of the game and not much happened for them so they were forced to punt.
Jon Sot’s kick went 59 yards, but Hobbs Nyberg was able to return it 42 yards before Sot pushed him out of bounds at the Notre Dame 26-yard line. BYU fumbled but recovered the ball on the next play. They got as far as the 2-yard line, and the IRISH defense stepped up, stopping them at the 2. Instead of kicking a field goal, BYU QB, Hall got a quick pass out to Kody Epps, catching the Irish defense off guard and the Cougars got into the endzone. The kick was no good but the Cougars took the lead over the IRISH, 6-3 with 4:32 left in the quarter.
The IRISH opened the 2nd quarter with a drive dominated by All-American tight end, Michael Mayer. Accompanied by runs from Audric Estime and Logan Diggs, the drive ended with a 13 yardPyne to Mayer pass for ND’s 1st touchdown. Grupe’s kick was good, and the IRISH took a 10-6 lead.
Notre Dame started their next drive with a 26-yard pass from Drew Pyne to Lorenzo Styles. Powered by runs from Diggs, and Estime, along with catches by Mayer and Lenzy, the IRISH got down to the BYU 1 yard line. On 4th and 1 after a time out, the IRISH went for it, but Estime was unable to get just 1 yard, and the Irish turned the ball over to the Cougars on downs.
On BYU’S drive, Jack Kiser sacked BYU QB Jaren Hall in the end zone, and the IRISH got the 2 point safety.
Notre Dame’s final TD drive of the half consisted of 3 runs for a total of 17 yards by Audric Estime, 3 runs for 13 yards by Logan Diggs and 2 runs by Chris Tyree for 6 total yards
A Drew Pyne 30 yard pass to Jayden Thomas (with a spectacular catch!) resulted in another touchdown. The IRISH decided to go for the 2 point conversion play, but Pyne’s pass to Mayer was incomplete. The score at the half was Notre Dame 18 – BYU 6.
The 2nd half was a different story for the BYU Cougars. After the IRISH took the opening kickoff for a long drive that resulted in another Pyne to Mayer touchdown connection, BYU’s quick scoring offense came alive. A perfectly executed long pass from Hall to Epps put the Cougars right back into the game. Even the BYU defense stepped up and caused a 3 and out possession for the IRISH when the always sure handed Mayer dropped a 3rddown pass, forcing the IRISH to punt.
BYU kept the momentum going on their next possession with a sustained drive from deep in their own territory. With a combination of deep passes and long runs, the Cougars found themselves back in the endzone as Cal transfer, Christopher Brooks, scampered into the end zone to reduce the ND lead to only 5 points.
On the next IRISH drive, Pyne drove the offense down into BYU territory, but underthrew Michael Mayer and was intercepted by BYU’s Max Tooley, once again handing the momentum back into the hands of the opposition. Fortunately, the Cougars failed to capitalize on the turnover.
With 10 minutes left in the game, Drew Pyne showed off his acute ball awareness by diving ahead on 3rd down to keep possession of the ball. A long powerful run by Audric Estime put the IRISH back in the red zone. Unable to punch it in, Blake Grupe kicked the field goal to put ND up by 8.
With a little over 6 minutes now left in the game, BYU continued to move the ball down the field, but on 4th and 1, Jayson Ademilola made the biggest stop of the game! The IRISH took back possession, but not without a struggle. With short gains on the ground and and a 10 yard holding penalty, the fate of the game was still not sealed until Logan Diggs burst out of the backfield with another 1st down. Estime ran for the final 1st down of the game and Irish Nation along with Coach Freeman breathed a sigh of relief as the IRISH won their 11th Shamrock Series game 28-20, with probably the best Series uniform design so far!
The IRISH return to Notre Dame Stadium this coming Saturday, 10/15, to face off in another 7:30pm night game against the Stanford Cardinal
See you there!